Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 25, 2018 (SKNIS): Approximately 56 craft artisans in St. Kitts and Nevis gathered at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) Conference Room on Thursday, October 25, 2018, to participate in a capacity building workshop which equipped them with the skills to better manage their businesses.
The half-day workshop, which falls under the Ministry of Tourism’s project “Achieving Market Access for Niche Artisanal Producers” was sponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS).
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Carlene Henry-Morton, noted that the workshop was one in a series of training activities organized to further strengthen capacity within the tourism sector.
“Certainly, there is a strong need for authentic, unique, very well made and reasonably priced local craft. These are additional dimensions that sharpen our competitive edge and add to our appeal as a destination that is eager to share and to showcase our rich culture and heritage,” said the permanent secretary.
Mrs. Morton noted that the workshop also catered to improving the creative capabilities of artisans.
“Today’s workshop is designed to augment the raw skills and talents of our artisans, so that beyond the physical production or creation of craft, they also develop additional skill sets that position them as entrepreneurs to manage profitable businesses that will generate decent livelihoods for themselves and for their families,” she added. “This essentially is the mandate of our community tourism outreach programmes; to engage our small business operators and equip them to consistently perform at a very high standard as they serve residents and visitors alike.”
Dale Kelly, iFlamboyant Expert and OAS Consultant, noted that the focus of the workshop was on branding; marketing; pricing of products; processing customer’s payments; and ways of regulating their markets. She appealed to the artisans to use the workshop to their advantage as it will ensure that their products are the best.
“As artisans we have to continually improve our art and craft, sell our products at affordable prices, and aim to sell our goods locally, regionally and internationally. A workshop like this will therefore help you to improve on your product and the way you manage your business.”
The Ministry of Tourism continues to ensure that persons within the tourism sector receive the training they need to boost their businesses and build their entrepreneurial skills. In June 2018, a four-day tour guided workshop that focused on the communities of Old Road, Challengers and Belle Vue was held. The St. Kitts Tourism Authority also organized a series of workshops in July and August for frontline vendors in the tourism sector.
Additionally, last month (September), the Ministry of Tourism hosted a week-long leather craft workshop in collaboration with representatives from Columbia, training 24 local artisans. Out of the 24, five lucky persons received scholarships to access further training in Columbia in 2019.