Impact Spotlight - Kevin and Fresh Cuts Barber Shop
Gang activity in Belize is a serious problem.
With nearly 40% of the country's population living in poverty, young people often look for easy and quick ways to earn money for their families and themselves. Joining a gang offers the opportunity for earning large sums of money but comes with dangerous consequences.
One of our entrepreneurship program graduates, Kevin, is no stranger to this lifestyle and was shot three times, nearly losing his life because of this. But Kevin, like so many young people we work with in Belize, decided to change his story.
In 2017, Kevin, along with 100 other young people, participated in our gang intervention class where we introduced gang members and leaders to entrepreneurship. During these courses, rival gangs participated in hands-on learning activities together, learning how to start a business and earn income safely and legally. During the course of the class, Kevin realized that he could take his passion and turn into legitimate business. Kevin is a talented barber and enjoys helping other young men look good and feel confident through cutting hair. It was the opportunity and encouragement he needed to take the first step towards owning his own business.
Now a father and a proud business owner, we chatted with Kevin about his journey.
My name is Kevin Faber I'm thirty years old and I'm from Belize City, Belize
Q: How long have you been a barber?
A: I've been a barber for about ten years but officially been a barber since 2017.
Q: How do you think owning your own shop will benefit you in the future?
A: Having and learning the concept of a business or trade definitely benefit you in the future, it teaches you responsibility, how to run a business and give you that opportunity to teach others.
Q: Do you foresee teaching aspiring barbers in your shop?
A: Every day I try to show others the concept of cutting hair but not everyone has the same goal in life unless they see the creativity and art in barber. I am currently training my nephew how to cut hair as well as the business aspect.
Q: Since having your own shop, have you been involved with community events offering your services?
A: Yes - I've been in two community events since I started my business. They were kids’ events and they are yearly events.
Q:5. Has becoming an entrepreneur changed your life at all? If so, please explain.
A: Definitely change your life entirely, you got something to focus on you never had... It gives you responsibility to learn and the ability to reach others.it give you the ability to provide for your family the legal way than in the streets envying other people stuffs.
Kevin’s mom has told us how grateful she is now that he picks up a pair of clippers instead of a gun. And we couldn’t agree more. We are so proud of Kevin and are so excited to continue to watch him grow his very own successful business!