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Laptops for every child in SVG


Dennis Publishing brokers deal to provide laptops to every child in St Vincent and the Grenadines – UK’s largest technology publisher inspires next generation of entrepreneurs -{{more}}

Dennis Publishing, the UK’s largest technology publisher, brokered the deal to provide over 12,500 laptops to secondary schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The deal will see technology leaders Acer, Microsoft and Trend Micro come together to provide all secondary schoolchildren in the country with desperately needed leading edge technology. It is hoped the scheme will inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs and assist the burgeoning economy of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In summer 2013, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves approached Dennis Publishing owner and chair Felix Dennis about launching a scheme to empower every secondary schoolchild in the region, by providing each one with a state of the art laptop and software. The idea behind the scheme was to allow the children to learn to demonstrate their creativity and business skills whilst in a secure environment.

Felix Dennis engaged his team at Dennis Publishing, as the UK’s largest technology publisher, to help specify and build a programme that would suit this scheme. Taking in factors such as usage, security, longevity of the products and a system that would be free from IT managers, Dennis brought in software and IT hardware specialists Carteme to help source the right selection of products. Westcoast, the specialist in information technology, who has great relationships with Acer and Microsoft, was brought in to help Dennis build this programme.

Dennis Publishing, who owns brands such as PC Pro, Computer Shopper and Expert Reviews, specified Acer for its leading edge and robust technology, Microsoft for its usability and longevity of its product range and Trend Micro to build security so that the St Vincent’s Government would be safe in the knowledge that the children would be protected.

Dr Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines said: “This project is the result of two extraordinary partnerships; one between the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the ‘maestro’ Felix Dennis and his team at Dennis Publishing, Acer, Microsoft, and Trend Micro; and the second between my government and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela led first by Hugo Chavez and then by Nicholas Maduro which provided the financing. The special personal relationships between Felix, on the one hand, and between Hugo, Nicholas and me, on the other, were instrumental in putting together this amazing project. I thank them and everyone else who has been engaged in it.”

Through collaboration, hard work and a number of sessions with the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, especially Ambassadors Andreas Wickham and Camillo Gonsalves (latterly Foreign Minister), the Ministries of Education and Technology, and the Special Projects Coordinator Dr Jerrol Thompson, the arrangements will see 12,500 Acer laptops with Internet security provided by Trend Micro and a software solution provided by Microsoft, as part of their Shape the Future Campaign, delivered to St Vincent and the Grenadines schools within the next 10 weeks, at the latest.

Managing director of Advertising at Dennis Publishing Julian Lloyd-Evans, who brokered the deal, said: “We’re delighted that this scheme has come to fruition. The hope of all the partners is that this programme can demonstrate what passionate companies can do when they work together on such a worthy cause. We all hope that St Vincent and the Grenadines becomes a fantastic testimonial for what technology can do to inspire children and a new generation. We hope that this could be the start of similar programmes in the future.

“The St Vincent and the Grenadines Government, Dennis Publishing and Felix Dennis would like to personally thank Carl Oxley from Westcoast Distribution, Simon Hallworth from Carteme, and our fantastic partners at Acer, Microsoft West Indies and Trend Micro, for their patience, tenacity and help in putting this programme together.”

Over the next 12 months, Dennis Publishing will follow the programme and share the results.