In Belize's vibrant Stann Creek District, a group of ambitious young individuals is embarking on a transformative journey towards entrepreneurship, guided by the innovative initiatives of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Caribbean through the Joint SDG Fund Programme Resilient Belize.
In collaboration with Independence Junior College (IJC), 20 students have seized the opportunity to enroll in the prestigious ILO My Green Enterprise Course 1. This groundbreaking program is designed to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the essential skills and knowledge needed to plan and launch their own green businesses.
With a focus on sustainability and environmental consciousness, the course empowers participants to explore pathways that lead to greener, more eco-friendly, and ultimately more prosperous economies. Through a combination of practical training, expert guidance, and real-world applications, students are primed to become catalysts for positive change in their communities and beyond.
“The My Green Enterprise Programme is a business development methodology of the ILO that promotes a new generation of green, sustainable and innovative micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. It introduces participants to the key concepts related to green business and provides them with tools on how to integrate green elements into the design and delivery of their new business idea. It also prepares them to participate in networking with those who have participated in the training to share experiences on how they are progressing with the implementation of their new green business,” explained Pamela Bradley, ILO National Project Coordinator in Belize.
The duration of the course is 16 hours divided into seven sessions that align with the mandate of the College, which emphasizes practical education to ensure that students are well-prepared for the local job market. Featured topics include: Unit 1: Green Entrepreneurship, Unit 2: Green Entrepreneur, Unit 3: The World with Green Opportunities Awaits You, Unit 4: The Best Green Business Ideas, Unit 5: My Green Business Idea, Unit 6: Investments and Financing, and Unit 7: My Green Business Plan. Each participant is receiving, at least 3 hours of advisory support to develop their green business plan and business model.
As a result, students gain an in-depth understanding of the fundamental role that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) play in advancing environmental sustainability and promoting formal employment in a variety of economic sectors.
“The My Green Enterprise course has opened my eyes to the interconnectedness of business and the environment. It’s not just a course, it’s a roadmap for cultivating businesses that flourish while respecting and nurturing our planet,” said IJC student Jefferson Garcia.
The course ensures that students are equipped to plan and develop their own green, productive and sustainable MSMEs that will serve as key drivers of job creation and economic growth in Belize. They will be better positioned to help vulnerable populations such as women and youth overcome barriers to employment and formality by providing opportunities to access decent employment conditions that guarantee them a better quality of life.
"The "My Green Enterprise Course 1" made me understand more about the importance of greening in the world of business. Being green isn’t just an act, it’s a mindset that embraces the beauty and responsibility of caring for our planet and for people living with our planet. Every small eco-friendly choice we make today has the power to create a more sustainable tomorrow. Thanks to the IJC and ILO for this opportunity. I will see my business idea become a real green business in the near future,” said IJC student Kaleigh Che.
Following completion of the course, students are expected to complete their green business plan and business model and make their business dreams a reality. Continuous coaching, mentorship and information exchange will be provided by the facilitator through the virtual networking system.
For more information about the ILO My Green Enterprise Course 1 at Independence Junior College, please visit their Facebook page.
The Joint SDG Fund's joint programmes are under the prestige leadership of the Resident Coordinator Office and implementing United Nations Agencies. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and our private sector funding partners, for a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.