Todds Terrace, St. George. Barbados

Meet the BYBT

The following article is based on an interview conducted with Mrs. Cardelle Fergusson – General Manager of the BYBT

“Who We Are

The BYBT’s entrepreneurship programme is a private sector initiative made possible through a partnership with the voluntary sector and together provides start-up capital, business mentoring, networking, advisory and marketing support services to encourage a new generation of young Barbadian entrepreneurs.”


 BYBT was started by a group of social entrepreneurs almost 30 years ago. It was formed as a part of the National Youth Policy for Barbados, and so this organization is tied to the very existence of that policy.

The BYBT and two other organizations were set up to provide support to this segment. 

Mrs. Fergusson believes that entrepreneurship in Barbados is still in its infancy stage. Although most of the entrepreneurial agencies have been functioning for a long time, they are still early in the game.

Back when the BYBT was getting started, there was a disparaging image about entrepreneurship. For instance, young people that wanted to start their own businesses were sometimes met by comments such as: “Why don’t you go do something with your life? Go find a job.” or “You are wasting your parents’ money by starting your own business and going off and doing your own thing.” 

The BYBT believes that they helped to make entrepreneurship more acceptable and palatable to everyone and helps to provide a more supportive network. 

They have created a structured program to support young persons, who are interested in going into business, to assess the viability of those ideas. This program shares the skills and knowledge entrepreneurs need to make them more business ready. The support network created over the years helps prepare them to become global entrepreneurs.

“The BYBT was very supportive helping the young entrepreneurs to develop  their business plan with its associated marketing plans, budgets, balance sheets, etc.”  Jamar Odwin – Young entrepreneur


The main characteristics of people who seek out assistance from the BYBT are:

  • Young persons between the ages of 18 and 35 
  • Persons with a clear business idea
  • Persons who may not have finished high school or college, but they have technical skills from experience 
  • Persons from a lower social socioeconomic background who see entrepreneurship as their way to advance and support themselves.

Many of these young persons do not possess the business ‘know-how’ about how to make ideas fruitful or how to drive a business. Cardelle shared that their organization has been able to segment the persons who seek out their assistance into two broad categories:

  • Those who are looking for sustainability – ‘subsistence entrepreneurs’. This group seeks to capitalize on a skill that could help them to take care of themself and their families. 
  • Those who studied, and want to use the technical skills to create businesses that fill an existing need.


Cardelle is convinced that contrary to popular belief, and contrary to the beliefs of most of the young entrepreneurs themselves, the greatest need for local and regional entrepreneurs is not money! but the need for business skills, a supportive network and technical know-how to get those businesses up and running.

Some young people approach the BYBT for money to help them advance, but they may not even know where these funds should be applied. They really need to acquire skills and knowledge first before accessing the money. They need to identify how they are going to use the money to advance through the next steps of development. Without adequate knowledge, they may use these funds inappropriately, which may not reach their target market.

Mentoring is one area that the BYBT has found to be the most useful to young persons. Through business mentoring, training, planning, and development support, they have created a platform for regional entrepreneurship development. 


The BYBT has recognized a gap in the support available for persons over 35, in the entrepreneurial landscape in Barbados. From the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reports, it was recognized that there is an increasing occurrence of entrepreneurial ventures started by persons who are over 35. Therefore the BYBT has been extending support for persons in that age category so that we can help them to be more sustainable. 

Most people assume that persons over 35 would have the necessary experience to start a business. However, this is not always true because working for others doesn’t necessarily translate to the experience and knowledge needed to start and run their own businesses. Since 2017 the BYBT has unofficially been striving to help this age group. Through their regional and global network, they have access to best practices and support that is will be very instrumental in providing skills, support, and guidance that is needed for this older demographic to run a successful business. 


  • For the Entrepreneurs:

The advent of the pandemic saw an increase in virtual and home-based businesses that operate without a storefront. Technical businesses that support these types of businesses have also been increasing. Innovative entrepreneurs have developed business opportunities that ‘give time’ back to their clients as they manage critical aspects of their personal life which will assist with time management so their clients can stay focused.  

  • For the BYBT:

With the onset of the pandemic and its accompanying shutdowns, the BYBT took a step back to look at what they were doing and how it could be done better in the current environment. They aim to remain agile by taking best practices and lessons learned through their global network and adapting them to their Barbados context to help local entrepreneurs.

For example, BYBT now has the option for their clients to have virtual meetings instead of coming to see them in person at their Bridgetown location. They have also created opportunities to meet their clients at their locations, so they can assess and help them maximize their situations. Their programs seek to create an interactive environment where entrepreneurs can apply what they are learning in real-time situations. 

The General Manager revealed that it is an exciting time for BYBT as they are currently undergoing their Strategic Review. They will soon be showcasing new branding,  new literature, new messaging, and targeting new groups. These changes will focus their efforts on the people who actually need their help. There are many transformations ahead!

Interested in starting your own business? Reach out to the BYBT at the number or email below!

If you want to find out more about the BYBT and its suite of services please check out the details below:


Mrs. Cardelle Fergusson is General Manager at the BYBT. In this role, she manages all of the day-to-day operations of the Trust, while also helping to guide the strategic direction of the organization and regional youth business programs. She has been with the organization since 2007.


Telephone: (246) 426-8745

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