FOURTH QUARTER / OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2016
. T S
N I .
E L E
FOURTH QUARTER / OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2016
07 BUSINESS & INNOVATION Five tips to market your business during the ‘off-season’ Small Business Loans: Dedicated to 09 JN Improving the Lives of Jamaicans
Althea West-Myers JBDC set to launch ‘Accelerator Programme’ in early 2017
13 Here’s why you need a tax plan 15 TECHNOLOGY Women in Technology
SPOTLIGHT ‘Herboo’ … for you and your boo
Understanding Venture Capital
RAISING CAPITAL B.O.S.S Lady
Ms. Valerie Veira, J.P. Chief Executive Officer
Design & Layout Dhaima Garrell – JBDC Visual Communications Unit
Mr. Harold Davis Dept. Chief Executive Office
Editor-In-Chief & Content Coordinator Suzette Campbell – JBDC Corporate Communications Unit
Photography Colin Porter – Technical Services Unit
Assistant Content Coordinator Sancia Campbell – JBDC Corporate Communications Unit
CONTRIBUTORS As we draw the curtains on 2016, it is the time to reflect on our performances as individuals, organizations and a sector. As entrepreneurs, the strides you made were not without challenges, but with determination and support from agencies like the JBDC, you’re still in business! That’s great cause for celebration and thanksgiving. We will enter 2017 more determined and committed to see to the development and growth of Micro, Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs). Our beloved country is on a growth path which is heavily predicated on the success of this sector. Recognizing the critical role to be played by MSMEs, we hope that our efforts have impacted your mindset in a positive way. In November, we celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) under the theme: Empower. Invest. Accelerate. This theme is a reflection of the processes we have implemented to take our clients ‘From Concept to Market’. Once you enter the incubation system at the JBDC, you’ve entered the first phase which is empowerment implemented through assessment, research, training and product development. Our next duty is ensure that your business is investment-ready and as such, financial literacy was a major thrust this year demonstrated through the launch of our Financial Support Services Unit, training interventions, access to financing as the major theme at the Small Business Expo & Conference, partnerships with angel investors and delivering the perfect pitch at the Business Pitch Workshop staged during GEW. The final stage is acceleration, where your business is primed for growth and expansion through hand-holding support, business modeling and market access. In making your resolutions or plans for the new year, set achievable goals for your business, empower yourself through training and education as the role you play will be pivotal, invest in your business by implementing effective systems and processes which will attract investors and finally accelerate towards profitability with the JBDC team as the wind beneath your sails. Have a Merry Christmas and see you next year! Valerie Veira, J.P, CEO Jamaica Business Development Corporation
Suzette Campbell is a multi-award winning communications practitioner with 13 years’ experience spanning Public Relations, Journalism and Marketing in both public and private sector organizations. With a highly competitive spirit and creativity, she enjoys a good challenge and prides herself on leaving an indelible mark of success in her endeavours. Using her gift of writing, she hopes to win hearts and positively impact the lives of those on whose behalf she tells stories. Suzette is currently the Corporate Communications Manager at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation. Sancia Campbell is a PR Practitioner in the business and hospitality sectors with over 13 years experience in marketing, publicity and communications. An excellent writer and avid lifestyle blogger, Sancia enjoys reading, project management and events planning. She is currently the PR & Events Coordinator at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).
Andre Heslop is the Public Relations Assistant at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation. He is a graduate of the University Of Technology, Jamaica and holds a BBA in Business Administration with a major in Marketing. He has worked in a range of capacities within the marketing field from Marketing Officer to Customer Care Representative and has extensive experience with customer relations. Mr. Heslop is also a managing partner of the emerging Social U Consultants company, a social media marketing firm.
Serika Sterling is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAJ). She has over six (6) years’ experience in Jamaican taxation across two of the big four accounting firms. Currently the Managing Director at Senior Accounting Services, her experience in taxation spans many industries including; manufacturing & distribution, telecommunications, banking & finance and insurance. She loves to research and share what she learns with the public through her monthly tax blog. You may contact Serika Sterling at firstname.lastname@example.org or via www.sasjm.com
Development Bank of Jamaica JN Small Business Loans Ltd. Tax Administration Jamaica
BUSINESS & INNOVATION FOURTH QUARTER / OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2016 movement in the domestic market but global market development, creating pathways to capital for our entrepreneurs, as well as giving them a sound networking facility,” she said. As such, the JBDC’s Accelerator Programme will seek entrepreneurs in the marketplace with unexplored potential. “The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor tells us that Jamaica is the fourth most entrepreneurial nation in the world, yet we are not seeing it in terms of the GDP results we want to see. So we believe that if we can harness that, it’s critical to the success of the entrepreneur and the nation as a whole,” she added.
Althea West-Myers Business Advisory Services Manager – JBDC’
JBDC SET TO LAUNCH ‘ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME’ EARLY 2017 By Suzette Campbell
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is set to take entrepreneurs into overdrive with its new Accelerator Programme scheduled to be launched during the first quarter of 2017. Althea West-Myers, Business Advisory Services Manager says the programme is the only one of its kind offered locally, targeting high growth potential Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs). “JBDC has for some time operated a very structured programme of development for entrepreneurs, a guided development plan that is informed by gaps in the operations of our entrepreneurs, by what’s happening in the eco-system, as well as industry trends. We use that to develop a programme that our clients can use. Our existing programme of incubation currently includes over 200 enterprises receiving assistance through our Business Monitoring Programme,” explained Mrs. West-Myers. JBDC’s business monitoring programme is designed as an eighteen to twenty-four-month hand-holding intervention. Entrepreneurs who seek business support from the JBDC are assisted in starting, managing and growing successful, profitable enterprises. The programme specializes in helping fledgling businesses make a turn-around. The monitoring programme has been effective in achieving significant up-scaling of enterprises since its formal inception just over two years ago. According to Mrs. West-Myers, the Accelerator Programme is the next big step. “One of the main pillars of entrepreneurial success is the individual behind the business and so when people ask me about the reason for business failure, I tell them more often than not it is the person behind it. Therefore, we are very invested in developing the entrepreneurs themselves and helping them to inculcate as a part of their being in the entrepreneurial mindset. Also the development of markets; facilitating
Mrs. West-Myers says although there are other accelerator models being offered to local entrepreneurs, theJBDC’s programme is unique in that it offers a comprehensive suite of business development services which are available only together at JBDC. “Nowhere else in Jamaica can you find a comprehensive suite of business development services. For example, the average accelerator whether here or across the world will help an entrepreneur on the business development side. Often times persons are prepared and they get to the stage where they are given a pitch but the product itself is not market-ready, has not been market tested, has not been screened and they have done no customer development. So what we are offering as our accelerator is a balance of both. When you get to the stage where you’re pitching to an investor, you have a product that has been screened, that has been market tested, we would have helped you to prepare a minimum viable product - some kind of prototype that you’re going take into the marketplace,” she explained. With divisions such as Project Management & Research and the Incubator & Resource Centre, the JBDC is equipped with experts and facilities to assist with market research and product/customer development respectively leading to full blown business development at the Business Advisory Services Department where the necessary pivoting is done on the business model. “What’s the unfair advantage in this accelerator? While others are offering coaching support, we are offering you access to capital. We just saw the signing of the MOU with First Angels. This accelerator is the medium through which you get to the place where you’re pitching before First Angels and other investors. It is a detailed 6-month curriculum which offers you mentorship, connectivity, workspace, an executive in residence programme, advisors in residence, a black box of support systems and access to professional pro bono services,” she added. There will be a rigorous selection process using an online filter to enroll a cohort of 20 persons who must course meet the evaluation criteria, agree to some branding stipulations and allow JBDC to take some programme entry metrics. Participants will be exposed to mentors, business model testing and validation, assistance with creating a minimum viable product, preparation to access funding, start-up weekends, boot camp training, networking events, and preparation for pitching at the end. The graduation will entail either a pitch before angel investors or a demo day. The JBDC will also take metrics at the end of the programme and participants will also be required to allow the organization to do evaluation up to two years after they’ve exited the accelerator. Mrs. West-Myers says the success of the programme will be evaluated based on outcomes from both the client and JBDC. “So for clients, we are going to be looking at their traction – number of early adapters to your product, increased sales/revenue, the amount of matched funding with angel investors and the new markets that you have entered. We will use metrics to assess ourselves in terms of the number of clients who have accessed funding, the number of business models we’ve validated, the degree of scaling during and after the programme, and the expansion of the sector,” she said.
BUSINESS & INNOVATION FOURTH QUARTER / OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2016 FIVE TIPS TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS DURING THE ‘OFF-SEASON’ By Sancia Campbell
your best source for garnering new clients because they have experience with you and your products. And when they keep coming back, that means they like your service or products.
The dreaded ‘off-season’, many entrepreneurs perceive that it is the worst time to be in business. Sales slow, the buzz decreases and the business becomes a virtual ghost town. But guess what, it does not have to be and in reality, it shouldn’t. Entrepreneurs and their marketing teams should take the time to generate new ideas, capitalize on leads and use the off-season wisely to prepare the business for smashing successes when peak season returns. The following are some tried and true tips for marketing your small business during slow season: Get social and stay there – Firstly, if your business is not online, then you are effectively not reaching a significant amount of your market. Social media plays a big role in keeping the business at the forefront of the customer’s mind. Utilize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube to continuously generate and share messages, customer reviews, new and revamped products, tips and just about any relevant information about the business. You can also use the platform to run contests, offer discounts and generally keep in touch with your client base. Use up your database – So you’ve spent years building a customer database. You have contact information, product preferences and information about specific customer interests’ at your fingertips, what do you do with the information?! There are several actions that come to mind.
- Cold calling: Cold calling is a great way to prepare for the next season. It will give the entrepreneur an opportunity to find out what the specific needs of the customer are for the upcoming season and provide insight as to how the business can prepare to meet those needs. - Emailing: Sending emails are another great way to keep in touch with clients. Be careful though that your messages do not become spam. Use acceptable time lapses between messages to engage with your customers. Be sure however, that you are delivering high-value content to their inboxes. This will prime the business for success when the season returns. Reward existing customers and lure new ones – Let’s face it customers love free items, particularly if they have supported your business year in, year out. Nothing solidifies their loyalty to your business more than free samples of their favourite products. This will give your business an edge over your competition which may not offer programmes like this for their loyal customers. Use the off-season to reward customers by offering incentives for early orders. Incentives may include discounts or they may qualify for longer credit terms etc., Rewards programs are just another inexpensive way to market your business and gain new customers by offering a valuable freebie. Also, create a referral programme where existing clients may refer up to a specific number e.g. 5 new customers to qualify for additional discounts. Remember your existing customer base is
Identify a niche and operate therein – Capitalize on your earnings during the slow season by identifying niche markets in order to keep the business steady. For example, if you are a tailor/seamstress who only sews uniform for say 5-10 high schools, your busiest period would possibly be between April-August of each year. During the months of September to March, you could offer a special on uniforms to nurses or doctors or any other specific profession. Notice, you are still within your expertise but instead of focusing on the group that provides the lion’s share of the business, you are focused on a niche market that can help to pay those bills which are guaranteed to come in at the end of the month. Extend your season – How many of you have noticed the numerous ‘Christmas in Summer’ promotions now taking place in the market? Well if you haven’t, then it’s time you do. What these businesses, (albeit they may be bigger than yours) have done is to generate interest in their oducts while creating a certain buzz around their offerings. As a small business owner, you may not be able to afford the marketing campaign, but certainly within your database and your network, you should be able to identify products which can benefit another customer segment during the slow period. Of course, there is much more that you can do to keep the buzz going during off-season; these tips should however do your business justice if they are applied in a strategic manner.
Life Opportunities Loan Possibilities
>BG6@ ~ 32 1/2 Duke Street, Kingston
BUSINESS & INNOVATION FOURTH QUARTER / OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2016 JN SMALL BUSINESS LOANS:
DEDICATED TO IMPROVING THE LIVES OF JAMAICANS Since its inception 15 years ago, JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL) has designed and implemented its financial products and services to improve the operations of small entrepreneurs; facilitate growth in the economic life in their respective communities; and, better the lives of ordinary Jamaicans through responsible lending. Guided by its mantra, ‘Believing in You’, the island’s premier microfinance company has assisted thousands of Jamaicans to achieve their dream of owning their own businesses. In the past financial year, JNSBL disbursed approximately 14,000 loans, valued at more than $1.3 Billion; and, since its inception has assisted in the creation and maintenance of more than 100,000 thousand jobs, particularly in the retail, agriculture and manufacturing sectors. As responsible lenders, JNSBL through one-on-one consultancies and regional seminars provide sound management advice to clients about: creating business plans, marketing strategies; and meeting their loan obligations in a timely manner. In addition, through its trained Credit Relations Officers, the company offers guidance to clients as to how to remain viable, particularly in the current harsh economic climate.
innovations, have given JNSBL the tools to tap into the market, particularly among young, tech-savvy persons who want to transact business with the organisation in a new environment. Mrs Gillian Hyde, who has been guiding the directions of the company since last year, speaks optimistically about its current initiatives. "Our Relationship Centre brings clients in to discuss their operations; and, has improved the company's client relationship. In addition, we are now operating from 26 locations, which are in every parish," she stated. And, she pointed out that, "Through our increased use of technology, we can further meet their needs by providing exceptional and timely service.” A pioneer in the quality and range of loan products offered to operators in the micro, small and medium sectors, the company recently added a personal loan product to its portfolio. It will assist clients faced with personal and medical emergencies.
The personal loan allows clients to borrow up to $500,000 to cover these emergencies, or educational expenses; as well as, to purchase furniture and appliances. To qualify for a personal loan, applicants must be permanently employed to, or the same entity for a minimum of two years; have two written valid recommendations; and, be willing to repay the loan via salary deduction. In addition to the personal loan, JNSBL also offers an education loan; and, business loans such as, the BizGrow and BizBoost for entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses. And, there is also, the TEF 5x5x5 loan for persons in the tourism sector; and, a motor vehicle loan. All of these products and services give JNSBL the ability and flexibility to reach out to a wide cross section of potential entrepreneurs; and, positions the company as one that is dedicated to improving the lives of Jamaicans.
This approach was recognised earlier this year when the Caribbean Micro Finance Alliance commended and rewarded the company for addressing the well-being of its clients. The award demonstrated JNSBL's dedication to improving the lives of the people it serves. Internally, the company revamped its website to facilitate online applications. And, recently, launched a new loan management system, "MAMBU", which allows its Credit Relations Officers to process loans on site; and, enables clients to check their balances online. These technical
erboo is for you and your boo,” was Javin Williams’ winning punch line at the Pitch Perfect Competition held recently during JBDC’s Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations. It took Javin only 40 seconds to win over the judges and the audience, claiming the top prize of $100,000 cash from Development Bank of Jamaica and a C & W business package. “I was nervous after hearing the previous contestants make their pitch, thinking to myself ‘these are such amazing ideas, how can I compete with my small idea?’ I just wanted to leave the room and go home. Although I had participated in various international pitch competitions the “One-Minute Pitch Competition” at the JBDC’s Pitch Perfect Workshop was one of the more challenging ones. I took a deep breath, did some quick rehearsals in my head and pondered the points previously outlined in the Workshop. I went up and did what I had to do and was surprised I came out the winner,” Williams of Herboo Corporation (who will be referred to as JW) recalled his experience. Although his initial career choice was to become an ordained pastor or an agricultural specialist, the entrepreneurial path appealed to him more and more after finding a simple solution to a big personal problem. In only four years, Herboo Corporation has become a recognizable name and has experienced much success on the local and international scene, winning various competitions and awards for its innovativeness and general appeal. Javin sat down with the Business Dialogue and shared his story. How did you conceptualise your business? JW: I had a dandruff problem. It was becoming a nuisance and I tried existing products on the market but was unable to cope with the side-effects that came with them such as dryness. I sought a natural remedy from my grandmother and she advised me to use the herb rosemary, lemon grass and peppermint. I then researched and formulated a shampoo using purely natural ingredients. How was the business financed? JW: My business was initially financed by donations. I did a quick mockup of the product and tested it with couple of friends first. After receiving favourable feedback and recognizing that there is a demand for the product, I thought to ask for donations towards production. In return for a donation they would receive a bottle of the product. Grants won from competitions and business loans assisted us in furthering our production capablility. How has your journey been? JW: My journey has been extremely challenging because I am an introvert, a science student and knew nothing about business so starting a business was an obvious challenge paired with the demands of engaging my stakeholders. Secondly, I had no initial capital but had an unshakeable drive to start my own business and see it through. Thirdly, there was a lot of skepticism about me starting a business and skepticism surrounding the product itself. It was said that an all organic shampoo would never work.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow as an entrepreneur? JW: Firstly I take a look at my business plan regularly to assess where I’m at and what to prioritize. I also love to read inspirational material, listening audiobooks, watching motivational videos and a lot of Rockefeller books. What are the products offered by Herboo? JW: Herboo currently has as its product line a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, hair and body oil and a body wash. We aim to expand these lines in the very near future and stay true to our core vision of making products organically.
o o b r e H ‘ FOR YOU AND YOUR BOO’ by Andre Heslop
Managing Director of Herboo Corporation, Javin Williams (centre) collects his $100,000 prize money from Keisha Facey from the Development Bank of Jamaica (left) and Suzette Campbell from Jamaica Business Development Corporation (right). Mr. Williams won the $100,000 prize for the JBDC Pitch Perfect competition which was held in November as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations.
What is your greatest fear and how do you manage fear? JW: My greatest fear is not doing my best when I know I can do better. To manage this fear, I ensure that I plan ahead, having both a Plan B and Plan C in the back pocket. Which awards have you won? JW: I have won several awards since I’ve started the business process and in various categories: The Best Herbal Shampoo The Best Business Plan (First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union)
The National Business Model Competition 8th in the International Business Model Competition 2015 Mogul in the Making Nexus Youth Summit Pitching Competition What motivates you? JW: Among my many motivations there are 3 that are always at the forefront: 1) The fact that people are depending on me to succeed 2) To make the impossible possible 3) The future of Herboo; it excites me and I look forward to making it a household name. What have been your most satisfying moments in business? JW: After a couple months working on the business, I managed to acquire the use of a factory to increase my production. As I saw my first batch of products on the conveyor belt, I got very emotional seeing my dream and hard work coming to fruition. Another moment which has stood out is a review I received on Facebook about a customer in Florida who was experiencing hair loss for a few years and seeing a specialist who was unable to help her with her problem. She came across my product and used it a couple of times and she started to see an improvement in her hair. Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 - 20 years? JW: I see Herboo owning our own building; one that will enable us to expand our entire operation. This building will house a holistic wellness centre focusing on organic or all-natural products and therapy. The building will facilitate a central distribution site to all our retailers. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? JW: My advice is, nobody will believe in you the way you believe in you. Planning and preparation is very important in everything you do as an entrepreneur. Additionally, one of the most important things I can say is serve the customer.
BUSINESS & INNOVATION FOURTH QUARTER / OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2016 HERE’S WHY YOU NEED A TAX PLAN By Serika Sterling
Though running any type of business brings with it some inherent risks, we all know that a business with a sound plan is more likely to succeed. Unfortunately, it is often the case that while entrepreneurs may have all sorts of business plans in place, little or no importance is placed on having a tax plan. Many say, “I just have a one-man shop; surely I don’t need a tax plan”. But aside from the fact that a “one-man shop” needs to pay taxes, do you intend to remain a “one-man shop forever?” – I don’t think so. Therefore, the same importance placed on planning a marketing or growth strategy should be placed on tax planning. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. What is Tax Planning? Tax planning involves considering the implications of current and future business decisions with a view to legally minimize or delay tax liabilities. Although our tax legislations were created to ensure that everyone pays their fair share, they also afford all taxpayers the right to organize their financial affairs in such a way so as to minimize their taxes whenever possible. This may allow you to have more money to invest in your business or otherwise. With the assistance of your tax professional, a simple tax plan can help you to understand, among other things: • how diﬀerent types of income are taxed
Why is Tax Planning Important?
Tax Avoidance or Tax Evasion
The biggest mistake many businesses make is to not concern themselves with taxes until February or March - seemingly with the hopes that the government will somehow decide to abolish taxes before they are required to file or pay. However, during this period of indecision, you may have committed tax blunders that could possibly cost you millions in otherwise avoidable taxes. The aim is to plan the future of your business with taxes in mind to make sure you don’t have to learn these lessons the hard way.
There are many mistakes people make when it comes to tax planning that could cost a business significant amounts of money. Outside of not planning at all, is not knowing the difference between tax avoidance (legal) and tax evasion (illegal).
Furthermore, the space in which we now do business transcends borders. With technology, you can have a business registered in Jamaica, your main supplier in China, your accountant in the United States and a customer base anywhere in the world. You would now, not only have to concern yourself with the local taxing legislations, but of all these countries as well. A tax plan can help you to understand the differences in; tax systems, tax rates, business incentive provisions, and compliance requirements. The above brings to the fore, some of the reasons why tax planning is important. With at least a general understanding of the potential impact of taxation on your business, management is better equipped to make everyday business decisions. Some of the decisions that a tax plan may assist a business in making are:
• how to utilize tax deductions to reduce your taxable income
• Timing of fixed assets purchase
• the availability of industry specific tax credits or relief
• Applicability of industry specific tax relief
• the tax implications of doing business overseas or with a related party This may seem onerous, but your initial tax plan need not be 100 pages long, very technical or even very detailed. A simple written list of the impact of taxation on certain key decisions can act as a road map and make a huge difference to your business’ life and performance.
• Valuation method for inventory
• How to structure compensation for employees, contractor, etc. • Which corporate structure to employ (sole proprietor, partnership, etc.) • What to invest in (shares, capital venture, etc.) • How best to negotiate business deals in other countries and with related parties
Tax avoidance is using our “beloved” tax legislations to reduce one's tax liability, by taking advantage of beneficial tax-law provisions. For example, securing a tax relief, utilizing tax credits, and generally making maximum use of all applicable tax breaks available. This is the objective of tax planning. On the other hand, Tax evasion is seen as an illegal attempt to avoid filing or paying taxes, which could land you in jail. This includes, failure to file returns and non-payment or underpayment of taxes. I often hear persons say “I wasn’t evading, I just didn’t know”. Well, sad to say, all laws are considered public knowledge, as such, ignorance of the law cannot be used as a defense. Consequently, you will still be held liable for tax evasion though you may be unaware that the practices you are engaged in are considered as such. Last Word We all know that our tax laws change almost every year and the new rules and regulations seem to become increasingly complicated. Therefore, the importance of keeping abreast of changes and implementing sound tax strategies cannot be overemphasized. One of the best ways to achieve this is to seek professional tax planning help – this is usually money well spent. Ensure however, that whomever you are engaging to assist with your tax planning needs has verifiable tax experience, to avoid being short changed. Serika Sterling is a Tax Specialist and Managing Director at Senior Accounting Services. Email: email@example.com, Twitter: @sas_jm, Website: www.sasjm.com
Innovation that excites NISSAN
X-TRAIL • Robust Capability • Family Proof Interior • Seriously Stylish
READY OR NOT. THE ALL-NEW 2016 NISSAN
No more compromises! Combining smart urban design and offroader toughness, the new Nissan X-trail is both dynamic and elegant. From its sculpted lines to streamlined curves, it is designed to adventure in style and get the most from every journey. Ready or not, the X-Trail is here to take you on an adventure!
Family proof interior
5-18 Hanover Street, Kingston
TECHNOLOGY FOURTH QUARTER / OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2016
WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY By Naomi Webb, https://uxmag.com/articles/women-in-technology
Women are quite literally breaking through the glass ceiling that once stood in their way and are standing alongside their male peers to deliver incredible results within the tech world. Not only does their presence shatter the concept that technology-related career paths are only open to men, it gives the tech sector a far more approachable and down-to-earth touch showing how technology is not only about super intelligent male coders, testosterone-fueled board meetings and violent video games, which (dare we say) are often thought to be more male-orientated. It also encourages those who maybe aren’t so tech-savvy to take note – after all, there’s some pretty epic female empowerment and, often dominance, going on here. One such example of a woman who is pushing through all barriers when it comes to gender roles and proving that chicas and computers really mix is Sheryl Sandberg. As the COO of Facebook and Forbes’ most powerful woman in technology, she’s a stand-out figure within the industry renowned for her hard graft and personal fortune of $1.4 billion. She’s a top executive at the world’s fifth most powerful brand but also a voice for female empowerment in the workplace and shared responsibilities at home. Sandberg is living proof that women can succeed within the technology sector, having helped boost revenues at Facebook 66-fold since becoming COO in 2008. What’s more, the good news is Sandberg is just one of many women taking key roles within top technology companies
standing proud alongside the likes of YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and HP CEO Meg Whitman. Positive impact on company profits A 2016 Peterson Institute study has also confirmed how women and technology is a powerful mix in business revealing that the inclusion of women in leadership roles has a positive impact on company profits. The survey of 21,980 companies across the globe across 92 countries found that companies with at least two women in executive positions in the C-Suite (a company’s most important senior executives) and two women in board positions had a higher turnover than those without this kind of diversity. Why? Well, it’s thought having both men and women in top positions leads to a more inclusive company culture which seems to be a powerful formula for building profits. A diverse workplace has been shown to be a more rounded and proactive one with inclusive leaders of both sexes using the following attributes to bring out the best in their staff: Empowerment, accountability, humility and courage. Businesses looking to develop a company of inclusion are advised to attract female candidates and ensure diversity runs throughout each sector of the workplace. To conclude, it’s clear that women have greatly improved many aspects of technology to date and look set to do so for many years to come.
Jamaica Business Development Corporation extends heartfelt gratitude to its partners who contributed to the resounding success of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016 celebrated November 14 â€“ 17, 2016. Once again, we demonstrated the immense value to be derived through public and private sector partnerships in the pursuance of our common goal to contribute to the development of the economy by strengthening the capacity of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMSEs). Through the staging of daily events focusing on women entrepreneurs, financing, investment and new business opportunities, we left an indelible mark on participants, thereby fulfilling our theme: Empower. Invest. Accelerate.
RAISING CAPITAL B.O.S.S Lady
JBDC Head Office: 14 Camp Road, Kingston 4 Tel: 1-876-928-5161-5
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org FIND US ON www.jbdc.net
BUSINESS & INNOVATION FOURTH QUARTER / OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2016
UNDERSTANDING VENTURE CAPITAL The Development Bank of Jamaica has implemented the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme to develop a viable and sustainable venture capital and private equity industry in Jamaica. Venture capital is a sub-set of the private equity asset class which looks at companies in the start-up to growth stages of the business life cycle. Private equity provides long-term, stable and committed capital to help companies not listed on a stock exchange to grow and become successful businesses. If you are looking to grow or expand your business, then venture capital may be a financing option you may want to consider. Equity investments differ from loan financing as an equity investor exchanges financing for a stake in your company as a shareholder. The equity investor’s returns are dependent on the growth and profitability of your business. On the other hand, a debt financier (usually banks) has the legal right to interest on a loan and repayment of capital regardless of whether your business fails or succeeds. Many small companies are ‘life style’ businesses whose main purpose is to provide a good standard of living to the owners. These businesses are in many cases created out of necessity to provide employment for the owner. Necessity-based businesses are not generally interesting to an equity investor as they are unlikely to provide the financial returns required and may not have the ability to scale and grow.
For additional information, contact: Jamaica Venture Capital Programme Development Bank of Jamaica 11a-15 Oxford Road, Kingston 5 Tel: 929-4000 www.venturecapitaljamaica.com
What type of business is attractive to equity investors? Venture Capital and Private Equity investors are attracted to businesses that can grow and scale. If your answers to the following questions are yes, then equity investments may be right for your business. • Does your business have high growth prospects? • Does your company have a product or service with a competitive edge and a potentially large market? • Do you or your management team have the relevant industry experience? • Are you willing to sell some of your company’s shares to a private equity investor?