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Cohort 6 Has Arrived! Screw It, Let’s Do It

Don’t just exist, grow As far as New Year’s Resolutions go, it is important to be SMART – specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time bound. This year at the Branson Centre, our resolution, when viewed on the large scale, is fairly repetitive. In fact, we aim to continue doing exactly what we’ve been doing – supporting businesses for economic development. However, to be SMART about it, we’ll be doing so in new and innovative ways, which is exactly what this B:Inspired issue is about - not just starting a business, but scaling it. This year we are eager to scale our own business. Despite being a non-profit, we don’t see ourselves as a charity. Just like any start-up, we need to bootstrap and generate funds to financially sustain the programme. So, we will be working with partners and others to find unique ways to not just exist, but grow. One such partner is Nigel Botteril, who has come on board in a big way with his Entrepreneur’s Circle based in London. Read about his visit to Jamaica and what inspired him to support the development of entrepreneurship in The Caribbean. In 2014, we kick things off by welcoming Cohort 6 – a new group of 20 promising change-makers. Later this year, the Branson Centre will launch a hybrid model of our programme that will include a virtual platform and regional expansion into other Caribbean islands. We will happily take a page out of the books of some of our entrepreneurs, like those in our “3 to Watch” feature who are taking aggressive steps to up the ante in their operations. Tamia Harker, highlighted in our cover story, is a real inspiration in growing something from nothing. She left her job to become a fulltime entrepreneur, and since joining the Centre, has already begun building her team and generating fast sales from her tour company, This is Jamaica. Then we have Javette Nixon, a marketing mogul who, like us, is taking his company, POINT Global Marketing, to other shores. DJ Shaw, aka Mr. Image, shares his story on how he has successfully monetized his personal brand by helping others develop theirs. As you read on, let these stories and others take you on an inspirational journey of entrepreneurship that may just have you chasing your own big idea, SMARTly of course, in 2014.

Lisa Lake Chief Entrepreneurship Officer



5 10

Three To Watch Tamia Harker: This Is Jamaica


Closing the Circle


Cohort 6 Has Arrived


Javette Nixon: Motivation Behind ... Marketing


5 Tips for a New Generation of Entrepreneurs


Tammi Thorborn-Browne: Saving Lives


Screw It, Let’s Do It


BCoEC Current Impact and Future Plans

THREE TO WATCH Three Branson Centre Innovators Scale Up and Take Charge Keisha Allen of Clay takes us through the process of molding the ultimate bridal house, and Laura-Jean Hunter revolutionizes the concept of photography in the entertainment industry with her business, The Photo Affair. Then, there is Conrad Mathison who ensures that every pixel comes together to create his dynamic content marketing business, It’s Pixel Perfect.

Note: The first 12 weeks with the Branson Centre is known as Launch Pad. This is where the entrepreneurs receive all the technical knowledge needed to run a business. This prepares them for Take Off, where they begin accessing local and international mentors, business coaching, networks, professional services and other resources. Following Take Off they go In Orbit, during which the Centre continues to work collectively and individually with them to strengthen their businesses, and have them ‘pay it forward’ by sharing their knowledge and experience with the new cohorts.


Keisha Allen Clay


Movies have been made about it. TV series have been built around the emotions attached to it. The dreams of women have been captured by it. It’s not just any dress, it’s THE dress. Every bead, every stitch, every piece of fabric is carefully thought through and woven together in an intricate process. Keisha Allen understands that just like the potter, her hands are expected to shape abstract materials into a work of art deserving of awe. This connoisseur of beauty not only understands this, but has taken the ultimate leap by establishing her own fashion bridal house - Clay. Having studied at the Garmex HEART academy, Allen, is no stranger to the world of fashion design and garment production. It was during her first job working at Petals and Promises, a Kingston bridal boutique, that she discovered her love for designing bridal wear. She recalls happily, “I saw the work that went into making each dress and the way the bride’s face would light up when she saw her dress. I decided then that I wanted to be a part of that experience.” So after two years, Allen resigned from her job and started her own registered business in 2011. Since Clay’s launch, Allen, in partnership with her husband Kavan, have overcome several challenges. Allen spent the first few years of the business experimenting with pricing because she wasn’t clear on her target market. As a result, she set her prices too low and didn’t immediately generate a profit. Then in 2012, being the sole creative designer for the company, she was forced to put her business on hold during her pregnancy. This slowed the company’s growth and she is now putting a structure in place to ensure that, if necessary, the business can still operate without her. She has recently added a new


“...we want bridal boutiques to recognise our products as a viable option for them, because they’ll receive designer quality products made in Jamaica...” member of staff and actively trains and mentors other aspiring designers in bridal design and custom techniques. Now in 2013, Allen has started to make strides by focusing Clay’s operations on becoming a recognised Caribbean bridal house. The company has already completed its bridal collection and catalogue, and has started partnering with local bridal boutiques. “We recognise that most brides rent gowns because it is more affordable. So we want bridal boutiques to recognise our products as a viable option for them, because they’ll receive designer quality products made in Jamaica, while supporting the economy and eliminating shipping costs.” This makes purchasing a gown more affordable. Clay has so far partnered with Petals and Promises, where they will have their own branded area in the boutique with an exclusive collection of wedding gowns and bridemaid dresses. Brides can also order their own custom dresses. In going forward, Allen plans to acquire additional financing and will continue to build a motivated team to meet the increased demands from the company. “It won’t just be about sewing a dress, but challenging them to analyse designs, come up with patterns and understand better how things fit.” The company, which prides itself in producing gowns at globally competitive standards with “intricate beading from scratch,” will also be increasing its level of exposure in 2014. Look out for Clay at the Saint International Style Week in May, as well as other major bridal shows and events.

Conrad Mathison


It’s Pixel Perfect

Content marketing holds a wealth of opportunities in Jamaica and Conrad Mathison is determined to capitalize on it. The young entrepreneur has distinguished his business, It’s Pixel Perfect, by specialising in, not just marketing content, but creating and curating it. The company, which started out in 2011 by producing ads and graphic designs for parties, has since expanded its services to include website and app development, online ad creation, social media management, photography and videography. Their focus is digital marketing, but they create content and messaging that can be carried across all platforms, including offline. As a Branson Centre Entrepreneur from Cohort 4, Mathison completed the ‘Launch Pad’ training course last Spring. He credits the support network that was established there in helping him to grow as an entrepreneur and develop key partnerships. In addition, the networking opportunities afforded through the Branson experience have been invaluable to the company’s progress. As Mathison points out, It’s Pixel Perfect has gained at least three large clients as a direct result of introductions made through the Centre’s network, further propelling the fast growth of his client base. By staying true to the company’s ultimate mission to ‘Make Brands Social’, Mathison counts as one of his victories the successful rebranding work he has done for clients, such as The University of the West Indies (UWI). This, included the development of the websites, apps, TV ads, webisodes, graphic designs and social media campaigns and management for the UWI Sports Departement, Mona Visitor’s Lodge, UWI Alumni and Mona School of Business and Management. His work with KIA and Digicel in the areas of rebranding and video production have also been instrumental in his success. Mathison doesn’t rely solely on himself to build his company. A key aspect of his client acquisition strategy is to draw on the relationships of those around him. Through an incentive based referral programme, he rewards staff, and even clients, who send new business his way. As

Mathison explains, “I work with the people I currently have to extend ourselves as best as possible.” Similar to the value of every pixel in the overall quality of an image, so is the value of each team member in the success of an organization. Mathison’s belief in this philosophy is displayed through his active investment in his team, including a rewards system to encourage consistently strong performance. “When they are actively mobilised and understand the culture of the company, we are able to make use of every opportunity. If I’m the only one who can see the company’s vision then that would limit us,” emphasises Mathison. To actively maintain their focus on this vision, Mathison encourages team members to consistently include their personal goals on the company’s ‘dream board’ and cross them off as each is attained. With a diverse team, It’s Pixel Perfect has been recognised for its ability to cater to a wide array of content marketing needs for its clientele, and has distinguished itself from other agencies through its dynamic integrated services approach. Mathison highlights the various occasions on which he has been invited to speak on content marketing and social media by organizations, such as The University of the West Indies. “I’m happy that we’ve been able to let people see what we have been doing; but we have a lot more ground to cover.” It should come as no surprise then, that Mathison envisions the company expanding its current reach within the Caribbean. He is already servicing clients in countries, such as the Cayman Islands and Trinidad and Tobago. He holds firmly to his vision of positioning It’s Pixel Perfect to be the premier content marketing company in the Caribbean.

“If I’m the only one who can see the company’s vision then that would limit us.” 7

Laura-Jean Hunter The Photo Affair Been there, loved it, captured it!


The moment may pass, but let the affair continue with personalised photos from the event. A stickler for providing high quality service every time, Laura-Jean Hunter is out to guarantee that your experience with The Photo Affair is worth remembering. The three year-old company has introduced a modern concept of the traditional photo booth to Jamaica, by offering the services of a mobile digital photo booth. With The Photo Affair, instead of asking clients to come to them, they travel to both corporate and private events taking instant pictures that are personalised and customised based on the client’s or organization’s wishes.

“We have to understand our business and industry and the risks we’re willing to take.”

Riding on the growing tide of interest in their entertainment offering, Hunter is leading the incremental and strategic growth of her company. She started off with one mobile booth in 2011, and has since added two more with a fourth on the way in 2014. Hunter admits that the mobile photo booth is somewhat of a novel idea that is still gaining traction in Jamaica. Despite this, she continues to upgrade the company’s services and look for innovative ways to enhance both the user’s and the client’s experience. By way of the social media uploads, clients are now able to capture key demographical data on the persons who attended the event.

The Photo Affair has definitely caught on to the social buzz! Not only can customers take home their physical photo treasure, but they can also upload them in real time to their social media pages and email them to their network. This ‘social’ service has enhanced the photo experience for the customer, but also added tremendous value for the client. In this way, The Photo Affair becomes less of a novelty and more of a valuable integrated marketing tool.

Moving forward, Hunter looks forward to working with her repeat clients to develop new features and identify ways to make the photo booth an integral component in their annual marketing plans.

As the company continues to grow, Hunter is careful in assessing how to strategically expand. “We have to understand our business and industry and the risks we’re willing to take.” So, within the scope of a direct marketing strategy for the company, she has built integral professional relationships. “We rely heavily on client referrals and the relationships built with PR managers, marketers and event coordinators and planners.”

Driven by the mantra Get it done, Hunter continues to remain abreast of standards and best practices within the international mobile photo booth industry. With the growth in her business continually exceeding her expectations, Hunter plans on keeping ahead of the curve by continually expanding her offering and developing new ways to meet the marketing and customer service needs of her clients.

In addition, she plans to establish a presence in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. This will allow her to standardise service costs and tap into an even wider market. 8

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This Is

Jamaica Tamia Harker takes us on a tour


The alluring beauty of the roads not-so-travelled; the authentic flavour of untamed island cuisine and cultural interaction; the sights and sounds that capture the essence of an island and its undeniable appeal…this is deserving of exploration, this is the ultimate vacation and travel experience…This Is Jamaica makes it all become a reality. This is Jamaica, an eco-tour company started in May 2013, is the brainchild of its owner, Tamia Harker, converting her passion for environmentalism and the untapped areas of beauty in Jamaica into a thriving business venture. An environmental scientist by profession and a self-professed “adventurer by heart,” Tamia is the sole owner of the company. She remembers going on deep-sea dives and mountain adventures while growing up, discovering many of Jamaica’s hidden treasures – places that tourists, and many locals, knew nothing about. Through her company, Tamia seeks to make these hidden gems more accessible by offering day tours, night tours and holiday tours to these beautiful, rarely seen locations. “We focus on places that are culturally and environmentally significant, non-mainstream, and off the beaten track.” Tamia credits her experience at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship - Caribbean (BCoEC) with equipping her with critical skills and opportunities that have proven vital to the successful operation of her business. “Being accepted to the Branson Centre was major because it opened a lot of doors for me and provided suppport and a solid foundation for my business. It taught me a lot of practical skills while giving me access to a strong network.”


The partnerships forged through her time at the BCoEC have helped Tamia in attaining two of her most successful tour bookings to date. Tamia recalls with pride being awarded the contract to host a VIP group from Virgin Holidays during Richard Branson’s visit in November 2013. She gave them a tour around Montego Bay, as well as site visits to the business facilities of other Branson Centre entrepreneurs. “That was a big honour and has been a highlight of my Branson Centre experience so far.” However, the largest tour group she has ever hosted comprised of fifty Hondurans who visited the island for four days during their national team’s World Cup qualifying match against Jamaica. “It was challenging but very successful. Hosting the Hondurans was definitely a milestone for me!”

“Being accepted to the Branson Centre was major because it opened a lot of doors for me.” Tamia is not about to slow down now, and she continues to improve her company’s offerings. As any wise entrepreneur knows, no man (or woman) is an island, and it is critical to find the right people to help you achieve success in your business. With this in mind, Tamia recently hired a part-time employee as Business Development Manager. This additional resource has become invaluable in improving the company’s ability to scale, catering to the needs of its growing clientele, not to mention developing new tours. This Is Jamaica currently operates almost exclusively online, and the company’s website plays a critical part in the initial experience of its clients. The website, Tamia points out, has evolved into a fully functional interface, where clients can see exactly what is being offered by the company, including pricing, bookings and customization of tours. It’s designed to be hassle-free, as the options for transportation, accommodation and food are included – everything you need, all in one location. “We gained our initial clients through online ads, but the continuity of the company is highly dependent on customer referrals. So we strive to remain committed to core values and provide customers with enriching experiences and excellent service. We will pull out all stops on trips for our customers!” Despite its e-commerce success, the company is planning to have a physical presence in Kingston this year, and is eyeing another location on the North Coast for future expansion.

With its niche market in mind, This is Jamaica currently offers fifteen (15) customizable tours across the length and breadth of the island. But Tamia has a much greater vision, “We want to have the whole island mapped out.” The company will add one to two tours each month until this vision is realized. This Is Jamaica is also committed to community tourism. “We train guides from the different locales, using the bed and breakfasts and restaurants offered, while ensuring that all are in good legal standing and have the requisite certification. We know that a stronger community tourism component will drive business because it will make the experience 100% local to each area. When we take you to have a St. Elizabeth experience, it’s 100% St. Elizabeth!” The children are not to be left out in this exciting path upward, as Tamia plans on hosting an Adventure Camp for Kids next summer. This camp will see the children exploring and learning about the island, engaging in fun activities such as snorkelling and hiking, as well as learning survival skills and visiting cultural locations. This Is Jamaica has proven that the opportunity to turn your passion into a thriving business can be realized through strategic planning and an excellent support system. “The greatest joy is to be able to link my environmental background with tourism and people, and put a product together which is the best of both worlds. I hope that people come on the tours, have a good time and feel that it’s a personal experience of Jamaica and Jamaicans.” 11

We want to match established business leaders with emerging entrepreneurs. Are you an experienced business leader and entrepreneur? Are you passionate about business and can give 1-2 hours a month to share what you know and make a difference to a young entrepreneur? Do you want to join a network of leading Caribbean and international change-makers?

To find out more or apply to be a Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship - Caribbean Mentor, visit


On the Saturday morning, we were collected and taken on a tour to visit yet more of the entrepreneurs who had benefited from the work of the Centre over the last two years. It was a hugely inspiring trip. Jamaica does have lots of challenges and the focus of the Branson Centre – to support the development of small businesses, to create jobs and contribute to the economy – is clearly having a very significant impact on the lives of those who get involved.


I didn’t really know what to expect from the Branson Centre. Here in the UK, my Entrepreneur’s Circle supports several thousand businesses (who all pay a monthly membership fee). I felt sure there’d be some parallels and some ways that we could help, but I was blown away by my visit to Montego Bay in November. Jamaica has a special place in my heart. It’s where my wife and I were married 20 years ago and I often tell people it’s my cultural home (!), so I was hugely looking forward to the visit. It kicked off with me spending several hours doing some 1:1s with local entrepreneurs who were being supported by the Branson programme. The challenges and issues these people face are exactly the same as those we face here in the UK, and the sessions that day had a very familiar ring to them (fear of taking on staff, little or no use being made of their database, a start up doing everything except going out and getting customers and a lovely lady who had absolutely no idea how to sell). The following day we visited the Centre itself, to learn more about its story and hear about the plans for the weekend. I was hugely impressed by Lisa and her team.

Sunday’s big event at the Centre had an attendance of over 80 of the entrepreneurs that are active in the Centre. There was a ‘Pitch to Rich’ contest, in which three of them presented their case for some investment from the great man. He ended up offering to provide each of them a personal loan of U$10,000 on the basis that, as the loan was repaid, the funds went into a pot to be lent to other entrepreneurs from the Centre – a neat solution and a great idea that we’ve pinched and are now using in the UK! Over lunch, Sir Richard’s commitment to helping other entrepreneurs in a practical way came through in spades, and you can’t help but be impressed by the synergy that sees the Branson Centre supporting the countries and communities that have enabled Virgin Holidays to have so much success over the years. I agreed, over lunch, to effectively give the Branson Centre in the Caribbean access to all of our material that we use here in the UK. Subsequent to my return home our involvement has developed further. By gifting the Centre’s entrepreneurs full membership of the UK based Entrepreneur’s Circle, we can expand their horizons even further and give them even more practical help. We’ll also get some of them across to England this year to accelerate their growth even more. The work the Centre is doing is hugely impressive and the challenge now is for Lisa and her team to expand their reach so that there are many, many more businesses impacted by their work, right across the Caribbean. I can’t wait to play my part in making that happen… 13





Twenty new entrepreneurs with talent, drive, great ideas and the gusto to back it up. The eclectic and diverse group includes some true innovators and future business leaders. It is comprised of inventors, scientists, tech gurus, manufacturers and service providers, just to name a few. Similar to Cohort 5, females outnumber males by 40%. With an average age of 32 years, this set of mavericks has already earned some entrepreneurial stripes. Out of the twenty specially selected entrepreneurs, only two are pre-launch, with eighteen already operating businesses or have invested in their business model. More than a hundred entrepreneurs applied online, and after a rigorous screening process; including application review, telephone screening and in-person interviews, the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship - Caribbean selected those they believe have something to gain from their partnership with the Centre, as well as something special to offer the Centre, its network, the nation and beyond. From the moment they started their training in January, it was clear that these are not your average players.





(From Top to Bottom & Right to Left)

Andre Whittaker, Simply Perfect Events Staysean Daley, Kraas Images Yanique Grant, Professional Training & Occupational Services Ltd. Trevor Thompson, Vision Research Caribbean Ltd. Carol Lue, CaribShare Biogas Alison Turner, Turner Innovations Ltd. Tricia Williamson, Panache Communications Inc. Cyreca McGaw, McGaw & Company Theo Smith, Great House Caterers Sherika Trott, Go Dryer International Omar Evans, Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions Heather Rose, Always Summer Gebre Wallace, Artuvic IT Solutions Tamsyn Browne, Montego Bay Animal Haven Marie Wilson, DeJaFrut Tanya Batson-Savage, Blue Moon Publishing Patria-Kaye Aarons, Sweetie Confectionary Kerry-ann Parker, Eat To Live Chadwick Hood, Plaisirs Adult Toys JA. Group Felecia Williams, Real Farm Freshness



Motivation Behind… Marketing

Javette Nixon


For Javette Nixon, it is critical that he enables companies to attain maximum engagement with their target audience by communicating “the idea behind their brand.” His company, POINT Global Marketing (POINT), is an integrated marketing firm, to which businesses outsource their marketing and promotional activities; including digital marketing strategies, such as website development and social media campaigns, as well as outdoor promotional activities and broader strategic marketing initiatives. Here he tells us about his motivation behind marketing.

What led you to open POINT?

I believe in providing businesses with the tools to compete on a local, regional and international level. There are many businesses that are fantastic businesses, but lack the skills and knowledge needed to reach their target markets and


truly communicate their stories. I saw the need to assist businesses to develop marketing strategies that are impactful and innovative, and I saw a Jamaican market that needed those abilities. That is what has led me to start Point.

How has the company grown over the past five years and what is on the horizon?

Well, Point started February 2011, so this year we will be in operation for only three years. I have been really blessed to have a great bunch of people that work with me. I regard our ability to attract good people as Point’s first area of growth. Three years ago it was ‘me, myself and I’ in my apartment with one client: Assamba Law. Today, Point employs nine persons across two countries (Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago).

We have done work for over 50 different and distinct businesses, and we have had growth in revenues and clientele consistently since we started. On the horizon, we plan to grow aggressively. We are launching two new business units: Point Displays and Point Global Marketplace. I also intend to launch Point in the United States. These activities are designed to double our revenues. We intend to be the biggest and best in the Caribbean, and to be a force internationally.

As an outside agency, how are you able to successfully act as a company’s marketing department? The fact that Point is often outside our client’s businesses when we are engaged is our greatest strength. We are able to look with new eyes at the businesses that we work with and help them to unlock great brand development strategies. The fact is though, we work very hard to become a part of our clients’ businesses. Our model is not to act as an outsider, but to thoroughly and truly understand their business and transform it. As such, a staff member from Point is always assigned to a client to manage the relationship, we ensure we meet with our clients regularly and that the briefing sessions are comprehensive.

Who are your role models?

I am inspired by the work of public figures and entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart and Usain Bolt. I applaud their ability to transmit their ideas of who they are and what they represent, beyond what they do and persuade people to buy into it.


5 Tips for

a New Generation of Entrepreneurs Richard Branson recently blogged about the newly launched UK initiative Start-up Loans – a government-backed loan fund for 18-30 year olds who want to start up their own business. Virgin Money, Virgin Unite & other partners support the initiative. After participating in an engagement session with some of the programme’s entrepreneurs and mentors, Richard highlights 5 tips for a new generation of entrepreneurs that came out of that day:


Give it a go!

2. 4.

Sometimes you have to just say, “screw it, let’s do it.” The best way of learning is to learn from running a business.

3. 5.

Believe in what you do. Be confident and believe that what you are doing will make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Trust your instinct

Sometimes you have to go against the grain and follow your own instincts.

Click here to read full story.


It’s down to you Find the right people and delegate to them so that you can free up your own time to think about moving your business forward.

Get the business model right Find a market that is ripe for disruption and make sure your product is better than your competitors.





Tammy Thorborn-Browne is on the front lines of animal welfare. Through her non-profit organization, the Montego Bay Animal Haven, she is investing all of her time and efforts into provide loving care and protection for abandoned animals. Trained as a veterinary nurse, caring for animals has always been second nature to her. Tammy moved to Jamaica from England in 2002, and remembers being alarmed by the apparent cruelty and lack of knowledge about animal care she saw around her. For Tammy, caring meant taking action, and she started rescuing animals from the street and taking them home. Today, Animal Haven is an established non-profit organisation, and Tammy has provided care to hundreds of animals. She currently houses 51 dogs, 7 cats, 10 birds of various varieties, 5 chickens, fish and any other creature you can imagine. Tammy also goes into different communities, offering free sterilization clinics, deworming, and feeding stations for hungry animals who she doesn’t house herself. Montego Bay Animal Haven has also been actively engaged in creating awareness about animal care and protection among Jamaica’s youth through workshops held at schools. The response has been extremely positive, particularly amongst children, who exhibit a natural affinity to animals in need. She sees this as a positive impact on society because of her belief that “when you’re compassionate towards animals, that compassion rubs off on people and you respect life better.”


The future for Animal Haven looks bright. Through further fundraising and support, she hopes to establish a fully equipped sanctuary with facilities for dog obedience and agility training, boarding kennels for animals whose parents are on vacation, doggy-day care and a dog park. While she applauds the support recieved so far from volunteers, as well as the strong partnerships formed with veterinarians, the entrepreneurial potential of this venture is not lost on Tammy. Animal Haven will earn its own income through the services that will be offered while serving as a tourist attraction for animal lovers around the world. Tammy has without doubt caught on to the amazing potential of social media in fulfilling this mission. “Our Facebook page is our biggest support system, without it we would have crashed and burned a long time ago.” With over 2,000 likes on their Facebook page, Tammy tells how a couple from as far as Canada have gotten involved with the project. “They decided to adopt Noel, one of our puppies that was rescued after following his story on Facebook.” She packed up Noel and shipped him overseas to his new home. Over 20 dogs have been exported to date by Animal Haven. Fostering change and inspiring hope in others has certainly fuelled the mission that Tammy and her team of volunteers has embarked on at Animal Haven. This endearing mission holds much promise for Tammy and her team who always find room for one more animal in need of love and care!

screw it, I

let’s do it

In November 2013, Richard Branson and his son, Sam, paid Jamaica and his Branson Centre entrepreneurs a visit. They were on the island to celebrate the 2-year anniversary of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean, as well as raise funds for the support of Caribbean entrepreneurs and promote business as a ‘force for good.’ Joined by a special group of guests from the UK and USA whose immersion visit was organized through Virgin Holidays, it was a 3-day whirlwind of activity that included an exclusive fundraising cocktail party, site visits at entrepreneur’s businesses, a “Pitch to Rich” competition and a “Screw It, Let’s Do It” showcase at the Centre. From the taste of fresh fruit tropical smoothies (Flavours Express) to a winning pitch (Alpha Wear JA), Richard and guests left feeling inspired, excited and hopeful about the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Caribbean.


The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean

ignites businesses to operate in a sustainable and socially responsible way to improve livelihoods and transform the world.






195 + 91







Entrepreneurs per year

Virtual Platform: Interactive training centre & toolkit, mentorship matching hub, marketplace, social network


Local Community Ecosystem: Local partners, events & workshops, peer-to-peer connections, pitch competitions

Exponential Impact

Help support and expand the Branson Centre’s impact in the Caribbean. Contact



Lisa Lake

Chief Entrepreneurship Officer

Sharon Jarrett Centre Manager

Melissa von Frankenberg Partnerships & Communications Manager

Kerrie-ann Richards Entrepreneur Development Trainer

Lisandra Rickards

Entrepreneur Development Trainer

Donnelle Christian Relationship Manager

Maria Lunden

Volunteer Monitoring, Evaluation & Research Analyst

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Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Unit 14, Bogue City Centre Montego Bay, Jamaica 1-876-632-5134

eMedia Interactive Limited Suites 11-13 Technology Innovation Centre University of Technology 237 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6 970-5657

Branson Issue 6 Feb 2014  
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