The offices of Saint Lucia’s Youth Economy Agency were officially opened on Monday, 3 April 2023. YEA was launched in March 2023, and the opening ceremony of the agency’s physical space was timed to coincide with the advent of Youth Month in Saint Lucia.
Catering to young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35, YEA has also been launched as Commonwealth member countries mark 2023 as the Year of Youth, dedicated to youth-led action for sustainable and inclusive development.
The Agency opened its doors on #27 Chaussee Road in Castries with brief remarks from Mr. Thomas Leonce, Chairman of the Board of Directors; and Hon. Philip J Pierre, Prime Minister, Minister for Finance, Economic Development & Youth Economy and Minister for Justice & National Security; and in the presence of H.E. Peter Chia-yen Chen, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Saint Lucia.
The premises and staff were blessed by Hon. Msgr. Dr. Patrick Anthony, before the street sign was unveiled by Prime Minister Pierre and Mr. Leonce.
YEA aims to carve out a unique space in the general economic system for youth entrepreneurship and business growth, by providing state resources to young people to create sustainable livelihoods through business development, finance and marketing support, and training and mentorship.
It is expected that the offices of the Agency, featuring art by the St Mary’s College Art Troupe, will serve as a hub for training and an incubator for emerging businesses.
Established by the Youth Economy Act No. 17 of 2022, YEA provides young people with a special economic space to turn hobbies into entrepreneurship and skills into businesses.
As part of the official opening ceremony, Mr. Daniel Yi-Long Lee, Head of the Taiwan Technical Mission in Saint Lucia, and Mr. Leonce signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will facilitate additional training for up-and-coming business owners.
Closing remarks were delivered by Mrs. Khrystal Riviere, Chief Operations Officer of YEA.
In addition to providing access to grants, loans, training, and business development, YEA also offers scholarships through the Commonwealth Secretariat to participate in the Digital Skills Training Programme.
The pilot programme will see up to 200 young citizens receiving certification via Simplilearn in an array of areas such as software development, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud computing and blockchain.
SOURCE: Youth Economy Agency