Senator the Honourable Donna Cox lauds Local Business Owner of Xquisite Touch
Port-of-Spain --- In keeping with the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services’ drive to build resilience and self-sufficiency among the citizenry, Senator the Honourable Donna Cox, Minister of Social Development and Family Services earlier today, attended the official business launch of K-Marie’s Xquisite Touch, a Hair and Make Up Salon, located along the Eastern Main Road, Curepe. Minister Cox was among other specially-invited guests who witnessed the official ribbon-cutting, which signalled that the doors of Xquisite Touch were now open for business.
On behalf of the Ministry, Minister Cox took the opportunity to commend, offer advice, as well as share some information and encouragement to the young entrepreneur, who is also a university graduate. Ms. Alexis started her business after losing her job due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Utilizing her skills and burning passion for fashion and cosmetology, Ms. Alexis began her bold journey in entrepreneurship obtaining basic to advanced qualifications in hairdressing.
In her brief remarks, the Minister commended the young business owner for her immense faith and courage on embarking on this new chapter of her life. She further stated that, she admired her for her courage and strength at a time when many persons had become unemployed due to the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19. According to Minister Cox, Kezia-Marie was not content to sit by idly and wallow in self-pity or even or even succumb to fear-mongering. Instead, as a woman of faith, she chose to dig deeper and find a way to cope with the curveball that life had thrown her way.
As she addressed the audience, Minister Cox also noted that Kezia’s current successes mirror the work of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, which has as one of its key objectives, the creation of enabling opportunities and environments for reintegration into the workplace of those affected by the current economic circumstances. Consequently, she gave the assurance that the Executive Team and staff of the Ministry are prepared to assist Ms Alexis, as well as many others who desire to embark on an entrepreneurial journey.
In closing the Minister stated that she was encouraged that Kezia has shown other young persons that they too, can find courage to pursue an alternative path to self-sufficiency and re-invest in themselves, through education, training and by pursuing their dreams. This morning’s event, she said, “Is a sterling example of what young women can achieve when they remain consistent and disciplined about their future”.
Also in attendance was the Director of the Ministry’s National Social Development Programme, Patricia De Leon-Henry who provided hand on information to the young entrepreneur about the SEED programme which gives individuals access to tools, equipment and other materials to start or expand a mini/micro enterprise. These individuals are then supported through a multi-pronged system which provides business training, education and mentorship that maximizes their potential for success. At present, the SEED grant provides funding of up to $15,000 TTD for approved start-ups in various sectors including agriculture, food and beverage, personal care services / products, printing and packaging as well as, retail services. Applicants are assessed for eligibility using the Ministry’s Standard Means Test. The SEED grant is one mechanism through which the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, seeks to further assist and empower those citizens who are highly desirous of becoming successful business owners.
At the end of the business launch, Kezia, the young entrepreneur expressed her gratitude and further presented Minister Cox with a gift certificate redeemable at her new salon.