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TSTT’s Peridot Webster 2012 Young Woman of the Year.

On Friday November 23rd 2012, at Capital Plaza, Port-of-Spain, Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Marlene Coudray announced that Peridot Webster emerged as the overall winner of the Young Woman of the Year Award put on by the Network of Non-Governmental Organisations of T&T for the Advancement of Women Awards. Peridot had also won the award for business enterprise.

 Peridot was among a list of 10 finalists vying for top honours in agriculture, arts and culture, business enterprise, community work, environmental work and sports. Webster says far from having any conflict, the finalists worked extremely well together, were always supportive and are actually putting their diverse skills together for a Christmas benefit project. Helping oneself to help others is a recurring refrain in the life of this dynamic young woman.

“You can’t successfully move forward without giving back.” That’s the philosophy of Webster. The entrepreneur and single mother of one has a busy schedule juggling parenting, two small businesses, volunteering and training, and then on top of that she has a day job. Peridot takes it all in stride because she sees her success as evidence that she is fulfilling her responsibility to give back.

“My advice to any young woman today is to try to make a business out of something you love. Recognise that no man is an island and that there are people out there who can help you and so in like manner be prepared to give back when you begin to make progress.”

Giving seems to be in everything she does. Peridot has worked full time in TSTT for over 9 years providing Customer Support for a range of services. Additionally she is a 5 year veteran of the blink/ bmobile Foundation where she has lead fellow employee volunteers in working with the Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society on various projects they host. She overflows with optimism about finding the right balance in getting everything done. “I am big on living up to my responsibilities and giving back. With me it’s not one or the other.”

That determination spills over into her private interests that she pursues on evening and weekends. Peridot started her first small business, an undergarment establishment called “Peri’s Plus”, in response to her own challenges in finding proper fitting undergarments. Knowing that many other women face the same problem but may not have the wherewithal to find quality undergarments themselves, she parlayed her experience into an operation that is now celebrating its 5th anniversary. “It was not easy. There were difficult times but I was fortunate to have many good customers and I had the opportunity to say “Thank You” to them this year at a special anniversary celebration.”

One year ago, Peridot was also able to formally breathe life into another passion of hers, media communications. A graduate of the University of Greenwich’s media and communications degree program, Peridot established “Speak Enterprises” to provide a platform for her scripting and narration skills. “Speak Enterprises is an important part of how I have developed professionally. Working at events, on radio and on documentaries, my character and personality are always under scrutiny. They are my assets and it is important that people I interact with always know that I am working to bring the best of myself to whatever project or event they have brought me onboard for. It’s that responsibility thing that is so key to developing a good reputation.”

Peridot’s father was a small business owner as well and she credits her entrepreneurial zeal to values instilled by both of her parents. “When I look back I can see how that experience influenced me. Now that I have a son of me own, I take him with me on business when I can because it is important for him to see that hard work is an essential part of success. I also take him along to have more bonding time with him. My work is important but I want him to know that it is only important because of the legacy I want to leave for him.”