By Gavin Riley
Jamaica Care Packages, Morgan’s Creek Limited and Quality Systems Solutions & Initiatives were the big winners at the culmination of the 2018 Scotiabank Vision Achiever programme – walking away with over $20million in shared investments.
The initiative, which saw 25 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including businesses not aligned with the bank, ended on Tuesday, September 11 with a closing ceremony at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew for the 2018 cohort of participants.
In his keynote speech, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Hon. Audley Shaw said Scotiabank’s Vision Achiever programme has been providing essential capacity-building for Jamaica’s entrepreneurs for the last eight years, as the island makes true steps in sustaining economic growth.
“Scotiabank, a private-sector entity, stepped up to the plate in 2011. It can only augur well for us as a developing economy when the larger entities and indeed, financial providers, aid our smaller players to grow and expand; it means more business for everyone,” he said.
It was an intensive 17-week capacity-building programme, led by Action Coach Marcia Woon Choy, which included training in sales, systemising business procedures, marketing and understanding business financials. Participants also benefited from access to one-on-one business consultations, as well as assistance in creating effective business, marketing and financial plans.
“It is encouraging to see Scotiabank take the time to help with the development of these business practices. They have demonstrated their desire to see your business succeed,” Minister Shaw further noted.
Shaw urged the business operators to put into practice, the new skills learnt.
Action Coach Woon Choy, in congratulating this year’s cohort of participants, also reminded all the businesses that the closing ceremony is just the beginning as they will need to incorporate all they have learned to achieve meaningful growth.
“So we’re now at the end of a programme, which is really the beginning. The beginning of new, amazing possibilities when running a business. It wasn’t just the results that inspired me, it was the changes that you made in yourself. You have all been transformed,” she said.
“Never give up. As you move forward, action gets you closer to your dream, to build this business. It’s going to have to be sustained effort, hard work, long hours, dedicated and committed effort and attention. Success won’t drop in your laps. So you’re going to have to continue to take risks, but you’re going to have your bankers by your side,” Woon Choy asserted.
The top three received equally: $1.5million in advertising from Business Access TV; $750,000 in grants from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ); $1.08million in the development of advertising campaign material from eMedia Interactive Group; $450,000 in business solutions from Digicel Business; $1million in digital marketing workshops from iCreate; $600,000 in digital marketing solutions from Trend Media and $100,000 in printing services from Lithographic Printers.
Garland Law walked away with two sectional prizes, ‘People’s Choice Award’ and ‘Transformation Award’ – pocketing $180,000 from Lithographic Printers ($80,000) and Garrick Communications ($100,000) respectively.