Ministry of Planning collaborates with Facebook for first-time small business training in T&T

November 6, 2017: The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development announced that for the first time, Facebook will come to Trinidad and Tobago to conduct training in digital marketing with over 300 entrepreneurs in small to medium enterprises.  The Facebook Connect Americas Challenge: You Learn, You Endeavour event, will be held on November 8th and 9th, 2017.  This is the first such training session Facebook has conducted in the Caribbean region and it focuses on entrepreneurs and small to medium businesses using Facebook’s You Learn, You Endeavour programme to maximize businesses’ potential through digital marketing.  The session on November 8th for the SME sector takes place at the Hyatt Regency and has been fully booked with over 300 registrants in just 2 days. 

The session on November 9th is a Train-the-Trainers exercise geared towards public sector organisations to initiate the learning and advanced digital skills development inherent in Facebook’s marketing programmes, with follow-up actions thereafter to expose other participants to Facebook’s e-Learning and Certification approaches.

This event is a collaboration between the Ministry of Planning and Development and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through the Global Services Promotion Programme (GSPP) which is an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded programme being executed by the Ministry of Planning and Development. The general objective of this programme is to support the advancement of Trinidad and Tobago’s positioning as a renowned location for the global provision of Information Technology enabled Services (ITeS).

The GSPP aims at fostering the growth of the ITeS sector thereby increasing the potential of this sector as a major contributor to the consolidation of a more diversified, transformed economy in the wake of the recent global challenges in the oil and gas sector.

The impetus of this training session is that Facebook’s users have evolved from individuals who wish to keep in touch with their friends and family to large global corporations such as Ford, Nike, Starbucks, Samsung etc. who invest thousands of dollars in Facebook for the purpose of advertising their products and services to the “digital market”.

Statistics indicate that there are approximately 475,640 Facebook users from Trinidad and Tobago, in other words, approximately 34.7 percent of Trinidad and Tobago’s population uses Facebook. As such, the GSPP is of the strong opinion that empowering our small businesses to utilize the Facebook digital platform has the potential to be a significant driver of employment and economic activity and this can be a significant earner of foreign exchange for our nation.

Through the GSPP, the Ministry of Planning and Development has had similar activities. On November 30th, 2016 the Ministry hosted Google for a two day training session for close to thirty students from UWI, UTT and COSTAAT and on November 29th about fifty local entrepreneurs and stakeholders in the ITeS and Information Communication Technology (ICT) sectors received training in Google information firebase app technology, Google app platform technology, accelerated mobile app technology and progressive web applications.  

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