JIS News

Several small entrepreneurs are to benefit from the expertise and experience of larger and more established business owners under a coaching/mentorship programme.

The initiative, dubbed the 'Nationwide-Scotiabank Entrepreneurial Challenge Coaching/Mentorship' programme, seeks to provide sound advice and assistance to proprietors of medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) with the objective of advancing their identified business goals.

The programme, which was launched on September 18 during a ceremony  at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Incubator and Resource Centre, Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston, is a spinoff from the recently concluded 'Nationwide-Scotiabank Entrepreneurial Challenge'.

The competition sought to, among other things, highlight, recognise and celebrate the accomplishments of MSME entrepreneurs, who have survived or have been successful during the period 2008 to 2011.

The year-long coaching /mentorship programme will provide business coaching and mentoring for 16 of the top 20 MSMEs that competed.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, in welcoming the initiative, said such programmes "affirm the role of our young business leaders and point in the direction of the roll-out of a national young business leaders’ mentoring programme".

"In these difficult times, the role of the mentor is even more important. This programme draws attention to the powerful role of leadership in charting the direction of our country towards sustainable economic growth with jobs," he said.

Minister Hylton told the entrepreneurs that they are being given an unparalleled opportunity to learn from some of the brightest, most successful business people in the country, persons, who have worked hard, made mistakes but ultimately scored success in business.

He advised the mentees to absorb everything their mentors/coaches tell them; to observe and adopt the best practices; and to learn from the pitfalls of those who paved the way and are now willing to facilitate their success, so that they can also contribute to the reshaping of the economy.

Objectives of the coaching/mentorship programme include building a network of business coaches /mentors; and to use the mentorship approach to achieve specific business objectives.

Coaches will comprise personnel from the University of Technology (UTech), HEART Trust/NTA, JBDC, current and former business owners/operators, lecturers, tutors, former bankers, marketers, human resources (HR) practitioners, financial experts, business consultants and advisors.

The programme is a collaborative effort of the JBDC, (UTech)/Scotiabank Chair in Entrepreneurship and Development, HEART Trust/NTA and Nationwide 90 FM.