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Commonwealth Action Series: Episode two on trade, entrepreneurship and employment

Time: 12 August 2020 on GoToWebinar at 11:00 – 13:00 BST 

The second episode of the Commonwealth Action Series will focus on employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people in the COVID-19 ‘new reality’.

Young people are bearing the economic burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is forcing one in six people under the age of 29 out of work across the world.

On International Youth Day, the virtual episode will offer young people an opportunity to engage with a panel of youth leaders on:

  • challenges facing countries in providing entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for young people; and
  • creating a clear pathway for them to contribute to solutions and decision-making in trade and economic development.

The Secretariat will showcase its toolkits designed to help member countries create jobs and entrepreneurship prospects for young people in managing ocean resources and boosting low-carbon growth, while protecting the eco-system.


Eileen Lee: Regional director at Enterprise Singapore.

She is based in Tamil Nadu, where she facilitates partnerships between Singapore companies / start-ups and their Indian counterparts. Prior to this, she spent more than six years in similar role for Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East markets.

Eileen also co-runs a non-profit passion project, Books & Beer, in Singapore. It is a traveling book swap that encourages reading, built on the principles of sustainability and the sharing economy. 

The game-changer enjoys discussions on entrepreneurship and start-ups, and figuring out what makes people tick. She engages in youth mentoring when time avails, and is currently teaching herself Tamil. 

Engage with Eileen


H.E Ambassador Chad Blackman: Barbados ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva.

Ambassador Blackman has worked in international development for more than fifteen years. His extensive experience includes being a legal consultant in international trade and data protection laws at Caribbean law firm, Global Partners International.


In 2018 he became an ambassador with a portfolio including:

  • Chair for the Trade and Environment Committee in the World Trade Organization, and former Chair of the Trade and Development Committee;
  • Chair/co-ordinator of the Americas Government Group (Canada, US and Group of Latin-America and the Caribbean Countries) in the International Labour Organization (ILO);
  • Chair of the SIDS Group in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD);
  • UN International Gender Champion;
  • Associate member of the London-based, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators;
  • Former consultant to the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Engage with Ambassador Blackman

Kayode Oyewole: partner at Ventures Platform

Kayode spends most of his time making bold bets on fledgeling enterprises which are building Africa’s economy. He also supports companies to find the right markets. 


He leads and manages labs by Asset & Resource Management Company, a fintech accelerator backed by some of Nigeria’s biggest asset managers. He also serves as a mentor on several start-up programs.

Previously, Kayode was a founding employee at Metro Africa Xpress (MAX) Techstars NY(15) - a mobility company which pioneered motorcycle hailing taxi service and electric mobility in Nigeria.  

Engage with Kayode

Johanan Dujon: CEO of Algas Organics, the Caribbean’s first indigenous biotechnology manufacturing company.

Recognising the crippling effect of Sargassum on his home country Saint Lucia, Johanan founded the company in 2014. His vision was to turn the invasive plant species into world class, organic, crop protection and crop nutrition products.


Under his stewardship, Algas Organics has processed over 1 million pounds of Sargassum seaweed into fertilizer for export regionally and internationally.

Johanan has been recognized for his innovation locally and internationally:

  • Commonwealth Youth Award For Excellence in Development 2019;
  • Forbes 2019;
  • Young Leader of the Americas 2018;
  • Prime Minister's Award for Innovation in Microbiology 2018;
  • Huffington Post 2017;
  • OECS Top 30 Entrepreneur under 30 2017;
  • Caribbean Beat Top 25 Achiever Under 25 2017; and
  • Young Entrepreneur of the year 2017.

Engage with Johanan

Anton Said is head of trade development strategy at the International Trade Centre (ITC), where he has worked since 2003.

He has spent the last three decades promoting and developing trade at national and international levels.


His work includes supporting senior government officials and business managers with strategies to stimulate trade and investment. He also works with SMEs on improving competitiveness in international markets.

Under his leadership, ITC developed a range of innovative trade solutions and assisted more than 50 countries in designing their national trade strategies.

Prior to joining ITC, Anton was an e-commerce and market intelligence specialist for exporting enterprises.

Engage with Anton

Nazrene Mannie: Executive Director of GAN Global and a specialist in youth-focused social policy and youth employment and skills development.

Nazrene joined GAN Global in August 2019. She is a strong advocate for gender and diversity inclusion in the workplace and has been appointed as a Geneva Champion.


She is dedicated to driving forward the agenda for innovative and agile workforce development. She works closely with organisations such as the Global Alliance for Youth, private sector companies and international development entities such as the ILO, World Bank, IOE, UNESCO and OECD.

Engage with Nazrene:

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