Commonwealth and Caricom Secretariat running entrepreneurial skills scheme for 300 Caribbean youths

28 April 2023
Two young people look at computer screen

Entrepreneurial young people in the Caribbean are encouraged to apply for a six-month scheme offering bespoke business training and mentorship.

The CARICOM Secretariat, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat, has designed and developed the Aspiring Youth Empowerment Programme (AYEP), to give young people crucial skills and support to succeed in jobs or in setting-up businesses.

The programme will run across six months, throughout the 2023 Commonwealth Year of Youth – a seminal 12 months spotlighting and celebrating the 1.5bn people under the age of 30 living in the Commonwealth’s 56 member countries.

Scheme to empower talented young people

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, said:

“The Commonwealth’s young people have all the energy, talent, passion and drive needed to make a positive change in the world.

“However, they are suffering from a lack of opportunities to learn, to access employment, and to meaningfully participate in society. This reality has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Commonwealth family is actively working to celebrate, spotlight and empower the 1.5bn people under-30s living in the Commonwealth throughout this Commonwealth Year of Youth.

“By giving our young people the chance to access quality skills and opportunities we can tap into this huge reservoir of raw talent and empower young people to realise their full potential.”

The CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr. Carla Barnett, in recognition of the value of young people to regional development, reiterated the words of the Declaration of Paramaribo on the Future of Youth that youth are “invaluable assets and partners in development and not problems to be solved”.

She further indicated that “our programmes are created to enable more young people to embrace their identity as CARICOM citizens and allow them to reflect on their contribution to national and regional development.

In 2023, the year of the Youth, “we will provide training opportunities intended to build capacity to support and promote regional integration and strengthen your abilities as young leaders, preparing them for greater leadership roles at the national and regional levels”. 

The scheme previously ran in 2020 to help upskill young people and provide them with opportunities in response to the unprecedented health, social, human, and economic crisis caused by Covid-19 in the Caribbean region.

Over 100 young people participated in interactive sessions focused on building their self-efficacy, self-esteem and confidence, and sharpening their financial literacy, leadership, sales and marketing and other related entrepreneurial skills.


This year some 300 places are available for 18 to 35-year-olds on the scheme which starts on 22 May 2023.

It will consist of eight weeks of capacity building through training workshops followed by four months of mentorship.

The workshops will cover different elements of starting and running successful businesses like financial literacy, networking, building entrepreneurial capacity, marketing, and production.

Mentorship will be provided by a range of experts and professionals from a variety of backgrounds.

To apply      

Applications open on 28 April 2023 and will close on 12 May 2023. Applicants require a laptop and access to the internet to participate in the scheme.

Apply now

For more information contact [email protected]

Learn more about Year of Youth 2023

Media contact

  • Amy Coles  Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • E-mail