Feature: Local C. S.O receiving regional and global attention for entrepreneurial development

Story by: Demion Mc Tair & Dr. Marcia Brandon

Constructive Solutions Inc, a registered non-profit company based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has been receiving international attention for their work in helping to develop entrepreneurs in the multi island state.

Founded in 2009 by Dr. Ashley C. John the group has trained over 500 locals in Entrepreneurship and life skills, business incubation, consultations, monitoring\guidance to existing young mature entrepreneurs and their enterprises additionally they offer an administrative assistance service under their Regional Award winning Program Biz-Hub which includes (proposals, startup/ developmental plans).

Constructive Solutions Inc. (C.S. Inc) has received a number of regional awards and global recognition for its hard work and steadfast commitment to fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship within the past years.

In 2015, the organization received two more great regional awards, including; the Regional Best Product (Agriculture) award which is shared with Alitha Garraway of Aurora’s and the Regional Best Quality Award Services & Cultural Industries shared with Semesha Corea of Edge Media Centre.

In an exclusive interview with Demion McTair, Executive Director of the non profit company Dr. Ashley John told Demion McTair that Chief Entrepreneurial Expert, Dr. Marcia Brandon Coesl Barbados, Dr. Belinda Barrow CEO of Panama World Trade Organisation and Ambassador of Dr. Clive Rivers of the USA has been taking a keen interest in the organization’s work in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a small island state that seeks to help citizens gain sustainable livelihoods especially at a time when most global economies are in decline.

According to Dr. John, receiving four regional awards in November 2015, St. Georges Grenada during the Coesl Caricom Sustainable Livelihoods through Entrepreneurship Conference, and being appointed a Goodwill Ambassador additionally receiving a global leadership and I change Nations Golden Rule Leadership award as an exemplary global leader have been very memorable achievements for himself and the organization, I’ve always believed in doing things with all my heart and let your work do the talking, hence this is confirmation that work done at the community level is still being appreciated and recognized around the world.

The launching of the G.E.F-S.G.P UNDP funded Electronic Waste management project in September 2015 was also a great moment in the groups’ history.
Under this historic project in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 14 young people have been trained and certified to collect hazardous E-Waste (obsolete\abandoned computers, cell phones etc.) so as to prevent them from entering the landfill, while creating a sustainable livelihood through green entrepreneurship and growth to the local economy in the medium term as the pilot project goes into full gear.
The group has done a lot of its work because of partnerships; “we surely could not have done this alone and we want to again take this opportunity to thank all our partners & stakeholders, and to encourage other multilateral partners from the public, private sector, civil society and academia to make more tangible contributions to the development of our greatest asset Youth of SVG both in-kind technical assistance and capital.”

Regionally, C.S.Inc. has been the implementing & development partner for SVG with the Caribbean Center of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods, based in Barbados. it has also partnered with CANARI – Caribbean Natural Resources Institute and the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (Focal point Caribbean Civil Society Consultative Working Group), Globally the Action 2015 Campaign, Karen Hinds Phenomenal Woman Conference, Youth Service America and CIVICUS.
Locally we have provided similar services with stakeholders, National Youth Council of SVG, C. E. D and the Youth Affairs Department and the Church.
“This has helped us tremendously in forging links locally, regionally and globally, and through continuous technical advice and support inclusive of provisional grant funding to complete several of our projects since 2009” – Dr. John said.

The group is not done yet. In fact, they are ready to take things to a new level with their innovative project “Up Your Game” which is a social, economic and environmental development program from 2016-2019.
The aim is to develop more entrepreneurial and employable citizens across SVG.
“Our goal is to become financially sustainable so we can consistently offer the additional social support programs needed across SVG” to reduce the level of unemployment especially among the young people 18-34, who makes up more than half the total population…. we want to go beyond training and consultancy, we want to be able to provide micro finance and resources to help get more micro enterprises started across SVG – Dr. John added.

Some of the notable local Entrepreneurs who have benefited from training and gained local, regional and global exposure for their products, through the efforts of Constructive Solutions Inc, are; Kay Dawne Fergusson Val Kelly Investments, Kemora Kydd of Nature’s Best, Ayana Findlay, who makes Cakes, Aurora’s – (agro processing), and Graphic designer – Semesha Corea.

According to Dr. John, the organization wants to build more multilateral partnerships and is calling on community minded persons to partner with them in their 2016 – 2019 economic, social and environmental agenda.
CSI is headquartered in the Baynes Building Halifax Street in Kingstown, Opposite the Old Public Library. Contact us (784) 492-0908 or email info@consolinc.org; proteam@conslinc.org

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