There was a time when the decision to step out on your own to pursue your own business venture was a daunting task. It was considered ‘too risky’ compared to getting that degree, and getting a full-time job with benefits.
The global pandemic, however, has led to massive layoffs and an unprecedented period of job insecurity. Many have been forced to get creative, tap into their existing skillset and start their own business. Even before COVID, the job market was rapidly changing with more people struggling to find that full-time job that was promised to them at the end of university. Temporary and contracts have replaced permanent positions as the new norm.
Trinidad and Tobago has seen an epic rise in entrepreneurship in 2020 and it’s nothing short of inspiring to see local enterprisers getting innovative and filling niches while providing a product or service.
Any entrepreneur will tell you that the life isn’t all glam and doesn’t come without some challenges and lows. For those who are at the beginning stages of starting their own business, it can become overwhelming, scary and even lonely.
While we see the success stories of individuals behind major brands, no real success story is complete without hurdles and challenges, and it’s important for new entrepreneurs, as it allows them to be able to that even their role models have fallen a few times on the road to triumph.
There are several platforms that allow entrepreneurs in Trinidad and Tobago to share their own journeys and guide others along their way.
Here are at least seven.
Caribbean Power Lunch
Most entrepreneurial podcasts tell the stories of the people behind international brands, products, and services, and while they are inspiring, they don’t exactly speak to the Caribbean experience.
The Caribbean Power Lunch podcast aims to break that mold by creating an online directory of black-owned businesses through storytelling.
Hosted by Business Financing Professional Kevin Valley, entrepreneurs not only speak about their unique journey but also make it relatable to the Caribbean experience because…it is the Caribbean experience.
Whether he’s talking to media and TV presenter Hans Des Vignes about the power of mindset, asking how to manage your business’ financial performance with Performance Management Specialist Dawn Hackett, or how TEDx Port of Spain co-founder Keita Demming selects his speakers, this podcast has enough content to supply you with all the entrepreneurial inspo that’s right in your backyard.
Keron Rose: Entrepreneurship and Tech
Keron Rose is a mobile expert and business owner and coach, tech enthusiast, public speaker, and host. While his love for all things tech is evident, his passion for entrepreneurship and helping others successfully achieve is even more clear.
With his blog, keronrose.com, he has used his expertise and passion for both as leverage to educate and inspire others to innovate and take advantage of the digital revolution we’re in, especially with the global shift in the economy and job market.
A firm believer in creating content tailored for us, Keron has used his blog to demonstrate how, with technology on our side, there has never been more of a perfect time to become our own bosses.
Posts that cover how to monetise your website, 6 Steps to Never be Jobless in the Caribbean, how to create your niche, or how to become the face of a brand demonstrate ways in which one can master their skills, build their portfolio, and become marketable, and they also solidify the notion that entrepreneurship is achievable for anyone.
He also uses the space to give insight on industry news and trends. With his down-to-earth tone and candid demeanour, Keron is set on showing us how to walk the talk of entrepreneurship.
He also recently launched The Digipreneur Academy, which will offer courses that will teach Caribbean entrepreneurs how to build their Digital Assets with topics including how to build your website, blogging, e-commerce, content marketing, SEO, email marketing and more.
A Millien Concepts
As the brains behind some of the biggest productions and creative projects in Trinidad and Tobago including the massively popular Uncovered series and Beyond The Talent, Patrice Millien is using her years of experience in media and a businesswoman to coaching budding entrepreneurs.
In addition to her Instagram which provides business essentials tips and advice, she is also the host of a video podcast series on Youtube. In it, she sits down with key people who discuss a range of topics including how to step up your business the right way, essential marketing tools to promote your business and how to avoid failure of your micro or a small startup, to name a few.
A Big Box of Crayons
If you’re a creative, this podcast is for you.
We Are Crayons-The Podcast features conversations with Trinidad and Tobago’s artists, musicians, fashion designers, and makers, that take a deep dive into their process and what drives them. The podcast is an offshoot of A Big Box of Crayons which includes written features of some of the most talented creatives and entrepreneurs of Trinidad and Tobago.
Business coach and TEDx Port Of Spain co-founder Keita Demming is an innovation strategist whose life purpose is to drive change through disruptive thought.
His podcast, Disruptive Conversations, aims to get into the minds of those who are actively working to disrupt a sector or system and the strategies they’re using to make their mark in the world. Although he and his guests are not based in Trinidad and Tobago, the conversations are still insightful as it’s a great way to shift how we think about challenging the status quo and creating an impact in the world around us.
Side Hustle Pro
One of two podcasts that are not local, however, still very worthy of a listen. Side Hustle Pro spotlights black women entrepreneurs who have scaled from side hustle to profitable business. Chief Side Hustler turned full-time entrepreneur Nicaila Matthews Okome hosts weekly installments with some amazing black female entrepreneurs, but also ‘checks in’ with her Entrepreneur Diaries, where she gets real about the ups and downs being a full-time entrepreneur, wins and mistakes she’s learned.
She also tackles topics such as mental health and therapy and learning how to kick imposter syndrome.
Between Nicaila and her guests, listeners learn actionable strategies to start small and get going–no matter where or who they are.
How I Built This with Guy Raz
Have you ever wondered how some of the biggest brands got started?
How I Built This dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies, taking us on a narrative journey with innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.
Host Guy Raz has sat down the men and women behind popular brands including Airbnb, JetBlue Airways, Canva, Warby Parker, F.U.B.U., and even Wikipedia. Some of his episodes also reveal just how expansive entrepreneurs’ creativity can be. For example, did you know that the woman who created popular cosmetic brand Urban Decay also invented Cisco Systems? Or that video console Atari and Chuck E. Cheese were created by the same person?
How I Built This not only tells the fascinating stories of how some of our favourite brands came to be, but also gets real about how some of them failed multiple times, and in the cases of others, were pushed out of their own companies. The biggest takeaway from this podcast is that it shows that there is no one standard blueprint when it comes to establishing a business.
What entrepreneur-driven blogs, podcasts and Youtube channels do you follow? Let us know in the comments below.
First published on April 25, 2019