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Seychellois wins special award at regional competition for young entrepreneurs

Mauritius and Seychelles | September 22, 2016, Thursday @ 13:12 in Entertainment » PEOPLE | By: Patsy Athanase and Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 2100
Seychellois wins special award at regional competition for young entrepreneurs

Jimmy Port-Louis (far left standing) receiving the special award for his project ‘Ocean Saviour’ at the Ambition Jeune’s competition in Mauritius. (Indian Ocean Commission)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - A 26-year-old Seychellois, Jimmy Port-Louis, has received the special jury award at a regional competition for young entrepreneurs.

Port-Louis won the special award for his project ‘Ocean Saviour’ at the Ambition Jeune’s competition in Mauritius.

Participants were judged on a number of criteria which included the project’s merit, convincing the jury of its implementation and whether it could be adapted by all regional countries.

Port-Louis told SNA that he received very good reviews from other participants and guests at the event, and he now wants his project to see the light of day.

The ‘Ocean Saviour’ project is about investing in a state-of-the-art fishing vessel powered by solar energy that would be used for long-line fishing.

Port-Louis, who is a part-time lecturer at the Seychelles Maritime Academy, said he would also involve young people in the project especially graduates of the academy.

“I am concerned when I see young people who followed a course in maritime end up working in fields not related to their study because there are few opportunities for them,” said Port-Louis.

Through the ‘Ocean Saviour’ project, Port-Louis has estimated a cost of around $317,200, and would be providing job opportunities for at least five young people.

“I believe strongly in investing in our young people and giving them a head start in life. Among the eight crew member that I am proposing for the vessel, five would have to be young graduates of the Seychelles Maritime Academy,” said Port-Louis.

The next step for Port-Louis is: “I want to meet up with government officials, especially the president to seek his support for the project since he has been championing the blue economy concept for a while.”

Port Louis (far right) and Jean-Paul Toulon (far left) were the two Seychellois participants at the regional competition for young entrepreneurs. (Seychelles National Youth Council/Facebook) Photo License: CC-BY

Alvin Laurence, chief executive of the Seychelles National Youth Council, told SNA, that this time the participants from Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, were well prepared.

“Port-Louis met all the criteria. His project was detailed and very informative, it could be adapted by any country regionally, it was well-presented and delivered, which really impressed the jury,” said Laurence.

Laurence added that the Seychelles National Youth Council will support Port-Louis to ensure his project becomes a reality.

“We will assist him under the local grant programme for young entrepreneurs, and we will facilitate his contact with the ministry responsible for the blue economy so that he can get the backing needed to get started,” said Laurence.

Port-Louis will also travel to China early next year to follow a short-course in maritime.

The competition which is supported by the Indian Ocean Commission encourages the spirit of entrepreneurship and business development among young people.

The two-day annual event brings together young entrepreneurs from five regional countries including Madagascar, the Comoros and Reunion, a French department.

The next ‘Ambition Jeune’ is expected to be held in August 2017 in Seychelles.

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Tags: special jury award, Jimmy Port-Louis, Ocean Saviour, Ambition Jeune, Alvin Laurence, Seychelles National Youth Council, Indian Ocean Commission, young people, entrepreneurship, business development

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