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VIRTUAL TRADE LINK Hayes P.O. Clarendon. Jamaica. Phone (876) 986-5063/ 367-3536. www.virtualtradelink.org

The Virtual Trade Link (VTL) offers an exciting program for schools and youth organizations that combines practical experience with business theory. VTL’s goal is to establish a self-sustaining entrepreneurial community by exposing students to international trade, entrepreneurship and information and communication technology. A three-pronged strategy is used to achieve this goal: 1) Provide students with entrepreneurial, and information technology skills. 2) Establish a management partnership between the school and the privates sector. 3) Link the program with network of international partners. 1.

Provide students with entrepreneurial and information and technology skills

Integrating entrepreneurship curricula and technology skills into youth programs requires an informed and supportive environment. VTL’s model builds upon the knowledge of similar programs in Europe (they are called practice firm) and North America (they are called virtual enterprise) where students are expose to running a business as part of their regular training. 2

Establish a volunteer management system

A volunteer management team made up of appropriate individuals will be responsible for introducing the program into the school or community, and to develop a strategic plan for its success. 3.

Link with international partners

By linking the program with international partners the VTL offers students an international experience, to work with students from other cultures, allowing them to develop the various skills necessary for the globalize economy. VTL is design as an interactive multidisciplinary model which allows students to participate and apply relevant skills, using specific content and curriculum connections leading to a deeper understanding of key questions and concepts.


About US Virtual Trade Link (VTL) is an online service that provides opportunities for students to participate actively in a wide range of interdisciplinary educational experiences with international partners. Students in the VTL program learn firsthand about economic competiveness through the formation of school-based import/export companies. The program enables students to learn the commercial and entrepreneurial skills required to set up a company, identify products, discover marketing opportunities, and then export products and services. The VTL works closely with HEART/NTA to ensure that the program aligns with the National Vocational Qualification- Jamaica (NVQ-J) objectives. VTL is design as an interactive multidisciplinary model which allows students to participate and apply relevant skills, using specific content and curriculum connections leading to a deeper understanding of key questions and concepts.


Objectives The mission of the Virtual Trade Link (VTL) is to make entrepreneurship and information and communication technology skills available to students regardless of their location. The main objectives of the Virtual Trade Link program are:      

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To prepare students for survival in an economically diverse society To educate students with the potential for job creation and business development To empower all students to develop their skills and entrepreneurial attitudes. To give students an insight into the challenges and methods by which businesses are formed and managed To increase awareness and understanding of other cultures, citizens, and globalization. To promote modern technology within schools and emphasize the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) skills through the everyday use of on-line training materials, web cast and e-mail. To provide a practical learning context for teaching foreign language and business studies. To encourage parents and the business community to volunteer their services and become involved in supporting and working with local schools.


Time Scales All participating schools/organization should aim to start the program in January 2014 and cease operating by December 2014. Notification of partner’s details and personal passwords will be forwarded to the teacher/ coordinator at each school/organization on receipt of payment. Once staff and students have become familiar with our Intranet site, they should make contact with their partner school/organization. Each company should allocate between one and four hours per week to spend on the program. During the first month, a student company should:   

Make contact with their international partners and get to know some things about them. For example, names, ages, hobbies etc. Arrange a web conference with their international partners to allow the participants to meet each other “face to face”. Make contact with local businesses that can give advice. Arrange for business people to come into the class and discuss their special field or go on visit to local manufacturers, retailers, suppliers etc. Start raising funds for the company by holding fundraising events, selling shares in the company or seeking sponsorship.


School Commitment As the program involves a partnership, it is vital that participating schools and organizations make a commitment to work towards a successful outcome for all students involved. The following points cover some of the issues that must be address by participants: Coordinators A member of staff should always be available to assist the student company. It is advisable for a least two members of to be aware of the program and the company’s progress, in case of illness etc. As this is an entrepreneurial program the coordinator should act as a coach and facilitator to the company. Students There are nine specified “directorial� position in the VTL Company. Schools can run the company with between five and twenty students. Ten students would be an ideal number. Time The program requires a commitment of a least one-hour per week for staff and students. Extra time may be required to conduct market research, source products, communicate and make business contact. Technology and Communication All member companies must have e-mail and Internet access. Each company must be committed to communicating with their partner at least once per week.


Key Features of the Virtual Trade Link Each school that wants to take part in the program completes an application form. Form a company – Each group of 5-10 students form a company. Each student is given his/her own responsibilities in the company as a director. Example, president, secretary, marketing, financing etc. Use On-Line Training and Office Support – Groups are given access to the password protected on-line training material in the members section at the start of the program. Teachers and students are introduced to their VTL contact. Get to Know Your Partner Group – Once contact details have been receive, students will start to exchange profiles on their schools and information about the their local area, culture and economy. Exchange Product Ideas – Groups send details of the products their partner may be interested in importing. Conduct Market Research – Groups conduct market research to ensure that there is a market for the products they are exporting and for those they are importing from their international partners. Raise Capital – It is important that the groups learn to raise capital for their company. Groups can raise funds in many ways; they can sell shares, hold concerts or do bake sales, for example. Order Goods/Confirm Partners Orders – Once a group has conducted market research and decide what products will sell in their local area, they place orders with their international partner entrepreneurs. Import/Export – Shipment is sent using freight carrier. Packages usually take a week to arrive. Market and Sell Goods – If orders were taken in advance, all that is left to do is distribute the products. If not groups will need to market the products they have. Settle all Payment and Close the Company – group will receive bills from the suppliers, their partners and the freight carrier they use to import. All bills should be paid within the specific time frame. When closing the company, students must ensure all bills have been paid and all shareholders given their dividends. Any monies left over after this stage is the profit. Groups can spend, save, or donate their profit as they see fit.


APPLICATION Please ensure that all sections of the application form are completed accurately. A monthly subscription fee of JD$800.00 will be sent to your sponsor. School Name Street Address Parish/State Zip Code Country Name of Principal School Phone Number Name of Sponsoring Company/Organization Sponsor’s Contact Name Sponsor’s Phone Sponsor’s Address Name of Contact Teacher Phone Number of Contact Teacher E-mail of contact teacher How many students will be in the group Will the program be a class/ club activity How many students are on roll at the school Dial up or ADSL


CO-OPERATIVE AGREEMENT Between .…. …………………………………………………………………………………….... And VIRTUAL TRADE LINK ……………………………………………………………………..……….and Virtual Trade Link, wishing to develop cooperative relations on the basis of establishing contacts and mutual understandings, especially to create opportunities for the youth and to support students’ entrepreneurial training, agree as follows. Part 1 The areas of cooperation include, subject to mutual consent and appropriate conditions, the implementation of an educational program in the area of entrepreneurship, international trade, and information and communication technology and the exploration of other areas for collaboration between ………………………………………………… and the Virtual Trade Link.

Part 11 The parties pledge to work together, subject to the availability of funds, to support the various skills training initiatives thorough such activities as: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Establishing a management advisory team Development of a financial plan Recruiting students Training teachers/facilitators Training students Establishment of an entrepreneurial business Preparation of a monthly progress report on trainees’ progress Evaluation of project effectiveness and implementation of correctional procedures Outreach to the business community

Product and services will be sold to consumers to make a profit and to provide a “real world” business experience for students in the program.


Part 111 This agreement will remain in effect for a period of one year subject to the availability of funds, and any amendment and /or modification of this agreement requires written approval of the director/principal of ………………………………………………………………... and the director of Virtual Trade Link. Each party reserves the right to terminate this agreement upon three (3) months notice to the other. ………………………………...........................

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………………………………........................... Virtual Trade Link

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Virtual Trade Link  

International Trade program for high school students.