Above; Warren Cassell, Jr
AS THE GLOBAL economy gets tougher and tougher, the Caribbean will have to work that much harder to develop and train its entrepreneurs.
In order to compete, the Caribbean will have to make sure that its brightest minds can flourish — and that its brightest ideas find the light of day.
But today, the Caribbean is not the easiest environment for entrepreneurs — while some capital is starting to emerge for startups, accessing it is not always straightforward.
That’s why the region will need to follow the example of Warren Cassell, Jr, our Caribbean Entrepreneur of the Year for 2013.
Cassell, who was born in the US but grew up (and remains) in Montserrat, is most notable for his successful startup, Chupz Business Solutions (www.chupz.co), a domain registration and web hosting company.
He is also a published author, having published The Farm of Wisdom over the summer.
He’s also just 14 years old.
Cassell founded his first startup, an online greeting card company, when he was just eight, before founding two more companies, Carib Creations and ZapSocial, the latter a blog focusing on inspirational content.
For this young entrepreneur, the plan is to expand into the investment world, he tells Caribbean Journal.
“After school and after college, I would like to go into investment banking,” he says. “I just like investing — I like the idea of creating wealth and creating wealth for others.”
Ultimately, he says, he’d like to start his own investment bank in the region.
For now, the Caribbean will need more enterprising, self-starters like Cassell. He is precisely the kind of entrepreneur that will help lead the Caribbean toward the next level of development.
And he has advice for other entrepreneurs in the region.
“For people who are on the fence of starting a business, I want to tell them to do it — don’t worry about funding, don’t worry about not having enough product to start with,” he says. “Because the first step is to start. If you have all the passion and the determination for it, everything will come and you’ll get the funding and you’ll get clients. But you need the passion to start.”
“I think entrepreneurship needs to be taught more in schools,” he says. “It should be embraced more in schools as well — I think that school has a big role to play in building future entrepreneurs.”
The only question is what he will do next. We look forward to finding out.
Congratulations to Warren Cassell, Jr.