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FIRST QUARTER / JANUARY - MARCH 2017
05 BUSINESS & INNOVATION JBDC Opportunity Evening Explores Dance & Theatre
The Creative Economy: Real or Imagined?
08 SPOTLIGHT Ity & Fancy Cat
How a 16-year-old Kid built his Dream Video Game Company with no Money
Where to go when the Bank says No
Proposal Writing Workshop Delivers $125 Million!
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 Jamaicans are a dynamic, creative and talented people with a unique charm and spirit. Our rich culture is a major selling point for tourism and is often what sets us apart from the ordinary island with just sun, sand and sea. As we are also an entrepreneurial people, over the years we have found ways to make aspects of our culture a business, commanding international acclaim on the way to stardom. We need to look no further than cultural icons like the famed Bob Marley and Louise ‘Miss Lou’ Bennett-Coverly who paved the way for a cadre of talented Jamaicans in the performing arts. Ahead of their time, their legacy lives on through generations and borders. I take this opportunity to commend the administrators of the Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts, “the only one of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean”, as they proudly state every time, for having the had the vision and fortitude to take our culture as seriously as any other subject matter. No longer should dancers, musicians, actors, poets, artists, writers, etc. view their craft/talent as a hobby, but rather a sustainable business. I was heartened by the presentations and discussions at our recently held Opportunity Evening which explored ‘The Creative Economy: Real or Imagined’ with a focus on Dance and Theatre. What an enlightening and intellectual discourse it was! I thank the persons who led from the panel, for taking the time out to partner with us as we fulfill our mandate to develop the MSME sector. Indeed, the Orange Economy is a business with immense potential. Let’s squeeze it for all it’s worth! One Love! 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.
Melissa Bennett, Manager, Financial Support Services Unit at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation has over 15 years consulting and business development experience, with specialised experience in strategic and financial planning, financial modelling and business valuation. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Management Studies and a Masters in Business Administration with specialization in banking and finance.
BUSINESS & INNOVATION FIRST QUARTER / JANUARY - MARCH 2017
JBDC’s ‘OPPORTUNITY EVENING’
EXPLORES DANCE & THEATRE WHAT THE EXPERTS SAID… By Suzette Campbell
n March 15, 2017, the stars came out to JBDC’s Opportunity Evening under the theme “The Creative Economy: Real or Imagined?” held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. The Opportunity Evening is a quarterly event designed to bring together the brightest minds within specific industries to discuss issues and identify ways in which these industries can experience further development and contribute to economic growth. The panel of experts focused specifically on dance and theatre, while the evening also featured performances from Randy McLaren and Shady Squad. Lucrative Laughter “I learned from early that this thing called laughter can be harnessed in a way to make your life better. It became for me the great escape from my own reality. For a long time, ‘Bello and Blakka’ were the only comedians in Jamaica and we had day jobs. Now there are people who make a living doing just comedy. In 2004, I encouraged ‘Ity’ to leave his job as an Accountant at Strawberry Hill. Interestingly, ‘Ity and Fancy Cat’ now command bigger money than I can ever command, but that’s ok because I’m behind the scenes a help them count the money. There’s comedy every night in Los Angeles. Jamaica has what it takes to that, but we do not want to invest in this kind of business because we think it’s a joke thing. Is laughter lucrative? Yes! We can all laugh together to the bank.” Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis - Actor, Playwright Dancing: From the Streets to the Screens “There’s a dancer I came across in Dancing Dynamites and I knew there was something special about him. I found him a scholarship to Edna Manley. A very good sponsor paid for him. He had never done modern dance in his life; never pointed his foot, never flexed, never lifted up his leg. In year one, he got the highest grade in modern dance! He stayed true to dancehall because that made him special. The North American market is pushing; Jamaican dancers need to push back. There must be something that will make people across the world call you. You can learn from North America, but don’t adapt their style because then you will be colonized. In final year, we worked on his promotional video and he auditioned for a company in Canada and was successful. I told him to brand himself with a name, get a website and social media pages and he took all the advice. His name is Mikail ‘Venom’ Morris. ‘Venom’ is doing videos, teaching in South America, the United States, all over. He has branded himself and created a whole following behind him. I’m so proud of him. If your child comes
BUSINESS MEETS THEATRE … Chief Executive Officer of JBDC, Valerie Veira (front row, centre) and Deputy CEO, Harold Davis (back row, centre) posed for a picture with (from left, front row) – Actress: Rosie Murray and Producer & Comedian: Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis. Back row, from left; Randy McLaren: Dub Poet, Sheldon Shepherd from the Nomaddic Movement and Actor & Producer: Ian ‘Ity’ Ellis.
to you and says ‘I want to be a dancer’, what will you say to them? Follow your dream. Follow your passion. It is not a hobby. It is a career.” Marlon Simms - Asst. Dir., School of Dance - Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts Lessons from the Orange Economy “I think the main thing I want to leave everybody with this evening is, we have the product, but do we understand how we operate? Who are we sending it to? Netflix is taking content all the time. ‘Orange is the New Black’, ironically, the word orange, is the biggest thing on Netflix. And now some of those ladies featured in it are now appearing in some major things. I want us to look beyond ‘I’m a writer and I have a nice story to tell.’ But then the story goes nowhere. We talk about Broadway. Government did not build Broadway. And everything that happens is private sector driven. We as creative people need to come together and do what we need to do. There’s $10 trillion out there. I’m going for mine. Come and get yours.” Dahlia Harris - Actress, Producer, Playwright Formalizing the Creative Economy “In terms of the legislative framework, a lot things need to change. Formalizing the creative economy is important because you hear the outcry of many of the practitioners. Part of it is not only on them. Part of it is on the policy side. I was talking to a good friend of mine in the Entertainment Ministry and one of the big things affecting Ocho Rios is the Noise Abatement Act. The ‘night economy’ is losing millions of dollars as the police lock off the dances. At the regional level, sport is not regarded as entertainment. But in Jamaica, sport is entertainment because we carry our dutch pot on so on to the National Stadium.
We need to ensure that we understand what we mean by the creative economy. Canada is very big on the quota system. For example, they will say if you’re going to play music on the radio, make sure a certain percentage is Canadian. We don’t have that in Jamaica.” Robin Clarke - Senior Lecturer, EXED Community College/Doctoral Candidate – Cultural Studies, UWI Taking the Creative Economy Seriously: What does it take to finance the arts? “We do lend to the creative industry. NCB was actually the first commercial bank to create tailored products and services for MSMEs. We are serious about enabling your business to grow and to succeed. Your successful application is based on four pillars: (1) formalize your business in terms of registration, structure, monetizing your craft, (2) open a bank account to show a track record of your cash flow as well as maintain proper financial records, (3) have a good relationship with your banker so he/she understands your business and (4) know exactly what you want in terms of financing; you can acquire an unsecured loan from NCB to finance your business.” Dale Seaton - Portfolio Manager, Commercial Products – NCB Protecting Brand Jamaica in a Creative Economy “Brand Jamaica is something that must be protected and promoted both at a private sector industry level and a government level. The creative economy has always suffered from a mental block that it is not really an industry or economy. And so there has been work in recent years to peel away this discrimination and prejudice against the creative economy but it is still a lot of work to be done. There is need for us to embrace that in a real way, apart from just speaking. Formalization, branding, Intellectual Property registration, copyright and trademarks are very important to protect the value of what you do. JIPO is doing some work on IP but it will take some time as there is a lack of understanding of the value of IP. We don’t have a collective agreement in terms of how to value creativity. Just as we have the JTB promoting sun, sand and sea, we should also have a national agency promoting our creative industries in places far and wide. It is hard for a young individual to do so on his own. When we go overseas and we showcase our authentic dance moves and reap the immediate rewards, the long term benefits are lost due to a lack of protection.” Marcus Goffe - Legal Analyst/Deputy Director - Jamaica Intellectual Property Office The event drew interest from the likes of Ian ‘Ity’ Ellis, Sheldon Shepherd, Rosie Murray, Shelly-Ann Weeks, other industry professionals, cultural enthusiasts, as well as students of the Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts. The first quarterly Opportunity Evening was hosted in November 2016 exploring The Wealth in Oils. See you next quarter!
JBDC Research Coaching Workshop for HR Practitioners and Middle Managers: A Focus on Employee Engagement April 25 – 27, 2017 . Pollyanna Caterers & Banqueters, 8 Stanton Terrace . Kingston 6 - Jamaica
Return on Investment: 1. Retain your employees and get your competitors’ 2. Get 110% out of employees 3. Grow productivity, improve revenue and sales! 4. Transform employees into lean-mean marketing machines! 5. Win over “actively disengaged” employees Testimonials: Excellent information on designing employee engagement and satisfaction surveys. This is a very good opportunity to improve employee satisfaction. All managers should be exposed to this information! HR Director, E-Gov It was very interactive and challenging. I continue to be impressed. - HR Manager, Lasco Manufacturing Ltd The presenters are very energized and knowledgeable… well structured and organized programme. - Ministry of Finance and Public Service
INSTITUTE OF LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT
This course is accredited as a Development Course by the Institute of Leadership and Management, UK (ILM). ILM is the leading provider of leadership and management qualifications in the UK and part of the wider City and Guilds Group: a global leader in skills development.
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BUSINESS & INNOVATION FIRST QUARTER / JANUARY - MARCH 2017
ECONOMY: REAL OR IMAGINED? By Suzette Campbell
magine a world without entertainment; no music, theatre, comedy, film, dance, literature nor art. To us, the beneficiaries, entertainment is about the fun and thrill we derive from it. But to the custodians of this massive wealth of talent, their creativity is a source of income, a business which ought to be acknowledged as such and taken as seriously as any other industry contributing to economic growth. One will enjoy a fruitful experience in learning about this sector described as ‘invisible’ in “The Orange Economy: An Infinite Opportunity” produced by Felipe Buitrago Restrepo and Iván Duque Márquez of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) . The publication describes the creative economy, as the “Orange Economy”, encompassing the immense wealth of talent, intellectual property, interconnectedness, and, of course, cultural heritage of the Latin American and Caribbean region (and indeed, every region). The creative economy, as defined by John Howkins, includes all the sectors whose goods and services are based on intellectual property: advertising, architecture, crafts, design, fashion, film, games and toys, music, publishing, research and development, software, TV and radio, and videogames, and visual and performing arts. According to Howkins, the sector was estimated to represent 6.1% of the world economy in 2005 and still does not register on the radar of most economists. It’s estimated that by 2011, the Orange Economy’s value would have reached $4.3 trillion dollars, about 20% larger than the German economy or two and a half times the world military expenditures. According to Retrepo and Márquez, “Now, if the growth dynamics of the Orange Economy mirror the behavior of its exports, then it is likely that it is worth more today than the 6.1% world output of eight years ago. In fact, creative goods and services have had a great decade in international trade: According the United Nations Conference
on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), creative goods and services exports grew 134% between 2002 and 2011. Creative goods and services exports reached $646 billion dollars in 2011. If we were to include them within the classification system of the International Trade Centre (ITC), they would be the fifth most traded commodity on the planet.” Retrepo and Márquez go on to argue that creative trade is also less volatile, drawing performance comparisons to the oil industry in the 2009 financial crisis. “While oil exports as reported by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) contracted 40% in 2009, creative goods and services only suffered a reduction of 12% (both quickly bounced, reaching new records in the following two years). The supply of creative goods and services - particularly the latter - isn’t subject to the same natural scarcity restrictions of oil. Price volatility is not a major concern for Orange Economy growth!” What’s your favourite movie of all time? Have you ever been to Broadway? Are you now a ‘binge junkie’ on Netflix? You, the audience, have contributed to the growth of this industry totaling billions globally. The publication highlights that large film industries such as Hollywood in the US, Bollywood in India and Nollywood in Nigeria jointly produce more than four thousand movies per year: more than 80 per week! Their box office sales reach billions of dollars around the world. Add to that the popularity of video games, app and music downloads from platforms like iTUNES. Positing that the creative industry is traditionally regarded as marginal and with low potential to generate wealth and employment, the writers benchmarked the performing arts against the largest and most expensive electricity plant in the world: The Three Gorges Dam in China. Construction was approved in 1992, was initiated in 1994, and was concluded in 2012. About 30 years of hard work and $25 billion were required to complete the project. Meanwhile, over the same three decades, the 10 most successful Broadway musicals generated $26.9 million Box Office and merchandising sales in London and New York. “Not so bad for theatre. Are we any better at identifying business opportunities in the Orange Economy?” they argue. The publication highlights these seven (7) facts as it explores its potential to generate wealth and employment opportunities (in particular for young people): nn Cirque du Soleil employs more than 5,000 people, and reports a yearly turnover of over $800 million dollars.
nn Estimates suggest that one in ten jobs in Buenos Aires are in the Orange Economy industries, and that these industries generate nine in every hundred pesos of the city’s income. nn Netflix has more than 33 million subscribers and a turnover of well over $3.6 billion a year. nn The 12th Ibero-American Theatre Festival of Bogotá in 2010 estimates an overall attendance of 3.9 million people (500,000 in theatres; 420,000 in Theatre City (Ciudad Teatro); and 3 million in street activities). nn The most important museums and collections in the world are sharing more than 43,000 of their artworks through the Google Art Project. The IDB Art Collection is part of this effort to democratize access to culture. nn It is estimated that the Rio Carnival attracted over 850,000 visitors in 2012, and they contributed $628 million dollars in consumption to the state’s economy. nn More than 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. By August 2013, 6 billion hours of video had been accumulated (nearly one for every person on Earth) for the viewing pleasure of more than one billion unique visitors per month. Still, the Orange Economy gets little attention due to seven (7) reasons pointed out by the IDB. These include: (1) defining the Orange Economy, (2) the relationship between the economy and culture is not self-evident, (3) the quantitative economic approach to cultural and creative activities is a fairly recent exercise, (4) the systematic collection and dissemination of relevant data and information is inconsistent, (5) the creative process, which results in goods and services, is a nebulous business (it follows a complex and volatile logic), (6) the design of policies to support the creative economy lacks practical frameworks and (7) the people involved do not yet represent a critical mass. The IDB hopes that these challenges might be addressed through the provision of the knowledge and tools to widen the debate on why the Orange Economy is so important for the social and economic development of Latin America and the Caribbean, (and the wider world). Imagine the Orange Economy for a minute as a real orange; shouldn’t we ‘squeeze all juice’ from it?
wenty Five years of making the world laugh is no joke, and the Jamaican comedy duo of Ian ‘Ity’ Ellis and Alton ‘Fancy Cat’ Hardware has accomplished just that. In an industry that is FIRST QUARTER / JANUARY - MARCH 2017 often not taken seriously because of the nature of the product, the Ity and Fancy Cat pair has been able to monetize their talent while simultaneously doing what they love.
A mixture of original drama, parodies, television commercials, standup comedy shows and hilarious impersonations are just some of the tools that have allowed the duo to capture the hearts of Jamaican and international audiences across generations around the world. The comedy pair shared with the Business Dialogue a synopsis of their 25 year old journey and a glimpse of what is to come for 2017 and beyond. nn Three words to describe the duo Ity and Fancy Cat. Engaging, energetic and inventive
Ity & Fancy Cat
nn How did this friendship start? It started during childhood and was cemented while training for Boys Town’s under-16 minor league football team. nn How did it advance from a friendship to a business partnership? We accompanied Blakka Ellis to a comedy show he was doing and ended up performing an opening act [as a DJ duo]. Then Blakka, at the invitation of Brian Schmidt, arranged for us to audition for a promotional engagement for COURTS. We got the job and the rest, as they say, is history! nn How do you separate business from friendship? The business arrangements [booking, contracts, scheduling, negotiations, etc.] are all administered through Ellis International. nn Where were you raised? We grew up together in Trench Town. nn What were your daytime jobs? Before the duo took off as an entertainment act, Ity was working in the Accounting Department at Chris Blackwell’s Island Communication and Fancy Cat was operating a Garment Sales Enterprise at Pearnel Charles Arcade. nn How did you realize this talent for comedy? We were always goofing around and making jokes. Then we started creating funny lyrics as a DJ duo. nn When did you realize that money can be made from comedy? From the early days of going on the road with COURTS and hosting after work jams at Asylum Night Club and Cactus Night Club. nn How did the act move from the stage to the screen? It was basically a natural transition. We became familiar with the camera doing several TV ads for COURTS. This led to us doing the enormously popular Lasco Mackerel ad too. Additionally, our onstage performances were also seen as great TV content, so work was put into creating a pilot as a first step. We eventually secured partnership support from Digicel and COURTS after a couple years of relentless sponsorship pursuits. nn Give an instance that you faced a significant obstacle in the industry and how you overcame it. When we were faced with an offer from Flow Jamaica to sign as brand ambassadors after having our television show sponsored previously by their competitors Digicel. This
By: Andre Heslop
FIRST QUARTER / JANUARY - MARCH 2017
situation was extremely delicate due to the fierce competition between them. We met with both entities individually and after several discussions an amicable decision was taken to sign on with Flow. For this situation, we give our eternal Father God thanks for a positive outcome. nn Identify an instance where the show did not go according to plan and how you recovered from that situation. We do a lot of impromptu and improvisational work. Things can never ‘not go according to plan’ because there is never any hard and fast plan. We have a natural knack for turning situations around and creating laughter out of sometimes tense situations. nn How do you manage to make people laugh when you’re having a bad day? Bad days end quickly and personal feelings totally disappear once we step in front of a crowd. nn 25 years is a long time to be in any business, what are some of the major achievements or awards for the duo? §§ Multi-nominations in the annual Youth View Awards §§ The first comedians in Jamaica to be employed as ‘commentators’ on television during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. §§ Being signed as Flow Brand Ambassadors for three years. This being the FIRST major brand ambassadorship for stand-up comedians by a major telecommunications firm. §§ Representing Jamaica on a special Caribbean edition of the international television series ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?’ §§ First comedy act to be billed on Jamaica’s renowned international music event ‘Reggae Sumfest’ §§ Headline acts on numerous occasions for major Caribbean Comedy Festivals in the UK and major US cities including LA, NYC and ATLANTA. §§ Creating and maintaining our ground-breaking television project ‘The Ity and Fancy Cat Show’ for 9 successful seasons, which by itself is a first for local comedy. The show remains one of most popular local programmes on Jamaican television with one season increasing viewership for the host station by 300%. nn Other comedy duos did not withstand the test of time. What has kept Ity & Fancy Cat together for so many years? We’ve not really done anything extra or special except maintain our standard and consistency and focus exclusively on comedy. To be fair, other comedy duos like Bello & Blakka and Iceman & Johnny for instance eventually parted company simply due to the demands of other activities of the members who already had solo careers before they became a duo, and who continued to be individually involved in other jobs like music, acting, teaching etc. nn Where are some of the places internationally that the comedy product has taken you? All over the USA, UK and several countries in the Caribbean region [including Cuba]. nn What are your plans for 2017 and beyond? We’ll be celebrating our 25th anniversary by giving back to communities and sharing with our fans all around Jamaica. We’re also looking to start production on season 10 of our current TV show and launch some additional projects as well.
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TECHNOLOGY FIRST QUARTER / JANUARY - MARCH 2017
HOW A 16-YEAR-OLD KID BUILT HIS DREAM VIDEO GAME COMPANY WITH NO MONEY Julie Bort – Business Insider
That didn’t stop him either “So I went to the internet. I went on every single video game site and forum known to man, and I started posting ads,” he said.
avid Eisman is a 16-year-old high school sophomore and the founder CEO of video game company Pixelman Productions, which was founded in January 2016. He’s not the typical kid programmer. In fact, he’s barely a programmer att all, he says (he knows some C#). He considers himself a businessman. But that hasn’t stopped him from going after his dream: to work in the video game industry. “I always wanted an internship at a video game company, but no one would ever hire me. They said I needed experience and I had to have built a video game already. So I decided to skip that step entirely of trying to get into a company and just make my own,” he said. Eisman also has a famous dad: money-man hedge fund manager Steve Eisman, the guy played by Steve Carell in the movie “The Big Short”. Having a wealthy dad gave Eisman access to a lot of free advice on how to work with and manage people, but alas, no cash. His dad hasn’t invested in his startup.
for her friend in a forgotten wilderness and she finds a native tribe. She spends time with them. Things happen and eventually the tribe is in danger and she has to figure out how to save them,” he says. It’s not your classic video-game kind of fun.
The recruiting ads said he was starting a new video game company and that people would be paid via revenue sharing. A lot of people told him he was crazy. But others were intrigued. He got 30 applicants. He’s hired 12 people so far, he says.
“Mirka is going to be a self-exploratory experience,” he says. Its goal is “to surround you and make you feel emotions that you tend not to feel in most games. You’ll feel sadness, loneliness, fear, bonds of friendship.”
“I hired two programmers, artists, a writer, a marketing team from Poland and two music composers. The youngest person is 18 and the oldest is 30, from Pakistan. It’s an international team. My dad helped me with the contracts,” he says.
Also important: Eisman says that the protagonist in his game was created with respect. “Female protagonists are hypersexualized in most games and that really upsets me. You don’t hyper-sexualize people. You don’t make stereotypes,” he says.
“You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to work on video game projects for free,” he says.
Even bigger plans ahead In the months that the Pixelman team has worked on Mirka, they finished a demo and a trailer. It will be a PC/Mac game, and eventually, for PlayStation. He’s been reaching out to folks at Oculus Rift, too, though so far they haven’t called him back, he says.
An unusual video game As you might expect from this unusual CEO, Eisman’s game isn’t typical either. It’s a walking simulator game. These are a relatively new form of first-person game where you walk around the world and just using the clues you can see or hear (and sometimes involving your character’s supernatural powers), you solve puzzles or crimes. Pixelman Productions’ game is called Mirka, which means “wild man,” he tells us. And the main character is a girl. “A female protagonist in a walking simulator has never been done before to my knowledge,” he says. The game also isn’t about shooting people or saving the world. It’s about friendship. The story line involves Liza, “a girl who is searching
Next they hope to raise some funds to get the game produced. They plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign. Whether people love the game enough to fund it has yet to be seen. But ultimately, this game isn’t even his end goal, Eisman says. It’s just a “stepping stone” toward his bigger dream. “I want to incorporate video games into education and work with universities to use the psychological principal of ‘tangential learning’ in order to help kids learn,” he says. Tangential learning means to learn about stuff in a fun way that you enjoy. “I’m really upset with how our current education system works and I think video games can be a help,” he says.
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眀眀眀⸀樀渀猀戀氀⸀挀漀洀 ㌀㈀ ⼀㈀ 䐀甀欀攀 匀琀爀攀攀琀Ⰰ 䬀椀渀最猀琀漀渀
FINANCE FIRST QUARTER / JANUARY - MARCH 2017
WHERE TO GO WHEN THE
BANK SAYS NO By Melissa Bennett
he best way to finance your business especially at the start-up phase is from your personal funds. Understand your start-up needs and try to be as lean as possible by creating your minimum viable product. Take your MVP to the market using personal investment. For example, use the investment portion of a life insurance policy, sell a personal asset you may no longer need, rent your home on platforms such as Airbnb and participate in competitions that have cash prizes, such as NCB Capital Quest and The Bold Ones. Entrepreneurs can try double dipping by using the earnings from a current business to launch another. Tap into Family and Friends using the Crowd Borrowing from friends and family is an alternative to traditional forms of financing. It has its advantages such as low or no interest payments and avoids the hassle of bank contracts. However, this can put a strain on your relationship if you are unable to repay. When borrowing from family and friends convince them of the value of your offering and your commitment to succeed. Usually, if they believe they will support it and if you have several family and friend funders, a good tool to use is a crowd funding platform such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and in Jamaica isupportjamaica. com. Using these platforms, businesses are able to pool small investments from a number of investors instead of seeking a single investment. These platforms are usually donor, reward, equity or loan based. Partner with Organizations and Individuals If you are struggling to get the business off the ground, you can join business development enablers such as incubators or accelerators. Registering with organizations such as Jamaica Business Development Corporation, UWI Mona Support Services, UTECH Technology Innovation Centre, NCU
Morris Entrepreneurial Centre, Start-Up Jamaica and/or Branson Centre allow you to access both support and financing through their partner network. You could also form strategic partnership with other persons that you need in your team and trade equity in your business for their services. For example, in exchange for IT services you could offer someone an equity stake in your business. Use your Business If you are solving a major pain point, you can negotiate payment terms before you launch your product; through presales, for example. If you do get the business off the ground, you could develop a retention strategy and plough back portion of your profits to expand and grow your business. Lease financing is another option where you can use machinery, vehicles on a rental basis. In addition, you could use vendor financing where goods are received on deferred payment terms. For example, you can purchase a computer from Courts Jamaica on hire purchase agreement. If your business has built up significant receivables, a service provider such as EXIM may provide you the money up front for these invoices under receivables factoring option. Other Lending Options Despite being very expensive, sometimes micro loans can be a suitable option for your business if your model generates enough cash flow to manage the repayment terms and you have little or no collateral to get a formal loan. Development Bank of Jamaica has a list registered Micro Finance Entities that they partner with. It might be easier to get a business credit card from your bank instead of a formal loan which can be a quick way to get your business up and running. Another option is peer to peer lending which is currently being used by
Progressive Micro Finance Group which is the practice of lending money to businesses by matching lenders with borrowers. Formal Options For high growth potential, a formal angel investor is a great option. They are usually investing in the person as well as the business; you can access them locally through networks such as First Angel Jamaica and Alpha Angels. For small businesses that are beyond the start-up phase and already have revenues coming in, a venture capital investment may be appropriate. However, these have to be fast growing companies with an exit strategy such as listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange or being bought by another company. Hard to Find Funding Non-repayable finance, though hard to find and have strict stipulations are still available. These are often given through the Government, corporation, foundation and multilaterals. The recipients are usually but not always a non-profit entity. However, this is not always the case. Twenty-seven (27) companies recently benefitted from DBJ’s IGNITE Programme. Additionally, the ongoing DBJ Voucher for Technical Assistance Programme, as well as, the Caribbean Export Development Agency’s recently launched Link Caribbean Programme are some of the grant facilities available to you. Sometimes the Banks say no because you lack the collateral required. There is an opportunity to get collateral support through the Development Bank of Jamaica’s Credit Enhancement Facility. The Bank may also say no because you are just not ready for that kind of funding. Visit us at JBDC and let us help you prepare to access funding, even from the Banks. 13
FIRST QUARTER / JANUARY - MARCH 2017
JBDC’S PROPOSAL WRITING WORKSHOP DELIVERS
IN GRANT FUNDING!
amaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) executives were witnesses to the launch of the National Grow Castor Bean Project on Wednesday March 22, 2017 at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston. The Project is being managed by the Urban and Rural Ministry of the Jamaica Baptist Union Mission Agency, which used the occasion to announce the start of the project being funded by an overseas donor to the tune of US198,000 or approximately J$25 million, bringing the total grants approved under the JBDC’s Tapping into Donor Funds Proposal Writing Workshop® to $127 million. “This project has been over three years in the making and JBDC played a significant role in helping us to get to this point. I was a participant of the inaugural Proposal Writing Workshop in 2013. The Mandeville representative, Mrs. TerryAnn Clahar-Weir has also worked closely with members of our church in business planning,” explained Dr. Judith A. Johnston, Community Development Specialist & Social Entrepreneur. Dr. Johnston says the funding will enable the organization to put the first 400 acres (of the 1000 acre target) of castor bean into production. So far, 80 farmers have signed on to participate in the project which is being implemented in ten (10) parishes. Dr. Johnston estimates that there will be approximately 200 participants when the remaining acres are used. “Often times, we see other produce failing because there’s no market. They invest and it comes to nothing. What we want to do is engage our farmers in things that have a value-added component, so whether it’s the castor beans, breadfruit or cassava there are value-added products to be derived such as oil and flour,” she said. Dr. Johnston says with the help of the Ministry of Investment, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries the organization has 14
FOR CASTOR BEAN PROJECT
also been approved for technical assistance by the Mexican Agency for International Development Co-operation (AMEXCID), details of which they await. “This is a major achievement for the Workshop, as it indicates that our primary objective is being met. Access to funding is a major challenge for entrepreneurs and social enterprises. As a result, the JBDC
Project Director of the Jamaica Baptist Union’s (JBU) Grow Castor Bean Project, Dr. Judith Johnston (left), fist bumps Lisa Taylor-Stone, Manager of the Project Management Department at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) at the announcement of the Union’s $25 million dollar grant which was received from an overseas donor for the JBU’s Castor Bean Project. Dr. Johnston was one of the first participants in the JBDC’s inaugural Proposal Writing Workshop which was held in 2013.
has been developing and implementing programmes that will build our clients’ capacity to succeed. Proposal writing can be an intimidating task for the applicant and that proposal once submitted will undergo intense scrutiny by the potential donor. So we developed a product to address that need,” explained Lisa TaylorStone, Project Management & Research Development Manager – JBDC. To date, close to 300 participants representing SMEs, public sector entities and social groups have been trained. The
implementation of the Workshop comprises: 20 hours of learning delivered over three days and eight (8) hours of post-workshop coaching and mentoring delivered over two weeks. Last year, the Workshop was officially trademarked by the Jamaica Intellectual Property Organization (JIPO) and accredited by UK-based awarding body, Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). ILM is the leading provider of leadership and management qualifications in the UK and part of the wider City and Guilds Group: a global leader in skills development. “We believe steps like these solidify the Workshop as not just an intervention but a training product. It means the participants who have fully completed the process can receive a certificate not only from the JBDC, but also a UK awarding organization which will appear very impressive on a list of professional qualifications. Additionally, they will receive 12 months free ILM Studying Membership, free ongoing ILM Tutor Membership, as well as professional development credits,” Taylor-Stone explained. The news comes on the heels of the JBDC’s recent staging of the Workshop in Castries St. Lucia in November 2016, a historic and ground-breaking move for the Agency. Twenty eight (28) professionals and entrepreneurs from five Eastern Caribbean countries participated in the Workshop. JBDC has since been invited to stage the Workshop in another Caribbean country. “We are also expanding in Jamaica. This year, we will go out of town for the first time and stage the Workshop in Manchester as there is a demand for it that parish. This is slated to happen towards the end of the calendar year,” she added. Registration has already begun for the May 30 – June 1, 2017 staging which is scheduled for Kingston.
FIRST QUARTER / JANUARY - MARCH 2017
One Day Only! Incredible Value!
HEAD OFFICE: 14 CAMP ROAD, KINGSTON 4, JAMAICA 1 876 928 51615 COMMUNICATIONSJBDC.NET
The first quarter publication of JBDC's Business Dialogue is focused on THE CREATIVE ECONOMY ... read about the experiences of those who cur...
Published on Mar 30, 2017
The first quarter publication of JBDC's Business Dialogue is focused on THE CREATIVE ECONOMY ... read about the experiences of those who cur...