Students produce Virgin Coconut Oil
Most students spend their summer vacation at home or travel abroad. However, this was not the case for these young inspiring entrepreneurs from the Portsmouth Secondary School (PSS).
During the summer vacation students of the PSS under the guidance of Rosaline Matthew and with the aid of Multi Believers Purpose Cooperative, who allowed the students use of their machinery, produced four cartoons of Virgin Coconut Oil under the brand name "Nature Serenity".
Executive Director of the National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD) Cletus Joseph said that this a tremendous small business venture by the students and indeed its shows as way to make advancements.
"It's a small business venture that has tremendous potential and again to see the collaboration between PSS students, secondary school students who are producing coconut oil and a cooperative who is in the business of producing coconut oil it shows that were are getting to a point where we are willing and ready to make the best out of opportunities represented to us in order to bring forward to advance," said Joseph.
He applauded the students for their hard work in producing a product that this currently on the market. However, warned about the upcoming challenges that will arise while the production continues.
"The challenge comes to see if we can maintain consistency of supply, the consistency of quality, the consistency of the display and the presentation of the product," said Joseph.
Speaking at the launching on August 22, 2014 at NDFD, Tatianna Baron, a student involved in the production of "Nature Serenity" said thanks to the demand of Greens Wholesale for Virgin Coconut Oil, the school made its first attempt at mass production. Unfortunately, the lack of financial resources brought production to a halt.
"The first attempt by the school to produce by shelf life level was in the summer of July 2013 after a demand for Virgin Coconut Oil was made by Greens Wholesale. From since July 2013 we have been unable to produce not because we no longer have the enthusiasm but simply because we do not have the financial and capital resources that are necessary to enable quality production to take place," Baron said.
Nevertheless, a few businesses saw the potential in the students and offered their financial assistance for the production of the oil.
"In December of 2013, the PSS received some financial assistance from DOMLEC, the Dominica Manufacturers Association and NDFD. Some of the finance was used to revive the school's production of virgin coconut oil," stated Baron.
Another student Jemeul Francois who served as the production manager said t "participating in this project taught me a lot of business protocols. For example: how to speak to customers, temperance, humility, and budgeting. This project has contributed in preparing me to some extent to success in the world".
HHV Whitchurch and James Store in Picard have seen the potential in the young entrepreneurs of PSS and have purchased the product to be sold in their establishments.