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Do What You Love!!!

Starting your own business is one of the first of many leaps an entrepreneur will ever take. It is also the leap that is the most important because it will determine whether or not you follow your dreams to own your own business or continue dreaming and wondering ‘what if?’

Today I interviewed one of the Grant Recipients of the CARCIP Business Incubator Programme. He came in to see me directly after a hard day work fully dressed in his gears. You may recognize him as the guy with the horses or the horse man as he’s called by the kids. His real name? Royan Smith, owner and manager of Bonanza Stables, located in Mardigras and surrounded by mountains, fields and a beautiful lake.  His services include horseback tours, horseback riding lessons, carriage rides and rides to birthday parties, fundraisers and weddings etc. With the use of his newly developed website he hopes to give persons the ability to make reservations online and choose personalize tours around the island of Grenada.

Thirty-three (33) year old Royan started his own business since he was 18 years old and this is what he had to say.

INTERVIEW WITH ROYAN SMITH. OWNER OF BONANZA STABLES, MARDIGRAS ST. GEORGE

What was life like before your decision to start your own business?

Growing up life was always hard. My parents never had what they wanted. They were employed but they were employees who were always living hand to mouth. I never wanted that for myself. I wanted to own my own business because I never wanted to work for anyone. I knew this at a very young age. During my teenage years however, I got distracted, I was the type of kid that wore my pants below my bottom and who got into fights.   (Moments that I am not proud of in my life). In fact, I even got into trouble with the law but someone saw something in me and gave me a second chance. I used this chance to make something of my life. It was then that I decided to start planting my own crops and even going to the market to sell them. I did this for a lot of years.

 I eventually received a loan of $10,000 from the Ministry of Youth and the money was used to purchase a tractor. A couple years later, I received some funds that was used to purchase two (2) horses. These two horses was used to help out in the land, as well as, offer rides to kids in my village. At first I started to offer rides for free but then I saw that I was able to make a little extra money if I charge a fee, so I began charging kids $2.00 per ride and every $2.00 added up and eventually the horses began to bring more money in than the farm. I then decided to apply for another loan and this time I received a $25,000 loan which I used to purchased more horses and a carriage. It is then that I eventually branched out to offering rides with and without the carriage, at events and to the tourists during the tourist season. 

What made you decide to choose the line of business you are in?

I chose farming because I wanted to stay close to nature. It was a skill I learned at a very young age from my Grandmother. Once I started, I realized that I was able to sell enough to make money and still feed myself and give away to persons. The addition of the horses was something I did because I loved horses. Additionally, Grenada did not have many horses as a form of entertainment when I started, so once I got them everyone was so amazed. 

What sparked your love for horses?

As a kid growing up I watched a horse show on TV called Bonanza and I loved it so much that I would tell people that I would one day own horses. No one took me serious off course, and most persons thought it was a joke, but look at me today. It is also the reason why I named my first horse Bonanza and my business Bonanza Stables. My passion for horses has put me in a position where I can not only make my own money but create employment. So far I have employed three (3) persons and plan to employ much more as my business expands.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced thus far and how have you overcome them?

My biggest challenge has always been money but I must admit, I have been blessed along the way. I would have never gotten through for a loan in the bank or credit union because I had nothing to use as security. Thankfully, I received 2 loans through a program from the Ministry of Youth and a grant of $150,000XCD from the CARCIP Business Development Program.  The Grant from CARCIP assisted me in getting the equipment needed to make my business more marketable, more convenient, safer and more successful through the use of a website and equipment.  I have gears to protect myself and I now have a trailer to transport my horses to different destinations hassle free.

Royan finally received his brand new horse trailer to transport his horses

What advice do you have for young persons who may be reading this now?

My advice to person who want to start their own business is don’t go into business because you see someone doing it and you think they are making money. Do what you love so that every day you go to work you’ll be having fun while making money.

Horseback riding with the kids

Is there anything you wish to use the opportunity to say?

I would like to say a special thanks to Minister Emalyn Pierre. She was the one that saw something in me and gave me a second chance at becoming a better person. To this day her assistance and support has never wavered. I would also like to say a special thank you to CARCIP for the grant awarded to me. It truly has made a difference in my business and provided it with the framework it needs to succeed.


CARCIP Small Business Grant Funds Training Workshop

carcip-sas

Caribbean Regional Communication Infrastructure Program (CARCIP) is offering up to XCD 150,000 grant funds for the establishment of start-up businesses or to grow and develop existing businesses.

Grant Funds Training Workshops will be delivered throughout the island to assist interested persons in the preparation of the Grant Fund Application Form and also to aid in the preparation of Business Plans.

DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY!!!!! Come out to the CARCIP training workshop at one of the locations listed below.

3/12/2015 St. Patrick’s R.C. School 4:00 – 6:00 pm
7/12/2015 Corinth Government School 4:00 – 6:00 pm
8/12/2015 St. Andrew’s Anglican Primary School 4:00 – 6:00 pm
9/12/2015 Gouyave Fish Market 4:00 – 6:00 pm
10/12/2015 Bonaire Government School 4:00 – 6:00 pm
11/12/2015 Project Coordination Unit Board Room 4:00 – 6:00 pm

To get more information about the training workshop call 473 440 7011

For more information on the small Business Grant, visit us at
Website: http://www.startupgrenada.com
Facebook: CARCIP Grenada
Facebook: Startup Grenada

Addressing the challenges of the Rapidly Evolving …

Addressing the challenges of the Rapidly Evolving Telecommunications Landscape

CARCIPPIC5
A team from Grenada joined officials from across the Eastern Caribbean in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines from January 19 to 21 to attend a three-day training workshop on technology and telecommunications issues in the Eastern Caribbean.

The workshop drew participants from other islands including Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines and covered several weighty technology development issues, including broadband quality of service, consumer protection, Internet Exchange Points, and Internet neutrality.

The Grenadian team consisted of participants from a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including Mr. John Gilchrist from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions, Ms from the consumer affairs department of the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Eric Nurse the Acting Director of ICT within The Ministry of ICT, Mr. Milton Coy the president of the Consumer Affairs association and Ms. Alice Bain the CARCIP project coordinator for Grenada.
Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), was the main organiser of the high-level event.

Presenters brought greater understanding of issues related to open access in the telecommunications sector. Through this three-day workshop, ECTEL hopes to improve key regional players’ ability to manage and regulate of Internet traffic flows in the Eastern Caribbean.

The workshop was held in partnership with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, under the umbrella of the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP).

Funded by the International Development Association of the World Bank, the CARCIP helps governments and private sector to harmonise the development of critical telecommunications infrastructure in three participating Eastern Caribbean countries — Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Business Incubation and Training Grants

On March 25th 2015 the Business Incubation and Training Grants Manager, Dr.J.M. Shepard along with a group of employees from CARCIP toured the entire Island to explore the landscape and current state of small business on the island. During his tour, and other informal conversations that week, Dr.Shepard spoke to dozens of business owners to gain a better idea of the opportunities in areas such as Tourism, ICT, Farming, and training.

In May and June, CARCIP will be releasing the details of a Grant program that will enable individuals and current business owners funding to grow and develop ideas. This program that is sponsored by the World Bank will bring a great amount of opportunities to the people of Grenada.

Building Connectivity

The Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure program (CARCIP).
CARCIP seeks to increase access to regional broadband networks and advance the development of an ICT-enabled services industry in Grenada and the Caribbean Region.
The objective of CARCIP is expected to be achieved through: (a) targeted investments in ICT infrastructure that fills the gaps at the regional and domestic level, in partnership with the private sector and other development partners (b) creating an enabling environment that fosters competitive access to infrastructure and the creation of an IT/ITES and other applications industry, (c) enabling and supporting the creation of e-services, including e- and m-government services, and (d) strengthening of institutional capacity/arrangements to ensure effective program implementation and outcomes.