12 6 EDITORâ€™S NOTE You can do well by doing good p.5 NEWS Scenes from Expo Jamaica 2012 p.7
DO GOOD Rev Michael Carter serving with love p.9 BUSINESS LOUNGE Transforming Jamaica through social entrepreneurship p.12 Inside Halls of Learning p.17 COLUMN Your taxes and you p.20 INSIGHTS Is your app worth a billion dollars? p.21
DIASPORA Roselyn Powell and the Brownsugar story p.23 START UPS Rebel Concepts rebranding the west p.26 Y-FOLLOW @JamaicaPegasus p.28
You can do well by
doing good A
cursory glance at the typical Jamaican newspaper headline is enough to give anybody a headache. Crime, poverty, corruption and other social plagues scream at us from the front pages, giving the impression that our country is on a road to certain destruction. What can be done to address the many problems we are facing and turn our fortunes around? One answer is to invest in social enterprise. Social entrepreneurs are people who go into business not primarily to make money but to address a problem they identify in the society. This can be done through non-profit organisations or for-profit companies. In short, they apply business principles to a social problem. In this issue, we were also introduced to another definition by Michael Rosberg, director of the Institute of Social Entrepreneurship and Equality (I-SEE), which offers an MBA programme for persons interested in the business of doing good. By his definition, social entrepreneurship entails creating a business that helps other people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder start their own enterprises and raise their standards of living.
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Whatever social entrepreneurship means, it is important that more people get involved in creating opportunities for others, whether through employment, better education facilities, improved health care or addressing environmental issues. On the subject of opportunities, the recent sale of photosharing application Instagram to Facebook for US$1 billion dollars, shows just how lucrative the apps development industry has become. We are calling on Jamaican developers to get involved and show the world what our people are capable of. No matter their circumstances, Jamaicans are big dreamers and many have ideas that, if given the chance, will change not only their lives, but the lives of others. What can you do to change your life or someone elseâ€™s today? Seize the opportunity and make the best of it.
Expo Jamaica 2012 The Jamaica Manufacturers Association and the Jamaica Exporters Association delivered another outstanding trade exposition to highlight the best of our local producers and service providers. Thousands of patrons descended on the National Arena between April 26-29 to view the over 300 booths, showcasing everything from food to clothing to home goods and technological products. Expo 2012 was definitely a success.
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Planning an investment strategy
for your retirement years
uring retirement, you need income that can keep pace with inflation. One way to earn this is through investment. Before you start, it is wise to complete a risk profile analysis. As a retiree, your risk profile would have changed to low, medium or high and you will need to match your investment with this profile. Visit www.milestoneslifestyle.com to download a free risk profile analysis. What is the meaning of low, medium and high risk profiles? Here is a breakdown: Low risk profile: This indicates that you can only invest in lowrisk options like bonds, Treasury bills (T-bills), foreign currency investments and savings accounts. Usually these types of investments provide returns that are a little below the inflation rate and the risk of losing your capital is low. This category is for investors who donâ€™t have additional income in excess of their guaranteed monthly income. Medium risk profile: This means that you can take a little more risk. Options include blue chip stocks and real estate. These investments provide for higher returns, but they also have a higher risk of losing your principal. If you have any fear of loss and how it will impact on everyday income, this option is not for you. High risk profile: This means that you have at least one yearâ€™s guaranteed income in excess of what you need and you have an appetite for risk. You would therefore be looking to invest in hedge funds, international equities and foreign exchange trading, which while volatile, can produce high returns. Retirees in this category usually have income from a family trust, in addition to their guaranteed retirement income. Investing can lead to high rewards, but be careful. Regardless of what your risk profile analysis reveals, you need to choose the option that will work best for you. Visit us online at www.milestoneslifestyle.com or contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Reverend Michael Carter Serving with love Reverend Michael Carter and his wife, Shelly-Ann
s a pastor, Reverend Michael Carter has devoted his life to serving others. It is the mission of his church, Dominion Centre located in Half Way Tree, so it is only natural that it forms the basis of his business, LoveFood by Michael Carter, founded last July. In fact, it was a brush with poor customer service at an upscale restaurant that prompted Rev Carter to get into business in the first place. “One night, I went out with friends to an anniversary banquet at one of our famous hotels in New Kingston. Because of my braces, I generally don’t eat in public unless I have my toothbrush. I called the headwaiter and asked him to package my dinner to go. Wrong move. He ran short and served my food to someone else. He then proceeded to turn the blame on me,” he explained. LoveFood currently provides lunch services for several offices in Kingston and also caters weddings, corporate functions and other events, operating from its headquarters at 80 Half Way Tree Road. The business currently employs four persons who are members of Dominion Centre. While his unpleasant experience at the hotel restaurant helped spawn a business, it was his difficult upbringing that spurred him to a life of service. Rev Carter became an orphan at seven when his mother died, having already lost his father at age two. He became a Christian at 12, which, he said, gave meaning to his life.
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In 2001, he quit his information technology studies at Excelsior Community College and went to Bible school. “After that, I attended a school of ministry in Seattle, Washington. I saw my mentor at work and it was beautiful. It was more than religion. It was a spiritual life with great social implications,” he said. Rev Carter has since put this principle into practice in his own ministry, with several outreach projects aimed at giving people less fortunate a hand up. One such project is Resting Place, which aims to purchase a house for two single-parent families. “It’s about getting people a break to make it again, so while we find these persons a job, the monies that would have been for rent can be used on tuition or saving towards their goals. So far, we have raised three million dollars. We hope to launch this house by late 2012,” he said. Another project is a free job bank for members of the church, which was launched on April 13. The empowerment programme for persons who did not complete primary or high school assists 15 persons with reading, mathematics and English. So far, four persons have found employment. Carter’s outreach efforts are supported by several companies in the business sector, friends and members of the church. The church will host its next event, Barbelicous BBQ and Concert, on Friday, May 25. www.ezinesreader.com
Business Lounge Real Business. Real Talk.
Transforming Jamaica through social entrepreneurship By Tracey-Ann Wisdom Photos by Warren Buckle
What comes to mind when you hear the term â€˜social entrepreneurshipâ€™? Operating a non-profit organisation? Developing a business that aims to fix a problem in the society? Devising ways to create employment opportunities for those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder while making a profit?
I do believe that we need more social entrepreneurship – the application of business training to problems that have societal value and impact.
Deika Morrison, founder of Crayons Count, colouring with students of the Sylvia Foote Basic School.
s it turns out, these broad definitions are all correct, to some degree. Social entrepreneurship means different things to different people, so there is no one correct definition. However, the common thread running through any description you will come across is that, at its core, social entrepreneurship is dedicated to solving societal problems.
The business of doing good “To me, social entrepreneurship means using business and/or entrepreneurship skills to solve real-world problems that have some social significance, for example education, healthcare [and] poverty alleviation. Social enterprises can be for-profit or not-for-profit,” said Deika Morrison, founder of Do Good Jamaica, an online database of civic organisations. Morrison, who considers herself a born social entrepreneur, is currently manning Do Good Jamaica’s project Crayons Count, an initiative started earlier this year to provide learning tools to basic schools across the island and to increase awareness of the importance of early childhood education. “Long term, we are looking to build a donorschoose.org type of model, where teachers upload projects they wish to have supported and people can donate online to specific classrooms,” she said.
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Morrison’s passion for service was ignited as a teenager in 1988. “I studied water and wastewater engineering because I lived in the aftermath of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 without water for three months. I couldn’t believe that billions of people live like that all over the world and decided I would try to help. It’s almost impossible to solve water and wastewater problems without financing and lots of it, so I studied finance. All throughout my career, the problems I have been deeply interested in have some social value,” she explained. Also known for her brief stint as a senator in the Ministry of Finance in the early 2000s, Morrison accepted the position “because the government has certain powers which, if exercised properly, can create great social change on a large scale, which is in fact the responsibility of government.”
Creating social stability Social entrepreneurship is by no means a new concept, but over the past few years, as the global economy has become more unstable and socio-economic problems become increasingly pressing, it is now the phrase on everyone’s lips. There has been a concerted push by business and social experts to get more people interested in creating businesses aimed at doing good.
Michael Rosberg, Director of the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship and Equity (I-SEE)
Certainly Jamaica, which is dealing with more than its fair share of socio-economic ills, including crime and violence, poverty and failing health and education systems, stands to benefit greatly from an infusion of businesses with a social conscience. “Jamaica’s social stability rests on the backs of countless men and women who give tireless and mostly under-appreciated service through the church, the community or a social club,” Morrison stated. “However, we find that many face challenges with sustainability and, in that sense, I do believe that we need more social entrepreneurship – the application of business training to problems that have societal value and impact.” Also sounding the call for social entrepreneurship is activist Henley Morgan, whose Agency for Inner-City Renewal (AIR) is dedicated to uplifting residents of depressed communities by making them the entrepreneurs, transforming areas of exclusion into places ripe for investment. AIR, based in Trench Town, partnered with the University College of the Caribbean to offer an MBA programme in the disciple through the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship and Equity (ISEE), chaired by Michael Rosberg, a Canadian expert in social work, education and development studies and author of The Power of Greed: Collective Action in International Development. The programme prepares graduate students to develop and support innovative wealth creation tools for people at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid.
Not a ‘poor thing’ approach I-SEE espouses a more narrow approach to social entrepreneurship. “We’re saying the person who is doing the social entrepreneurship must be tied economically to the person who is benefitting,” Rosberg said. In other words, the social entrepreneurs from the programme are trained to devise ways in which they can earn by helping others earn an income.
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“The question comes up, ‘If you’re poor, how are you going to pay me?’ Suppose I offer you service at the beginning, but we make an agreement that you’ll pay me from your loan when you get to a loan, then we make an arrangement with the credit union,” he explained. “If [our business plan] gets approved, the first payment from the credit union goes to me, the person who helped you. So that means I’m motivated to help you and the more people I’m motivated to help, the more money comes to me.” This approach, Rosberg said, does not treat people like ‘poor things’ but empowers them: “That’s getting into business with a person; if they succeed then I succeed.” Rosberg said Churches Co-operative Credit Union is currently investigating the possibilities of the I-SEE approach. One method being discussed for micro business financing is creating a venture capitalist fund. I-SEE has also approached various foundations and several major companies to funnel grants through credit unions for micro business development. In return, they would guarantee the support of the individual whose business gets the funding.
We are not short of problems and we are naturally an innovative people, so I believe that Jamaica is an ideal setting for nurturing social entrepreneurship.
Although this approach is different, it certainly has scope for success, given the hard-working, ‘hustler’ characteristics of the typical Jamaican, even those without means. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2010 report, Jamaica has one of the highest levels of early-stage entrepreneurial activity measured across 59 countries. The percentage of adults (18-64) with entrepreneurial intentions more than doubled between 2008 and 2010, moving from 17 per cent to 38 per cent and the established business ownership rate increased from nine per cent in 2008 to 16 per cent in 2009. Only the effects of the global economic crisis have caused the rate to fall, dropping to 11 per cent in 2010 as 64 per cent of local business owners reported a negative impact on business activities.
neurship. There is no reason that innovations here cannot be replicated in other countries.”
Opportunities ahead “They’re starting to come out of the woodwork. People who are looking to build up their businesses, they’re approaching us,” Rosberg said. The first cohort of 12 students is currently engaged with the business they have created out of their efforts so far, Social Entrepreneurship Association (SEA), to work with micro business owners in Trench Town. As the programme develops, it will incorporate more communities, both urban and rural.
However, government can assist these efforts by clearing up the red tape in business people often complain about and that she has seen first-hand. “Much unnecessary strife could be spared if the government would understand more about the reality - emphasis on reality - the private sector faces, and in turn the private sector understand more the legitimate - emphasis on legitimate - constraints of government and importantly, everybody show respect for each other,” she stated.
Morrison also sees further opportunities for social entrepreneurship in the education and health sectors. “These are significant expenditures with high capital and recurrent costs. By nature, sustainable interventions in education and health require an appreciation of the concept of making an investment to get a return,” she said. “We are not short of problems and we are naturally an innovative people, so I believe that Jamaica is an ideal setting for nurturing social entrepre-
Although they operate from different standpoints, both Morrison and Rosberg are of the view that emphasising social entrepreneurship is the key to addressing Jamaica’s problems. “In 50 years we are a highly indebted country with very serious problems in education, health, national security, poverty and the list goes on,” Morrison said. “Jamaica desperately needs implementers – people who will do and not just say or study. Jamaica definitely needs socially minded innovators.”
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However, as with any type of entrepreneurial undertaking, there are challenges to surmount, such as lack of funding and operational difficulties. “It would be helpful if entrepreneurship generally would be part of the curriculum from the earliest possible age. They are essential skills that are useful, even for people who work for others,” she said. Morrison also made it clear that the government cannot shoulder the responsibility of developing Jamaica alone. “Socially conscious businesses could achieve growth and enhanced social stability at the same time,” she said.
From reluctant teacher to ‘educational revolutionary’
Marvin Hall working with students from Denham Town High School during a workshop
ike many young people fresh out of university, Marvin Hall took a job as a mathematics teacher in 1996 to tide him over until he figured out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Little did he know that he was destined to continue along this path. In 2003, after teaching at Campion College, Camperdown High School and the American International School of Kingston (AISK) and lecturing part-time in educational technology at the University of the West Indies, the self-professed ‘Chief Educational Revolutionary’ created his own business, Halls of Learning. Education revolution “While at UWI, I read a lot about the
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inspired life of Marcus Garvey and once sat in on a talk on ‘Garvey as a man of learning’ by Tony Martin. In this talk, he described how Garvey travelled the world to learn about the conditions of black people across the Diaspora in order to be able to empower them,” Hall explained. “It was then that I coined Halls of Learning and its mission to empower lives through the highest quality educational experiences that were equal to, or exceeding, international standards.” Halls of Learning offers a series of handson math, science and technology courses through summer camps, outreach programmes and after-school activities to high school students across Kingston. Hall had introduced robotics to the AISK during his stint and also piloted a similar programme at Hillel Academy in 2004,
which was added to the school’s information technology curriculum the next year. The organisation is most widely known for its Lego Yuh Mind robotics workshops, which began in 2004. Hall collaborated with the education division of the LEGO Group and the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Academy to pilot the robotics workshops at Campion College. Since then, the programme has grown to incorporate youngsters from a number of other Kingston schools and inner city communities. Halls of Learning also launched Creations Lab at the National Children’s Expo in 2005, offering one- to two-week courses in video game programming, robotics, digital music and 3D animation. www.ezinesreader.com
Children from the Olympic Gardens community show off their certificates after completing the LEGO Yuh Mind Juniors workshop last year.
One hundred scholarships were awarded to inner city youth selected through community organisation, RAGE Jamaica. In 2006, seven of these students represented Jamaica at the Northern California For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) LEGO League, winning the Judges Award. They were the only team from the Caribbean. The business of learning As most parents would attest, education is expensive and specialised programmes like those offered by Halls of Learning do come at a higher cost. “Our aim is offer our products and services at prices that are sustainable by the market, cover our expenses and generate profits just like any business. Being within the education field, we have maintained our services at a very high standard and are not motivated by the ‘bottom line’, as would a regular business,” he said. “In educational services, for the most part, you get what you pay for. A lot of people don’t want to pay the price of what it costs to give their children the best learning experiences in the world. There are also a lot of persons who rather send their children overseas and pay three times the price for what we offer here that is considered ‘expensive’,” he added. “Our business model is sustained by the revenue earned from the services we offer. Our outreach programmes use volunteer staff and are funded by a portion of our profits.” Hall and his team are currently focused on the Lego Yuh Mind Day project, which is a series of one-day workshops that will provide 540 students from 12 Kingston schools with hands-on learning experiences in science, mathematics, technology and
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problem-solving through the building of autonomous robots. “The idea came about because we wanted to make a significant push to increase the number of Jamaican children that had been exposed to robotics as part of the goal of launching local robotics competitions and exhibitions,” Hall said. “So far, we have done 270 students at six schools. The children have been very enthusiastic and we always end up going longer than the scheduled time.” The project, which completes phase one in June, is being supported by materials donated by US company BreadPig. Three of the 12 schools have received sponsorship from PanCaribbean, Jamaica Money Market Brokers and WISYNCO. Increasing social entrepreneurship Hall, who was selected Reuters Stanford Digital Vision Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship in 2006 believes any business venture “should have a socially conscious component in order to consider the impact of your product or service on society.” In order for social entrepreneurship to grow in Jamaica, Hall recommended the following: 1. Access to small grants, loans and other sources of funding, even at a micro-level micro financing; 2. Locally implemented versions of Kickstarter and Indiegogo that allow anyone to present an idea and get it funded at different levels by a community of interested persons; 3. A shift in thinking where people are empowered to pursue their initiatives in baby-steps without the reliance on institutional support or government aid. www.ezinesreader.com
Your taxes and you F
Several things affected the amount of taxes you paid as a business owner: 1. The legal structure of your business 2. How much you made for the period filed 3. The sharpness of your accountant 4. Your acknowledge of the tax system
Your responsibilities as a taxpayer: 1. To register your business with the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) 2. Keep proper records that will enable you to provide accurate information 3. Notify the different bodies when closing a business 4. Pay on time - this enables you to save money by avoiding late fees and interest 5. Be honest 6. Provide timely responses to communications from the TAJ
Some might ask, why did we pay these taxes? Here are a few reasons for paying your taxes: 1. Social services 2. National security 3. Health care 4. Financial aid 5. Public education
Benefits of proper record keeping and paying taxes on time: 1. Attract investors 2. Obtain loans from lending agencies and banks 3. Big savings 4. Financially informed about the status of your business at all times
Whether you are a business owner, homeowner or individual, you are a taxpayer with rights and responsibilities.
As a small business owner, the paperwork can become overwhelming, but do not be fazed if you have a passion for success. If you need help, look for companies in support of small businesses and have them deal with the paperwork for you while you focus on the brain of your business.
or the past three months, we have been looking at income tax returns and statutory annual tax returns. Now that we have filed and paid these, we can relax a bit.
Your rights as a taxpayer: 1. To be informed at all times - you have the right to accurate written information 2. To complete confidentiality 3. To appeal against any decisions made by the tax commissioners that you are not in agreement with
What is tax avoidance? Email your answer to us at info@ innovationalservicesltd.com. The first person to answer correctly will receive a $200 phone credit.
Is your app worth a billion dollars? Lessons from Instagram
By Keresa Arnold
hen the news broke last month that Facebook had bought photo-sharing application Instagram for US$1 billion, it created significant buzz, and rightly so. To put the purchase in context, Instagram was only 551 days old at the time and had 13 employees and relatively no revenue. However, with its sale to Facebook, it was reportedly more valuable than the 116-year-old New York Times. Talk about instant success.
how to use the app and they didn’t have to navigate through too many features and options. One word: user-friendly.
App development has become increasingly prevalent with the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets as well as greater Internet penetration and data service across the globe. Instagram’s sale only highlighted the significant opportunities present in app creation and development.
Build loyalty. Instagram was initially available to iOS users and people loved the exclusivity of the app. If you didn’t have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, then you grew increasingly jealous at the awesome photos being shared. When it was made available on Android devices recently, iOs users were outraged, but they eventually got over it. If you create a great app, you will gain the allegiance of users because they know that you appreciate the fact that they are using your service.
According to social media site Mashable, Instagram is everything Facebook wants to be on your mobile phone. That is, to share photos of what you’re doing with friends while also sharing your location. With over five million users sharing more than 150 million photos last year, it was essentially Facebook’s competition and the social network decided the best way to compete was to take control of the app. Bold move. So bold, it is reported that Facebook’s board of directors only knew about the deal a few hours before it was final and three days after initial negotiations. Mark Zuckerberg is one brave man, but he clearly understands the value of a good app. The truth is, Instagram is simply an app that takes and shares photos. Surely there are local developers capable of creating an app that is just as useful and successful or better. Here are some les-
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Be different. Why develop a carbon copy of someone else’s app when you have the power to create something unique? That’s one of the main things about Instagram. There wasn’t a single app out there that was solely geared towards creating and sharing photos.
sons to be learned as it relates to developing successful apps: Focus on quality and leave revenue for later. If you are serious about making it big, it is important that you don’t take any shortcuts when creating your app, especially as it relates to quality. Instagram’s founders “were unusually obsessed with design detail. Once… they spent two hours perfecting the rounded corners of the app’s icons,” a New York Times article said. Keep it simple. When I decided to try out Instagram before writing this article, my initial reaction after downloading it was: “This is it? It’s so simple and… bare.” But then I realised that it was this simplicity that made Instagram so great. Users didn’t have to try and figure out
Don’t charge unless you have to and don’t overcharge. Users will love you more if the app is free. Instagram founders understood that the incremental value they were gaining over time was more significant than revenue they were losing from potential paid downloads. They were right.
To download Instagram for free, visit the App Store for iOS orGoogle Play. for Android www.ezinesreader.com
Sampars Cash and Carry A new way to shop
re you tired of spending your Saturdays or workday evenings waiting in long lines, at the supermarket cash register?
Then welcome to Sampars Cash and Carry, where a whole new shopping experience awaits you! Our 30-year track record of friendly customer service, low prices and high quality products remains unbroken, but as the times have changed, so have we. Sampars Cash and Carry introduces its easy, time-saving and hassle-free ways for you to get all the items on your grocery list, at our signature wholesale prices: t4IPQPOMJOF4JHOVQBOEDSFBUFZPVSBDDPVOU VTJOHPVS secure e-commerce website, select your items from our wide range of grocery products and more and choose how you want to receive your order. Shop using your either credit or visa debit cards. Itâ€™s as easy as that. Our special â€˜My Shopping Grocery Listâ€™ feature, tracks your orders so you never forget any of the key grocery items you have purchased. t *TMBOEXJEF EFMJWFSZ TFSWJDF :PV EPOU IBWF UP TUSVHHMF with heavy shopping bags â€“ we will deliver to you. Our nextday delivery service is island-wide, so donâ€™t worry if youâ€™re not in Kingston. Take advantage of our current special â€“ delivery anywhere in Jamaica for only $600. If online shopping isnâ€™t your thing, feel free to call or fax in your order or send us an email with your list. And if you still prefer to shop in person, come on over to our spacious, secure location at 233 Marcus Garvey Drive Kingston 11. Loyalty programmes Sign up for our Membership Club, free of cost, when you create your online account or come in to our location. You will receive a free Membership Club card account, where you can earn loyalty points from your purchases. You can use your points towards future purchases at Sampars Cash and Carry or at any of our partner locations. Thatâ€™s our way of saying thank you for shopping with us. Contact us: Log on to www.shopsampars.com Email firstname.lastname@example.org Visit us in store at 233 Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston 11 or call us at: 923-8733. Sampars Cash and Carry - Wholesalers to the nation... Serving you yourmoney ezine
and the Brownsugar story Powell changed careers in 2006 and hit a snag with Brownsugar as she no longer had the time to devote to its upkeep. “I had no one to hand over the networking side of the company to, which meant I had to scale down the events. I now run them periodically, according to demand,” she explained. Roselyn Powell, founder of Brownsugar Events and Travel Management Consultants
Many professional women often complain about not being able to find love, a fact that was not lost on Roselyn Powell, who was single herself. In 2004, as the speed dating phenomenon gained traction around the world, she recognised the lack of such events for people of colour in London and created her own company, Brownsugar Events, to fill the need.
he events were well received. The professionals that attended the events were mainly more women than men – which is often the case – in their late 30s, 40s and 50s who are quite financially solvent and no longer want the whole clubbing and partying scene,” Powell explained. Patrons soon began asking for more than the quick three-minute conversation window of speed dating. Brownsugar soon made the switch to full-scale event planning, organising ‘Networking & Socialising in Style’ in keeping with its professional clientele. Events included wine tasting, theatre trips, dinners and champagne brunches. Powell organised these events for two years while still working elsewhere and had a few success stories. “People have met at the events and have got married. People have successfully met, networked and made positive business connections,” she said.
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Despite the challenges and the subsequent downturn in the economy, Powell once again took the opportunity to evolve the business into something else. Drawing on her work experience and connections in the hotel and travel industry (she now works part-time with British Airways as a flight attendant), Powell is carving a niche for the rebranded Brownsugar Events and Travel Management Consultants in the luxury travel and event market, organising birthdays, anniversaries, team building and other corporate events and private parties in exotic locations around the world. “Most of my clients come from the members who attended the networking events and from word of mouth… Many of my clients are people of colour. I am constantly asked to arrange parties or locate an exclusive retreat in the Caribbean,” she said. Her clients’ interest in the Caribbean has Powell planning to base her business in Jamaica within the next two years. Born and raised in England to Jamaican parents, Powell always heard stories of ‘back home’. Her first visit was in 1974 with her parents and she felt an instant connection. Many other visits would follow, including a stint where she worked with National Children’s Home in Mona in 1991. “I have vast knowledge of the Caribbean, in particular Jamaica. I would like to settle in the sun. I am constantly striving to make and maintain strong links in Jamaica. The thing about being an event planner, all you need are your contacts and your laptop and away you go,” she said.
Rebranding the west By Keresa Arnold
Twenty-three-year-old Alex-Ann Green is motivated by her desire to be the best, and is undoubtedly on her way to making that a reality. After completing a joint degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology (UTECH), she obtained an MBA and started Rebel Concepts, her own marketing and branding business, along with partners Shanique Cunningham, Financial Director; Brittany Rhoden, Creative Director and Rochelle Williams, Public and Social Media Director. Leaning on the support of her tight-knit family, Green, who grew up in Montego Bay and attended Herbert Morrison High School, is now focused on making her business one of the best in the industry. The company has worked with a number of local and international clients, and is currently developing a new catalogue as well as organising a Western college and university expo in Montego Bay.
Since my teenage years, I [have] had entrepreneurial desires. The challenge was deciphering what exactly I liked and was passionate about, that would be sustainable. During my years at UWI/ UTECH I was elected to many positions along the lines of planning, marketing and branding, which I found quite fulfilling. When I finished studies in 2009, I approached partners and made preliminary steps to achieving my goal. Being broke, newly unemployed and fresh out of college naturally caused some setbacks, but with perseverance, things went into full swing in 2011. The company was given the name Rebel Concepts because we pride ourselves on going against the grain and leaving a mark in all we do. At the same time, it breeds curiosity, which we have seen
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quite a lot. We offer marketing, advertising and business consulting services. This market is very overlooked in the western region and we use that to our advantage. Recently, we have worked with Highway Escape Car Wash and Bar in Reading, Montego Bay to increase awareness about the venture and the activities happening there. We got a new accessory line off the ground in New York, [called] KI Collection. Also, we are working with SlangTeez, an innovative clothing line inspired by Jamaican music that just burst on the scene. The greatest challenge and greatest selling point I would have to say is youth. Youth seems to connote inexperience and the development of unattainable
ideas, while at the same time implying new, fresh thinking. The hardest thing has been trying to package this youth in a creative and appealing way. Stepping out is not easy, but it is worth it. Even if you fail you would have learned something to aid your success in the future. Also, people always recognise your efforts and something or someone will always come along to help you push forward. Never give up! But make sure you learn from all your experiences. In five years, I see the company being widely known. I foresee great success and expansion in employees, services, clients and ever-evolving concepts. I see us taking a solid position in the corporate arena of western Jamaica.
@JAMAICAPEGASUS One of the most well-known hotels in Kingston, Jamaica Pegasus is ahead of the social media curve and understands the importance of Twitter, showing a commitment to using the platform to reach new customers and communicate with existing ones. Tweeting since 2009, the account now has over 4,000 followers. Here are a few reasons why @jamaicapegasus is worth a follow:
t They get it. They know how important interaction is on Twitter and they never take for granted the fact that you’ve chosen to follow them. This is why you’ll find them interacting with you and retweeting other followers. t Ever wondered who was the person behind that ‘tweep’ you’ve been communicating with? Jamaica Pegasus removes that question mark by hosting a tweet-up, which is an event that brings Twitter followers together in one location. It’s also an opportunity to meet each other and network to build your personal brand, while connecting with decision makers. Free tickets to the event usually go very quickly, so you might want to keep an eye on those tweets to see when they announce the next one. t Giveaways. Everybody loves giveaways and Jamaica Pegasus is usually giving their followers a chance to win prizes that they can either redeem at the hotel or to attend different events being hosted there. t They sponsor the Jamaica Blog Awards, which recognises bloggers and their contributions to local dialogue. In only its second year, the Jamaica Pegasus was sold on the idea of the awards and has been a sponsor since inception. This is part of their plan to help nurture the development of the social media scene in Jamaica and they clearly are not afraid to invest in youth.
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