The Agribusiness Lab: A shared experience

The Youth In Network, Agribusiness Lab

The Youth In Network, Agribusiness Lab

Readers, tech4agri is pleased to present you with another opportunity in entrepreneurship learning and business development!

The Young Americas Business trust in collaboration with the Ministry of Food Production of Trinidad and Tobago, The Israel’s Agency for International Development Corporation (MASHAV), Gold Meier Mount Carmel International Training Center (MCTC) the University of West Indies, Junior Achievement, the OAS Office and United Nations Development Programme Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. are hosting a Business Lab on Agribusiness in Trinidad and Tobago. from 19th – 23 August 3013.

This workshop will provide young entrepreneurs with guidance and support to generate viable and creative ideas to assure new agribusiness enterprises. The Business Lab will stimulate innovation through hands on business experience, business modeling, marketing and finance among other areas

Tech4agri is a part of this workshop, therefore based on its goals, and the media presentation needs of the Youth IN development Network , a special feature will be provide this week for dissemination of information learned though the training.

I hope you benefit from this exposure as tech4agri certainly has!

Business Lab: Part 1

The Business lab is administered by Mr. David Slyper and Ms. Rina Yaffe from Israel’s MASHAV. Beginning with introductions, 25 participants from a variety of backgrounds in agriculture and small enterprises were divided into groups and immediately began the programme. Staring with a simple Brainstorming exercise, each participant soon learned that the aim of such an activity is to C.R.E.A.T.E. ideas. When brainstorming many tend to judge ideas and deem them unworthy. This deters creativity which is needed for unique enterprises in today’s saturated business world. Therefore Brainstorming should:

  • C – Crazy ideas, which are wanted. These can then spark more ides.
  • R – Record all your ideas. Simply write them down.
  • E – Everything goes, don;t judge the ideas at this stage
  • A – As many ideas as possible, we want quantity
  • T – Time limit. Set a time limit to your brainstorming. 8 – 12 mins are often enough.
  • E – Energy

The future entrepreneurs then selected one of their ideas in order to enact upon. Each group was expected to plan and create a small business within a few hours, as their product or service was to be sold to the general public the following day. Ideas were selected based on a choice of three of the following criteria: Resources, Target market, Location/Venue, Time & Demand, Available Storage, Realistic, Loyalty, Cost/Price/Profit.

Chosen criteria is to be selected by each group amongst their groups members and then their idea is to be built upon. For example, group members could have donated funds to purchase items for resale or utilize existing items from their homes in order to provide a service. The next post: The Agribusiness Lab 2 features the results of this real world application of business operations.

Taking a break from activities, the facilitators executed a two word association game. The participants were told to give any thought that came to mind when they see the word “Umbrella” Naturally some answers were: rain, dry, size,  material, fashion etc while there were some distant associations such as royalty, gentleman, floating,  and mary popins.

The main word “umbrella” was then replaced with the word”Nuts” leaving the participants to come up with new products and their purpose using the existing associated words. Therefore some new product ideas were, “Royalty Gourmet Nuts” “Fashionable Nuts as a material for clothing design” and”Nutsize treats in the shape and size of nuts”. The whole aim of this exercise was to introduce the participants to the SCAMPER method of product or idea modification.


The method focuses on changing some part of a product or service so that it would become more appealing to one’s target market. Each group was encouraged to apply the SCAMPER method to their created ideas no matter how unusual and also to their current existing businesses. The method spoke volumes to many of the participants simply because each person had just learned the importance and correct method of brainstorming. In this sense an unusual/unique idea can then be changed to a suitable form according to the business owner.

Within one day we were taught how the most unusual ideas can be created and properly evaluated and in some instances lead to inspiration for other ideas. The key is to be creative and to think outside of the box. Of course this is easier said than done. You’re encourage to follow these steps as you can see the key trends to improvement lies in the exercises themselves.

Follow on in our next post: The Agribusiness Lab 2 for details of our activities and accomplished learning.

For downloads of the lab material click the following links:   CREATE    SCAMPER


  1. Pingback: The Agribusiness Lab 2 | technology4agri

  2. Pingback: The Agribusiness Lab 4: A business begins | technology4agri

  3. I would like to partake in these forum but live outside new zealand. Is there any twitter page for it? Am a young undergarduate with the vision of becoming a pioneer in the agric sector of my nation. Affiliate an NGO with Tree planting in the local communities cud be an idea?

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