Four (4) outstanding local entrepreneurs were recently awarded by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) at the second annual B.O.S.S MAN MEETS B.O.S.S LADY event. The event was held on November 22, 2019 at Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston as part of the agency’s Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations.
Dr. Janice Fisher, CEO of Bioregeneration Integrated Medical Centre walked away with the B.O.S.S LADY OF THE YEAR award, while Christal-Ann Thompson, Founder/CEO, Honey Vera Limited took home the runner-up award. In the men’s category, the B.O.S.S MAN OF THE YEAR award went to Leighton Campbell, CEO of Mobile EDGE Solutions, while Livingston Hinds, CEO of Xtrinet Limited received the runner-up award.
Three of the awardees were participants in the 2018 JBDC Accelerator Programme, all of whom have gone on to realise immense success in their businesses.
An elated Dr. Fisher heaped praises on the programme in her acceptance speech. “Coming out of the Accelerator Programme, I got the opportunity to really look at what runs the back-end of the business and to put in systems, really changing the face of what we did. The entire JBDC knew I was never going to pitch and they hooked me up with a mentor who decided that it is not pitching, it is sharing. I learned the numbers enough to gain confidence to pitch and leverage what we had, not just to access funding when we need it, but also to articulate to patients and clients that there are options and they don’t have to go home and suffer,” she said.
Bioregeneration Integrated Medical Centre is a family business which is a holistic health facility that focuses on alternative medicine. Dr. Fisher has conducted years of research in stem cells and the use of other alternative treatments. Over the past year, the business expanded to include other practitioners. The company is currently in talks to expand its operations and be able to offer the full suite of stem cell services locally.
According to Olivia Sinclair, Business Development Officer, “Dr. Fisher completed Cohort 2 of the JBDC Accelerator Programme in 2018, even while dealing with personal tragedy within her family. She has proven that her love for healing has given a second chance to persons who traditional medicine would give up on. Finding the solution is her life’s work.”
In accepting his award, Campbell said, “What we are doing in business now compared to a year ago makes what we did look like a joke. We were totally clueless. The growth I have achieved over the last year alone is ridiculous. Now that we are marketing and we have the numbers behind it, we know right away who our customers are, where they are from, what appeals to them and what makes it work. If you are an NCB customer and you swipe your credit card and get a text message, Mobile EDGE Solutions does that. It has been a blessing what JBDC has done for us and I will be eternally grateful.”
Campbell describes himself as ‘The E-commerce Boss’ with a mission to help small businesses monitise sales online – anytime, anywhere. With a team of just 4, he has managed to increase earnings by 200% in one year!
Germaine Bryan, Business Development Officer assigned to Campbell says, “He has shown a unique determination to succeed, which was evident while he participated in the Accelerator Programme. He pleaded with his wife-to-be at the time to allow him to delay their wedding so that he could put in in the necessary work to finish and finish strong! Since leaving the Accelerator Programme, he has received clarity about his business, making him a more confident carrier of his business’ message and is currently restructuring to form a group of companies. He has brokered contracts in Europe and the United States of America. He has also forged an alliance with GOOGLE.”
Honey produces a line of hair and body care products using the following natural ingredients; ripe plantain, marijuana, neem, moringa, clay, black castor oil, as well as other natural products. The brand has grown tremendously since Thompson started her entrepreneurship journey and is currently being exported to the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Canada, Australia, with the United States being her top market.
XtriNet consists of a team of engineers who deliver telecommunications services islandwide with a heavy focus on building Wireless Solution for the rural areas of Jamaica. Since participating in the JBDC Accelerator Programme, Hinds has gone regional, with deals lined up in the Dominican Republic and Guyana.
The winners were selected from a pool of nominees based on the following criteria:
- Embodies the entrepreneurial Spirit and Mindset;
- Embraces a culture of innovation;
- Has evidenced significant change in revenue – Upwards of 20%;
- Entered the export market/Increased the value of current exports;
- Introduced a new product/service into the market.
“B.O.S.S. MAN MEETS B.O.S.S. LADY is a graduated version of our BOSS MAN and BOSS LADY empowerment events/workshops in which entrepreneurs on both occasions have benefited from topical discussions and workshops. The B.O.S.S for ladies means BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SWEET SUCCESS. The B.O.S.S for the men means BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR STRONG SUCCESS. Combined, the B.O.S.S means BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES STRONG AND SWEET. This event is designed to celebrate JBDC BOSSES in a relaxing and fun atmosphere, the high point of which is the awarding of the JBDC B.O.S.S MAN and B.O.S.S LADY OF THE YEAR,” explained Suzette Campbell, Corporate Communications Manager at JBDC.