Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 16, 2017 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Gender Affairs in collaboration with the National Entrepreneurial Development Division (NEDD) and the St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board concluded a series of women entrepreneurship workshops on October 13, where 12 women from the Skills Training Empowerment Program (STEP) were awarded Certificates of Completion.

The workshops were facilitated by four NEDD employees and were conducted over a two-day span. The ladies studied topics such as building a business plan, products and services, marketing skills and management. On the last day of the workshop, they were placed in groups to utilize the skills they learned and formulated a business model, which they presented in front of their peers. 

"The workshop is especially important, as women are now working in both the public and private spheres, which provides an opportunity for them to gain control over their lives," stated Mrs. Celia Christopher, Director of Gender Affairs, while praising the young ladies for taking the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge that can help them to become financially independent.

"You have been trained in the area of entrepreneurship. You have been given the necessary tools to make a difference in your communities. This is the beginning of your journey," stated Mrs. Christopher, as she pledged the full support of the department in helping these women attain their entrepreneurial goals.  

"The empowerment of women is necessary to remove inequalities and gender bias from society," she added. She also noted that women are key contributors to the economy, making up over 50 percent of the working population.

 Tyianna Frederick, workshop participant, expressed her delight in being able to attend and successfully complete the workshop. 

"This workshop was very interesting. We had a variety of ladies here. We all shared our knowledge and it was quite an experience," she stated.

She also encouraged her fellow participants to act on the knowledge and skills they received from the workshop and try to execute some of the business plans that they crafted over the two days. "I don't want us to take the knowledge we received and just sit there and do not let it happen. I want us to explore it and not just wait for someone to come and steal our ideas," said Ms. Frederick.

The empowerment of women and skills training is an on-going initiative by the Department of Gender Affairs and NEDD with these entrepreneurship workshops marking the first of many activities to come in an effort to create more successful women in the federation.

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