Development Bank gives young people chance, says 21-year old entrepreneur

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 2, 2017 (DBSKN) — From when she was a young girl growing up in Stapleton, St. Peter’s, Ms Yasmin Browne loved to cook and nursed the dream that she would one day cook for a living.

Today the 21-year-old Ms Browne is a shining example that should be emulated in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. She is not only doing what she has always loved to do, but to her credit she is the owner of a restaurant and bistro in Basseterre’s Central Business District, one that is serving the needs of many office workers, college, high, and primary school students. She is also the employer of seven individuals.

Those who have always dismissed young people for the simple reason that they are young, Ms Yasmin Browne’s case is one that should make them go back to their drawing boards. The Federation has real talent. This talent needs to be nurtured and if that were to be done, the country will progress by leaps and bounds.

As young as she is, Ms Browne has learnt a fundamental lesson from three quarters: God first, her parents, and the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis (DBSKN). Her philosophy has been not to be worried by the size of the problem or challenge, but to get encouraged by the love, might, and dedication of those backing you – those in your corner.

Having learnt how to cook from her mother and the fact that she wanted to pursue the art at a higher level, after high school she enrolled at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) as a Culinary Arts student. After her stint in college she worked at a food outlet and also sold food individually in what others would loosely term as hawking.

Ms Yasmin Browne is one who is not satisfied with just the ordinary. She has a vision that allows her to see what others would not ordinarily see. When delivering food to her established clients she always saw an overgrown plot on New Street and her instincts would tell her that she could use that plot to have her cooking establishment in a central place.

As they say, the rest is history. Krave Restaurant and Bistro on New Street in Basseterre’s Central Business District is the place to eat and attracts office workers, college, high school and primary school students. Sometimes, especially lunch hour, there are long queues of persons ordering food and they are satisfied, courtesy of Ms Yasmin Browne’s ingenuity.

It is a simple joint, with two containers one serving as the kitchen and the other as the service area where customers make their orders and receive their food. The service is timely and the food is deliciously prepared. Customers can take away or dine in and enjoy their meal while being entertained by music playing via local radio stations.

To make this all possible there was a lot of ground work to be done. Ms Browne presented a proposal to the owners of the lot who were a bit sceptical at first because of her age, but she managed to convince them. She then went full steam ahead and cleared the land and approached her financiers.

“I got the funds from the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis,” explained Ms Browne. “I always had the idea, but I did not know about the Development Bank. My idea was always on paper. It is my father who told me about the Development Bank, as he had done business with the bank although I did not know.”

She approached the Bank in May and was welcomed by a team that was eager to listen to her and even offer her better ideas on how the business would be run. She initially felt the process was slow, but she now appreciates that at Development Bank they were trying to put her business on an even keel.

“Development Bank gives young people a chance,” said Ms Browne. “That is good as people do not give young people a chance because maybe they feel you are young and you do not know how to deal with money. You go to them and you say you want this amount of money and they feel you probably might use it rather than do what you say you want to and then it is going to be a problem paying them back.”

The business opened on Friday July 7. Though the owner of the joint, she is always in the kitchen cooking, and has noted that her mother, Mrs Maureen Browne, assists her with the accounting part of the business for which she is very grateful. She says: “My mother is like the backbone of my business, she used to be a manager at a top store in Basseterre but she stopped working.”

According to Mr Lockhart Alleyne, Business Support Technical Officer at the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis (DBSKN), Ms Browne was a beneficiary of the bank’s Fresh Start Programme which has assisted other small to medium business entrepreneurs in the Federation to either start new businesses or expand an already established business.

“Ms Browne is focused on attaining her goal and we are seeing the positive outcome from the Fresh Start Programme,” said Mr Alleyne. “It has allowed an entrepreneur to create a business and create employment for other persons. That is a positive, and those are the positives we are seeing coming out of the Fresh Start Programme.”


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