What’s in a seed? A new beginning, new life—the future. The vast potential contained in just one small seed is precisely why the Planting Seeds Entrepreneurship Development Programme is so aptly named.
For the past year, the Planting Seeds Team has been sowing seeds of knowledge and inspiration in order to build a new future for Trinidad and Tobago, one where our nation boasts a thriving entrepreneurial culture, where creative businesspeople can pursue their ambitions, drive our economy and enrich our social landscape.
By partnering with various corporate powerhouses, the Planting Seeds Programme has already made impressive strides in creating this brighter future for T&T. To begin with, the Planting Seeds TV show has given up-and-coming entrepreneurs a platform to secure critical investment funds for their business ideas while gaining insights from experienced entrepreneurs. Similarly, the Programme has helped local entrepreneurs improve their business plans and prospects through informative Ernst and Young workshops and mentorship. With the 2017 BPTT Junior Masters of Industry school tour and competition, Planting Seeds is even making waves among the nation’s youth, helping students develop entrepreneurial mindsets from a young age.
In 2016, internationally renowned businessman, author and co-host of the ABC series Shark Tank, Daymond John also lent his expertise and entrepreneurial clout to the Planting Seeds effort by delivering the keynote address at the Masters of Industry event held in Port of Spain last November.
While making these significant contributions to the development of a Trinbagonian entrepreneurial culture, the Planting Seeds Team was able to engage with various facets of the local business community. This interaction highlighted the desire and need for further entrepreneurial training separate and apart from the workshops currently available.
As a result, Planting Seeds has been seeking an experienced and reliable partner that can offer expert entrepreneurial training on local soil and eventually throughout the wider Caribbean. This latest endeavour has captured the attention of Daymond John and his team who, after witnessing the professionalism and dedication of the Planting Seeds Team, have agreed to collaborate with Planting Seeds with the goal of bringing the first-ever InnerVation Lab workshop series to Trinidad, tentatively carded for February to May 2017.
Although Mr. John was able to educate and inspire by sharing his own entrepreneurial story at the Masters of Industry event, there is only so much that can be said in one speech. Seeing the untapped business potential in T&T, his father’s homeland, Mr. John believes that offering the InnerVation Lab series in Trinidad would allow local participants to continue learning from his rich experience, including his business triumphs and failures. In addition to teaching these real-life business lessons, the workshop programme would afford Trinbagonian participants the opportunity to learn crucial business tactics from global entrepreneurship–strategy experts, notably the developers of the theory of Effectuation.
The theory of Effectuation, developed by Dr. Saras Sarasvathy (2001), outlines an entrepreneurship approach whereby business decisions are made and actions taken by first assessing your available resources, then continuously balancing and adjusting your business goals according to your resources and actions.
The Planting Seeds team envisions that the core tenets of the theory of Effectuation will be taught at the InnerVation Lab workshops, but within the context of Trinidad and Tobago’s specific economic and social nuances. These tenets include understanding how to resourcefully use what you have at your disposal to create value and generate scalable business opportunities, as well as knowing how to implement Effectuation strategies in your geographic and socio-cultural setting. In short, it is hoped that bringing InnerVation Lab to Trinidad will not only expose participants to the universally applicable pillars of entrepreneurship, but that participants will learn how to use their unique location in a small island to their business’s advantage.
While there are various international entrepreneurship workshops that teach business strategy, Planting Seeds is seeking to collaborate solely with InnerVation Lab for a number of key reasons. Firstly, and most notably, this programme has been developed with the creator of the theory of Effectuation, Dr. Sarasvathy, and one of her closest colleagues and fellow researchers Sara Whiffen. Ms. Whiffen developed the teaching framework for applying Effectuation and has over a decade of hands-on experience in the corporate world, which has honed her expertise in launching new business lines in large organisations. Having these two global experts in Effectuation and business strategy shaping the programme means InnerVation Lab enjoys access to the latest research developments, teaching methods, case studies and exercises in the field of entrepreneurship. Simply put, there is no entrepreneurship workshop in the world that combines this level of expertise with the experience of world-renowned entrepreneurs.
Furthermore, InnerVation Lab is unique in that it allows participants to actually practise what they’re learning with some of the world’s most successful and recognisable entrepreneurs, such as Mr. John. In this way, the programme moves beyond case studies so that participants can interact with the people who have actually put Effectuation strategies to the test in the real world.
Yet another reason Planting Seeds plans to collaborate with this dynamic workshop programme is InnerVation Lab’s scope for helping entrepreneurs at every stage—from the person who doesn’t have a clue where to start, to the business owner who already has a working idea but needs to know how to expand. InnerVation Lab is designed to cater to each stage of entrepreneurship and drive participants forward through to the next stages of their business journey, giving each person the tools and information to start practising entrepreneurship immediately. Crucially, the results of this workshop series are tangible, and the lessons life-changing.
With so much to be gained from the programme, not only by individual participants but by T&T’s collective business community, Planting Seeds hopes to form an ongoing collaborative relationship with InnerVation Lab. This would involve building lasting ties between Trinidad and Tobago’s entrepreneurial community and InnerVation Lab’s organisers so that the programme could progressively train more potential entrepreneurs while providing formerly trained participants with the latest research developments and culturally relevant case studies. Importantly, establishing these linkages would also afford Mr. John and other expert entrepreneurs the opportunity to form deep, meaningful relationships with the business community of T&T.
Entrepreneurship is all about collaborating and co-creating. Planting Seeds hopes that its prospective collaboration with InnerVation Lab will function the same way: with InnerVation Lab watering and nurturing the seeds sown by Planting Seeds to build a robust economic future for Trinidad and Tobago.
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LP 62 Don Miguel, Ext El Socorro,
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Office: (868) 612-0242
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Produced in Trinidad and Tobago, Planting Seeds also has a television series that gives entrepreneurs
who register with us, the opportunity to pitch their idea to a panel of successful investors on
LP 62 Don Miguel, Ext El Socorro,
Trinidad and Tobago