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The week of November 12-16, 2018 was activity-packed for Team JBDC as the Corporation celebrated yet another Global Entrepreneurship Week. Under the theme ‘Minimizing Barriers + Maximizing Inclusion’, JBDC hosted four events aimed at increasing inclusion for all players involved in entrepreneurship.

The events held were Raising Capital: Driving Startup Success through Financial Inclusion, the inaugural Kin Pupalick Symposium that provided a platform for a community conversation on grounding and expanding creativity, the Closing Ceremony for the six-month long Accelerator Programme and BOSS Man meets BOSS Lady which closed out the week.


Raising Capital panel in full discussion mode


There were undoubtedly many wins for this year’s celebrations but the biggest win was reserved for the disabled community whose entrepreneurs who inspired a week-long conversation that had everyone talking inclusion from start to finish.

In the first session which focused on Financial Inclusion for Startups, speakers including General Manager of The Leap Co – Saffrey Brown, Managing Director of Manpower & Maintenance – Audrey Hinchcliffe, Managing Director of One-on-One Education Services – Ricardo Allen and Director of the Center for Disability Studies at the UWI, Dr. Floyd Morris, shared varying perspectives on the theme but agreed that everyone deserves a seat at the table when it came to financing solutions for their businesses.

The conversation centred on inclusion for all of the usually marginalized sub-groups including women, youth and inner-city entrepreneurs, however, it was the lack of inclusion for the disabled entrepreneurs that took centre stage after a presentation by Dr. Floyd Morris.

Dr. Morris is Jamaica’s first blind senator and an advocate for the disabled community in Jamaica. He shared a story of entrepreneurial and personal determination despite the many challenges he faced as a blind person. He also remarked about success he gained as a chicken farmer growing his first business from an investment of 50 chickens to over 25,000.

The panel was rounded out with National Financial Inclusion Co-ordinator at the Bank of Jamaica, Melanie Williams and General Manager of the Microfinance Division of DBJ, Paul Chin.

The conversation continued on Friday, November 16 with an Outside Broadcast hosted on Power 106 FM in which the hosts of The Morning Agenda looked at the different aspects of inclusion in relation to the disabled community. Participants included Executive Director of the Jamaica Council for persons with Disabilities, Christine Hendricks as well as several disabled entrepreneurs.


Dr. Floyd Morris making his presentation on some of the challenges faced as a disabled entrepreneur.
A section of the audience




Tuesday, November 13 saw the hosting of the inaugural ‘Kin Pupalick’ symposium; a community conversation on grounding and expanding creativity.

Held at the historic Bob Marley Museum, the event featured the involvement of Veteran Broadcaster and Cultural Expert - Fae Ellington with contributions from Nigerian High Commissioner - Her Excellency Janet Olisa, Culinary Artist - Oji Jaja, Actor & Writer - Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis, Attorney-at-Law - Natalie Corthesy and Fashion Expert - M. Simone Clarke.


Chairperson, Fae Ellington along with Nigeria Ambassador, H.E. Janet Olisa and JBDC CEO Valerie Veira
Miss Veira is fitted with the traditional Nigerian headdress




Cohort 2 & the JBDC Team



The participants in the second cohort of the JBDC Accelerator Programme took centrestage on Thursday, November 15 when sixteen entrepreneurs ‘graduated’ after a six-month intensive training and capacity building programme. The programme focused on areas such as scaling the business, the importance of corporate governance and good record keeping. It ended with a product display and presentation of awards to the most outstanding participants.

Awards were presented to:

• Leighton Campbell (Mobile Edge Solutions) – Greatest Evidence of Business Process Improvement & Best Team Player

• O’Shane Bryant (O’Shane Bryant Fitness) – Most Committed to the Process

• Livingston Hines (Xtrinet Limited) – Most Investment Ready & Most Committed to the Process

• Peter A. Chin (Harmony I Mine) – Best Entrepreneurial Mindset

All participants received a Certificate of Completion for taking part in the programme.


Greatest Evidence of Business Process Improvement & Best Team Player presented to Leighton Campbell (Mobile Edge Solutions)
Best Entrepreneurial Mindset presented to Peter Chin (Harmony I Mine)
Most Committed to the Process & Most Investment Ready presented to Livingston Hines (Xtrinet Limited)
Most Committed to the Process presented to O'Shane Bryant (O'Shane Bryant Fitness)




The week ended with B.O.S.S. Man meets B.O.S.S. Lady, a graduated version of the JBDC’s BOSS Man and BOSS Lady Empowerment events. Approximately 100 specially invited entrepreneurs were invited to East Lawn of Devon House to enjoy a fun and relaxing atmosphere which included games, giveaways and group chats hosted by Sakina Deer and Marlon Campbell.

The event provided much excitement as both male and female entrepreneurs competed in games such as Musical Chairs and Charades.



BOSS Ladies & BOSS Men circling the chairs during the Musical Chairs game.


The high point of the event came with the awarding of the JBDC B.O.S.S MAN and B.O.S.S LADY OF THE YEAR. This year’s awardees embody the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset, embraces a culture of innovation, has evidence of significant change in revenue, entered the export market or increased the value of their export and introduced a new product or service to the market during the period.

The awardees for 2018 were:

B.O.S.S. Man of the Year – Devin Johnson (Managing Director of Dimex Technologies)

B.O.S.S. Lady of the Year – Shalane Lee Chin (Managing Director of NewTown Bakery)

Honourable Mentions were given to:

Oji Jaja – Executive Chef & Managing Director of Ashebre

Nateisha Williams – Fashion Designer & Owner FHL Designs


JBDC 2018 BOSS MAN AND LADY WINNERS: l-r Oji Jaja (Honourable Mention), Shalane Lee Chin (BOSS Lady of the Year),
Devin Johnson (BOSS Man of the Year) and Nateisha Williams (Honourable Mention)


B.O.S.S. Man meets B.O.S.S. Lady first of its kind with the primary aim being to encourage networking, relaxation and recognition of entrepreneurs.

Published: 03 December, 2018
Hits: 119
Alao Luqman discusses his work with patrons at the Nigeria Independence Day celebrations earlier this month.


Alao Luqmanis is a cultural diplomat with the Nigerian High Commission in Jamaica, sent by the Nigerian government, on request by the Jamaican Government, to teach a variety of art.

He is now facilitating workshops in batik-making, bead-making, and metal art at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation.

Arts and Education caught up with him recently at Nigeria's Independence Day celebrations, where he exhibited several aluminium panels of his artwork. The style is called 'chasing and repousse' in which Luqman makes impressions on both sides of the panels.

The indentations are not arbitrary, abstract imprints, but are images that are parts of bigger stories from his Yoruba culture. Yoruba is a Western Nigerian ethnic group.

Luqman was introduced to the technique in a workshop in 2008. It was customary for the panels to be made from moulds so that they could be easily replicated. Now, Luqman has been making individual pieces free-handedly. In essence, the images in his panels are different, telling their own story. None of his pieces are alike.

Luqman said that the process is very tedious and "painful". There is not much room for errors, so the stories that they tell are well thought out and carefully designed before indentation starts. These inked aluminium panels are his books in which he has imprinted stories - African narratives.

Yet, he says that his work is not emotional but is based on primary and secondary research, historical facts, and visits to shrines and libraries. He has to inform himself before he tells his narratives, tribal stories, and those of Yoruba deities. There is much emphasis on Yoruba spirituality. "It makes your mind go back," he said.




That is what it is really doing to those who admire his work, not just for its historical depth, but also for the spiritual symbolism, and the tribal stories, including royal rituals, some going back to the 11th and 12th centuries.

"My art is telling the stories of the tribes, the deities (orishas)," he said. Not only has he gone way back with the content, but in many quarters, it is believed that he has resurrected a technique that was once popular.

At the celebrations, the first display depicts the situation in Yoruba culture, which has a high birthrate of twins, of how if a twin died, the parents of the deceased, upon consultation with a diviner, would get a wood carving of the deceased made. This carving, called the Ere Ibeji, is regarded as the deceased twin and is taken care of as if it were alive.

The second display is a divination board. At its centre there is a circular divination tray called an OponIfa. It is surrounded by figures, objects, and geomorphic designs. Ifa divination is a Yoruba religious practise as Ifa is a mythical figure regarded by the Yoruba people as the god of wisdom and intellectual development.

The Agogo Ode (hunter's bell) is used by the Alagogo, a kind of prefect among the non-hunters, during the dry season when there is little or no work on the farm. The Alagogo goes all over the community sounding the gongs to tell farmers to remove their traps early the next morning. Among other things, the bells also call the hunters to gather for blessings before going on a hunt. Two Agogo Odes are at the centre of the third display.

Three panels make up the fourth display. At the centre of each is an 'ivory' mask, a miniature portrait of the legendary warrior Queen Mother Idia, mother of Esigie, the king of Benin from 1504 to 1550. The masks are worn at the waists during traditional ceremonies. Many of the original ivory masks were stolen by the British during the Expedition War of 1897. Luqman is reviving that story and the making of those masks with his work.

In the fifth display are various festivals scenes. In Nigerian culture, characteristics of the community, religion, and culture are celebrated to fulfil specific communal purposes. "The celebrations offer a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups, contributing to group cohesiveness," Luqman said. And at the centre of the celebrations is food, hence the celebrations coming mainly during harvest time.

Luqman holds a bachelor's degree in painting and a master's degree in printing making. He was pursuing a PhD in printmaking when he was selected for volunteer services, which is what he is doing here. He is representing Yoruba history and culture in his art, and is sharing the technique in an island when many Yorubas were enslaved and died.


Source: Jamaica Gleaner 

Published: 07 November, 2018
Hits: 307
MINISTER of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw has reiterated that some lands which were once used for sugar cane production will soon be rationalised for the growing of other crops.

Speaking at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation's Employee Engagement Conference 2018 at Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on Monday, the minister said the time has come for different crops to be invested in, and not sugar.

“On my desk right now is the report of the rationalisation of sugar lands. I don't want the sugar people to be nervous when I say this, but we'll never go back into production using all of our lands for sugar again. It's not going to happen, so let's just call a spade a spade and let's get ready for land use other than sugar,” Shaw emphasised.

“We're not trying to bounce the people who are in sugar out of it; we're rationalising and we're going to make you more efficient — but we're going to make lands available for so many other things,” he added.

The minister said that the rationalisation project will result in sugar being produced on smaller acres of land, and new investment opportunities will be offered to farmers for the production of other crops.

“In Parliament (recently), I gave an example. We're talking about a school feeding programme where 80 per cent of all we feed the children is imported. Yet, we can produce all we want to produce… that are much more highly nutritious than imported flour and rice,” Shaw said.

He further noted that two new products can be looked at for the programme are breadfruit flour and cassava flour.

“We don't recognise the wealth that we are sitting on in this country; we can feed ourselves and we can export surpluses. We can feed our school children in a more nutritious manner, using what we grow,” the minister said.

The conference, which ended yesterday, was held under the theme 'Disturb. Reconnect. Engage'.

It was hosted for approximately 500 employers, with the objective of empowering and encouraging them to transform their workplaces into spaces that inspire their employees and offer the kind of leadership and appropriate management systems that will enable their employees to understand and accept their role as important stakeholders in business processes, and as key players in achieving sustainable productivity.


Source: Jamaica Observer

Published: 07 November, 2018
Hits: 314
Audley Shaw (second right), Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, in discussion with (from left) Avril Leonce, director, Small Business Banking of Scotiabank; Alvin Day, executive leadership coach; and Valerie Veira, chief executive officer of Jamaica Business Development Corporation at the JBDC’s Employee Engagement Conference 2018 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Kingston yesterday.


Jamaica, having slipped from a high of fourth in global labour productivity ranking during in the 1960s to now the lowest in the region, must refocus on motivating workers at all levels, as a pre-requisite for sustainable economic growth, according to Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw.

"The Government has been focused on critical areas such as development and implementation of sector and industry plans for key growth areas. Critical to all of this is the focus on the development of our human capital through capacity building and training programmes. We have to increase our employee engagement, as low levels of productivity and disengagement will negatively impact the bottom line of an organisation and, ultimately, national economic growth," Shaw told yesterday's opening session of the two-day Employee Engagement Conference 2018.

In his remarks to the annual conference hosted by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, the former finance minister lamented that Jamaica was already paying an undetermined but definitely too high price for the failure to enhance worker productivity output.

He explained: "Employee disengagement comes at a financial cost. For example, it costs the United States of America about US$450 billion each year for employee disengagement. Although in Jamaica we do not have a dollar value on the impact of disengagement on the economy, we're aware that our country has the lowest labour productivity rate. That is, unit of output per worker, when compared with its major trading partners in the Caribbean and in North America.




"Our commitment is to move towards the 2030 Vision, which has been focusing on stabilising our economy, creating a more business-friendly environment, stimulating local investment and unleashing the energies of our people."

The conference, which continues today, has as its theme 'Disturb. Reconnect. Engage'. This, according to Shaw, accurately encapsulates the plan of action needed to lift Jamaica out of the throes of wide-scale worker apathy.

Low employee engagement, he explained, has been directly linked to lower levels of productivity and service and, ultimately, reduced growth and profits, which in the government sector translates to reduced service delivery.

Shaw cited statistics from the 2016 National Employee Engagement Report, which found that while at the national level 75.5 per cent of the labour force is engaged, only 41.5 per cent is actively engaged and 35 per cent moderately engaged.

"Right away, that's a productivity issue," he charged. "What we certainly want to see is a greater per cent of our employees more actively engaged and more motivated to achieve our vision for a better Jamaica. In this regard, it is essential that we formulate a vision to guide us to achieve optimal outcomes, mobilising our resources to achieve our vision, and leading the process until our goals are achieved."


Source: Jamaica Gleaner


Published: 07 November, 2018
Hits: 269

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