BELIZE CITY, Wed. Nov. 11, 2015–The King’s Room of the Princess Hotel was buzzing with young entrepreneurs displaying a variety of products that draw the young and the old who just cannot resist a good deal. These entrepreneurs were University of Belize students taking part in the 8th Annual Marketing Expo. We have passed the era where one is expected to go out and get a job; the scarcity of available employment is now prompting students to be creative and become young entrepreneurs. This is what Edna Arzu, a marketing lecturer of the University of Belize, is doing by not pushing them beyond their own expectations.
Arzu told Amandala that there were two categories: the marketing group who created a product or service and found different ways to promote that product and the small business group who developed a business plan for their product and through the process have created a business. The marketing booths included Belize Jump Start, which produce a cappuccino drink; Luminous Glow is a candle maker; Orgo’s Creation produces bags; Body Teaser uses local products to develop scrubs; Kuknat sells body wash.
Arzu said “The challenge at first was to come up with an idea that they know have potential and so they had to do a lot of brainstorming to find out if there is a potential market. Sometimes two or three ideas came about before they actually have an idea to work with. Another challenge was finance, which led the student to do fundraising in order to get the finance they needed to get their business off the ground.”
Eric Glenn, a business science student, spoke to Amandala about their product Kuknat that is a body wash made from coconut. Glenn said making the product was quite an ordeal since they had six attempts before they got it perfect. The female body wash was being sold for $5 and the male body wash was for $7, and their products received positive feedback from the public, Glenn said.
Lynette Palacio, a business science student, told Amandala about their booth, a candy shop with the slogan “If you cheat, let it be sweet”. Palacio explained that they began working on their project since the start of the semester and had put in a lot of work into their finish product.
Business science student, Angelique Berry, told Amandala about their booth, Orgo’s Creation, and their products which included organizers for cars, organizers for the bedroom and bathroom. Berry said, “I have learnt that through hard work and dedication you can succeed, life is not about sitting back and waiting for something to be handed to you. Instead you have to work for it. Berry said, “The result is amazing, because not only will you gain experience but knowledge as well.”
Jennifer Awich, a marketing student, told Amandala that they produce sorbets, which are an alternative to ice-cream that doesn’t contain dairy products and is made with syrup and pureed fruits. Awich said this experience has taught her that starting a business is hard work which takes dedication and patients.
At the end of the day the students’ booths were judged and the winners for most attractive booths were announced. 1st place went to Fine Wining, 2nd place went to Body Teaser, and third place went to Kuknat. Also, Body Teaser received an award for most creative booth.