Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Seychelles is led by the Department of Industry and Entrepreneurship Development. We caught up with the Principal Secretary, Ms. Angelique Antat, to discuss how hosting GEW in Seychelles will accelerate its efforts in entrepreneurship development locally as well as build a much-needed innovative network on an international scale.
This article is part of a series highlighting successful GEW hosts from around the world.
ABOUT GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK
GEN: How will Seychelles participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2020?
Antat: Seychelles has been bestowed with the opportunity to host the Global Entrepreneurship Week, 2020. The Department of Industry and Entrepreneurship Development (DOIED) is the entrepreneurial arm on Seychelles' government and will be coordinating a series of activities for the week. The department has sought the cooperation and participation of other partners and stakeholders with the aim of broadening the success of GEW Seychelles 2020. Some of the activities planned for the week include ‘Guess the Entrepreneur’ quizzes, panel discussions, lecture series for students on ‘How to Run a Business For a Day’, networking events and a trade fair to promote locally made products to name a few.
GEN: Why is Seychelles interested in hosting GEW 2020?
Antat: As a small island, developing state, hosting GEW 2020 will accelerate the entrepreneurship motor of Seychelles. It will supplement the work that Seychelles, in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) are undertaking to establish an entrepreneurship policy framework for Seychelles and institute the world’s renowned capacity building program, EMPRETEC.
Hosting GEW 2020 will enable Seychelles to:
Build much-needed innovative networks on an international scale;
Expand the exposure of our very own initiatives with support from any organization that may want to help further develop entrepreneurship;
Exchange worldwide knowledge; and
Uplift and support our local and aspiring entrepreneurs and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) by highlighting their efforts during the difficult times of COVID-19.
GEN: How will the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2020 help Seychelles?
Antat: Similar to every other country around the world, COVID-19 and its rippling and lingering effects have adversely affected Seychelles’ economy. However, there is a silver lining to these tremors as they have presented opportunities for us to think and act differently than we did before. Entrepreneurship in all its essence is key for us to better our ways of operating and performing our daily tasks in order to overcome challenges and generate income from it.
The Global Entrepreneurship Week will therefore help Seychelles, particularly the Department of Industry and Entrepreneurship, to fortify its efforts in entrepreneurship development locally.
Although last November was our first time officially celebrating GEW, we are honored to participate on a bigger scope this year as a host country. This will surely bring more opportunities to the country. The department will be granted access to manage the digitally focused platform (i.e. the GEW Website) which will be available to anyone, anywhere and anytime.
ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY'S STARTUP ECOSYSTEM
GEN: What is the entrepreneurial landscape like in Seychelles?
Antat: The notion of entrepreneurship is fairly new in Seychelles. For years, the business landscape has primarily been dominated by cottage businesses, so the amount of entrepreneurial ventures is minimal.
Our recently introduced department is faced with the task of establishing an ecosystem that is conducive for entrepreneurs in Seychelles by formulating appropriate and effective policies.
Moreover, Seychelles’ education system has a program called the Technical, Vocational Education and Training and Entrepreneurship Division (TVETE), which aims at developing and training students on a practical level compared to a theoretical approach of learning.
The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, through the TVETE Committee is also in the process of finalizing a project, which aims to identify a consultant with enough experience and knowledge to map out and integrate Know About Business (KAB) modules into the National Curriculum. These modules will be available for the Primary and Secondary Schools as well as through professional centers.
The department remains optimistic that despite the delay to move toward entrepreneurship and the challenges imposed upon us by COVID-19, we will hasten entrepreneurship development in Seychelles, especially because of the catalyst that is the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and GEW.