Ignite Concludes 3rd Entrepreneurship Program

September 14, 2023 | 0 Comments

Ignite Bermuda has completed its third Young Adult Entrepreneurial Internship programme which ran from July 12- August 31, 2023.

A spokesperson said, “Thanks to HSBC Bank Bermuda, Ignite enabled 17 local young adults, ages 19-25 years old to develop their passions for entrepreneurship through workshops and part-time internships within some of Bermuda’s top startups, all Ignite graduates.

“Workshops consisted of Mindset & Behaviours, Customer Discovery, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Accessing to Capital & Bootstrapping, Bermuda Economic Outlook and more, all presented by industry experts, the Ignite team and alumni. The interns shared that some of their biggest takeaways were to ‘Never give up and keep on pushing no matter what’ and that ‘entrepreneurship is a different path’, you must ‘do the work and carry confidence’.

“Within their internships, the young adults gained first-hand experience working alongside a local entrepreneur on an independent project, such as marketing plans, market research, membership development, event planning and more.”

When asked what they valued most from the programme, they stated, “I found the independence taught me how to self-manage and maintain a professional manner when working with my host business. I found that organization is key especially when being an entrepreneur which is a key skill I can apply to not only my personal life but in my professional growth as well”. Additionally they said they enjoyed “seeing how other people worked” and “brainstorming ideas and engaging in open conversation.”

Zen Marley Mello stated, “I’ve learned to understand and value failure, and see it more as a part of the process rather than something to stop me in my tracks. I have gained much more confidence in myself. I understand self-value more and feel more comfortable with setting my prices higher.”

The spokesperson said, “Out of the 17 participants, over 45% had already started their own business prior to the programme, with 95% sharing that this programme helped them to gain a better understanding of entrepreneurship.” When asked to describe the programme in 3 words, the top words used by the interns were ‘inspiring’, ‘informative’ and ‘helpful’. An intern stated, “I really appreciate everything I’ve gained from this experience and can’t wait to apply it to my future endeavors!”

Elisha Thomas stated, “I want to thank everyone who helped me get involved with this programme and gave me the opportunity to meet people who have similar interests. I am eternally grateful for all the work that they put in to make this happen. Honestly, I didn’t think that a programme or even the people I met with the mindset they have even existed.”

The spokesperson said, “Upon completion of the programme, interns each delivered a 5-minute presentation on their experience, what they learnt and how they were going to apply it moving forward. Four finalists were selected to present at the closing ceremony, to compete for a bonus cash prize: Chaella Bradshaw-Douglas, Zakkiyah Showers, Zen Marley Mello, and Zahn Richardson. Additional awards included the ‘Ignite Spark’, presented to Elisha Thomas, who demonstrated the ‘Ignite spirit by taking action and getting outside of their comfort zone’.”

An HSBC representative stated, “The Ignite Young Adult Entrepreneurial Internship Programme is vital in inspiring and helping young people create new businesses in Bermuda. The programme requires extraordinary dedication and drive. As proud sponsors, HSBC extends our congratulations to all of the interns on their fantastic achievement.”

The spokesperson said, “Please join us in celebrating and congratulating all of the young adults who successfully applied for this initiative. Each one of them has shown considerable growth over the last few weeks, a direct result of their commitment to the programme.” We look forward to seeing where they go next! As one intern stated, “I am so thankful to have been given the chance to make the connections I have and can’t wait to find out what being in the Ignite Family means for the future and what doors to open in future.”

2023 Young Adult Intern and Host Mentor Business/Organization

  • Aaron Booth – Jennifer Burland Adams & Claire McDevitt, Epic is Life
  • Chaella Bradshaw-Douglas – Antonia Holder, DigiRoo
  • Dominic Sabir – Tyka Edness, ate@8 and Soo Nut Sharing
  • Elisha Thomas – Surlena Smith, Ponda Pits and The Consultant Group
  • Jaavaid Warren-Smith – Dwayne Trott, Clean Energy Storage Solutions
  • Jessie DeBraga – Holly Mazar-Fox, Mazar-Fox Art Consulting
  • Kesay Bell – Kimwana Eve, LookieLookie
  • Monique Waite – Jermain Hinds, Hindssight Fitness & Wellness
  • Nathaniel Binega-Northcott – Erica Marx, Erica Marx Coaching
  • Portia McGhie – Melissa Looby, Pulse Group
  • Raina deFontes – Kimberly and Nicholas Darceuil, Dignity House
  • Sanaa Connor – Alexis Bean, Big Girl Panties
  • Sha-Lae Cooper – Rochelle Minors, Rochelle Nicole
  • Tiko Caines – Sandro Fubler, Evolution Healing Centre
  • Zahn Richardson – Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Zakiyyah Showers – Jessica Lightbourne, Jessica Lightbourne Coaching
  • Zen Marley Mello – Tiffany Paynter, SOHAM

The spokesperson said, “More information about the Ignite Young Adult Entrepreneurial Internship Programme can be found online via www.ignitebermuda.com/interns.

[Left to right] Aaron Booth, Jessie DeBraga, Kesay Bell and Zakiyyah Showers in a huddle for small group discussions.

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[Left to right standing] Raina ‘Sunshine’ deFontes, Tiko Caines, Chaella Bradshaw-Douglas and Elisha Thomas [seated] giving a group presentation on value proposition during orientation.

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Ignite alumni and interns having small group discussions on their lessons of entrepreneurship.

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[Left to right] Nathaniel Binega-Northcott, Zahn Richardson and Zen Marley Mello share their brainstorming and SWOT analysis for The Picky Little Eaters Club; a startup currently in Cohort 7 going through the Ignite Accelerator Programme.

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[Right to left] Standing; Leon Thomas, Monique Simons and Shauntia Steede from HSBC sharing their knowledge with the interns in a workshop on Bermuda Economic Outlook and Opportunity Recognition.

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