Young Women Demonstrate E-Commerce (Shopify) Prowess
TSTT Corporate Communications
Harnessing the opportunities of the Internet offers many different pathways for income and personal growth. bmobile continues to work with young people to identify ways and means to bring these opportunities to nationals of Trinidad and Tobago. In 2021, the company partnered with CANTO and several other organisations to host the Tech4Girls: Connecting Girls, Creating Brighter Futures workshop. Six young women emerged from this workshop with support from T&T’s #1 communications solution provider, bmobile to assist in the continuation of their online business goals.
The winners, Alana Baptiste of Cupid4Tech, Sydni Alexander of INDYS STUDIO, Danielle Edwards of Memory Makers TT, Reinika Howard of Eco Works Products, Kadeisha Abraham of e-Emporium Plug 868 and Aliyah Garcia of Whole Glo all demonstrated excellence in the creation of websites designed to help forge better business for their brands. For their efforts and commitment, each received bundled data and voice plans from bmobile to allow them to conduct business on-the-go, at home and at any time to grow their brands through awareness and sales.
The Tech4Girls workshop is a collaborative undertaking by several public and private organisations including The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT), the Ministry of Public Administration and Digital Transformation (MPADT), CANTO, GSMA, Verizon, Equals Global Partnership, Restore A Sense of I Can (RSC) and Tobago Information Technologies Limited (TITL) with the support of corporate entities including bmobile. The bmobile Foundation has placed a special emphasis on youth and education over the years and also actively recognises the positive impact that emerges in supporting young women in business.
Gerard Cooper, General Manager Shared Services at TSTT, welcomed the opportunity to work on this initiative once more. “We recognise that technology availability and uptake only bring benefits when paired with education and training. This truly empowers users to make the most of the data, voice and technology products that we provide as the leading communications solution provider. Our role continues to be that of a facilitator in the overall development of T&T. And showcasing powerful tools like Shopify and pairing it with the goals and dreams of young Trinbagonians is a step in the right direction for us all,” he highlighted.
Winner, Reinika Howard, completed the workshop using environmental products for which she created her Shopify-powered website. She has since put the knowledge she learned to expand on another idea she had. “I always wanted to open my own cake business and have a website with my menu with items for sale. As I was the President of my school’s Tech Club, I had looked at options like Shopify because I always had an interest in baking - I even had an Easy Bake oven when I was younger,” she recalled. She credits the Tech4Girls workshop with inspiring her to dial in to her dream adding, “The workshop was really organised and well put together and I understood everything and the tutors explained everything really well! I highly recommended it. The 19-year-old resident of St Margaret’s / Claxton Bay plans to offer cakes, brownies, cupcakes, pastries and puffs through her brand, Nika’s Cake Shoppe TT. You can find her on Instagram @nikascakeshoppe.tt
Alana Baptiste of Cupid4Tech had always seen advertisements online for Shopify but never got around to investigating it as an option for her business idea. “I have been working from home for the past two years and it has been challenging balancing demands at home and work and then the business. But the workshop delivered a fair amount of information on Shopify. It was well-summarised and presented so it’s a strong foundation to guide you through setting up your site with Shopify, the payment methods, design your storefront, how you can upload your products and track inventory too.” She has used her always-online data access to continue developing her store and contact suppliers of technology products that she plans to begin importing soon.
Danielle Edwards of Memory Makers TT is a pandemic lockdown success story. “Seeing that people were not able to go out anymore but still wanted to celebrate small, special moments at home or later on with a picnic or somewhere outdoors, I created Memory Makers TT,” she explained. The brand is a niche events company that covers everything from movie nights to baby showers. And customers loved it. “People often book again before their event is over and we have gotten really good compliments for our work,” she added. She also has advice for other young entrepreneurs, “Some people believe you have to wait for the perfect moment to start a business but there will never be the perfect moment; so just start. Use the resources you have and build on them,” she suggested. You can find her work on Instagram at @memorymakers.tt.
More winners are expected to be announced and receive voice and data bundles from bmobile soon.