The works of 24 design entrepreneurs were on showcase today at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) for the closing ceremony of Design Fusion 2019.
With the high mortality rate of start-up businesses, the programme aims to nurture early-stage enterprises to become formalised.
The cohort completed training and coaching in several areas including business development, financial management, product development and market readiness over a three month period.
Twenty-five-year-old Shanique Shirley, a graduate who also received the runner-up prize for the best entrepreneurial mindset, is the main partner in Yaadie Print.
Along with her three partners, they print on t-shirts, fabric, mugs, wristlets and other paraphernalia.
Started under a year ago and inspired by Africa, their aim is to become the print hub in Jamaica.
“As a creative, you think about creating and creating and there are aspects of the business that you don’t focus on like the finances, being compliant, your brand – understanding what your brand is and protecting it – the JBDC has educated me in that regard,” Shirley explained.
Yaadie Print has original designs but also offers custom printing.
“If you have a concept, we can work with you – from mind to creation as our tagline says,” said Shirley, who is also a graphic designer.
One of her most outstanding prints is a t-shirt with five dates which is representative of a piece of Jamaica’s culture.
“We always talk about Bob Marley, and I thought, what about the other persons who impacted reggae?” she chuckled, adding that she had to do a bit of research.
The t-shirt depicts the birthdays of Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Peter Tosh, and John Holt.
JBDC Chief Executive Officer Valerie Viera emphasised the importance of the creative industry which she said has the potential to be filled with people who have the capacity to do business and not just those “doing ah ting.”
“We are mapping the industry to see how we can encourage government to set the backdrop, the ecosystem to make sure that [entrepreneurs] have all the opportunities to move forward with the full support that is needed,” she said.