by Leah Inniss
From very young I was encouraged to go to school, do well and find a good job. I got only two out of three of these right, hence my journey into entrepreneurship. I did my Bachelors of Science at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Biochemistry and Chemistry and went on to pursue a Masters in Pharmaceutics at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom where I fell in love with a course called Pharmaceutics of Topical Dosage Form and in particular, the structure of the skin and formulation of products for the skin. Following my masters, I was able to gain an internship at DDD Limited where I developed, manufactured and tested personal care products under the International Council for Harmonization (ICH) guidelines. Since returning home I was unsuccessful in finding a job in the industry so I decided to go into business for myself using the new skill set that I learnt in university. It is from here that LCI Organics Barbados was born.
LCI Organics is a natural personal care business that is committed to manufacturing products from wholesome, natural ingredients for maximum customer benefit. These products are manufactured from blends of active materials most of which are indigenous to the Caribbean. All products are prepared using pure unrefined oils for maximum nutritional benefit and preserved with essential oils and Vitamin E oil.
Opportunities for Entrepreneurs
Sometimes we feel alone in our entrepreneurial ventures but there are a number of organizations out there such as Barbados Youth Business Trust and the Barbados Small Business Association offering support to young entrepreneurs. I am fortunate to be participating in a tourism industry project at the moment through The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA): Linking MSEs to Anchor Companies in the Barbados Hotel Value Chain. The MIF, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, has approved a US$417,000 grant for a project that will boost local business participation in Barbados’ tourism industry.
The project seeks to integrate micro and small businesses as suppliers to key hotels and restaurants operating in Barbados. The goal is to have at least 150 local businesses supplying a range of products and services to 30 participating hotels and restaurants. LCI is fortunate to be associated with this project. I look forward to using this vehicle to grow and further develop my product and customer base.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs?
It is engrained in us from a very young age that we should go to school, go to university and then get a job. This may be the case for some, but unfortunately this is not the way the world works. I encourage you not to solely depend on the workforce for employment but consider entrepreneurship as an option. Find your passion, be creative, love what you do and go for it. The world needs new entrepreneurs anyway. It will not be an easy road but persevere and rest assured that it will all be worth it.
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