Imagine this; you are in a room with 39 other entrepreneurs and all of you, after one week, have become a family. Not just any family, but a family of customers. Also a family of supporters. Just one big family that seems as if it will last forever.
Well, this was reality to 40 entrepreneurs during the week of November 6th through the 10th. They all attended the Sisters Ink Residential Entrepreneur Boot Camp held on the University of the West Indies campus. Yes boot camp! It was a business boot camp that took your idea for a company, or your startup, or your fully established company to the level of investment.
Entrepreneur’s Work Out
Each day entrepreneurs created pieces of a puzzle which would eventually become their company. The finished product would be able to stand/sit in front of any investor. The goal was to make sure that the entrepreneur could represent the company at any time, with the knowledge gained at the boot camp.
If you believe that the camp was just presentations and note taking, you would be very wrong. The first day of the camp a 69 year old entrepreneur felt so empowered that he decided to do 12 push-ups to express how pumped up he was. Mr. Robert Campbell from African Gardens explains how he feels about the boot camp in the following voice note.
A Powerful Beginning
The boot camp was powerful from the very start all the way to the end. We were blessed at the opening ceremony by words from Mr. Raymond Price, Ms. Opal Levy, Mr. Christopher Brown, Dwayne Berbick, Betty Ann Griffiths, Mrs. Rosemarie Hemmings Davis, Mrs. Emma Thomas, Professor Errol Morrison, Mr. Sheldon Townsend and Mr. Alton Scott. By the end of the opening, half the room was in tears from either crying or laughing. The feeling was euphoric. By the time Mrs. Allison Beaumont-Smith took the lectern to give the vote of thanks, we were floating and ready to go. Little did we know that it was all a setup… After Opal Levy wiped her tears of pride, she belted out instructions because the ‘raatakaan’ was about to start.
After our rest the meticulous tutoring started and didn’t stop until 9 o’clock that night. Each day lasted eleven and a half hours. Subsequently, we were taught by some of the leading professionals in business development such as Dr. Kadawame K’nife, Damion Crawford, Carlinton Burrell, Travis Bartley, Damion Daley, Cashyaka McDonald, and Shani Duncan-Falconer. Peter Bunting, Earl Samuels, Chris Reckord, Kevin Scott, Earl Manning, and Norman Davis coached the group by night. Talk about powerful.
Prizes and Surprises for Entrepreneurs
Thanks to the generosity, three entrepreneurs walked way with cash prizes totaling one million dollars based on their growth during the week, and ability to impress investors and/or gain funding. Suprisingly, three others were offered grant funding. Entrepreneurs left the boot camp with either interested investors, mentors or banking institutions showing interest in their business. This is even more proof that the boot camp was a complete success.
What about now
Alas, the boot camp is long gone, but as Mr. Robert Campbell from African Gardens stated earlier, ‘the work goes on’. All of the entrepreneurs have been tasked with writing a document which outlines all lessons learned during camp. We were given 2 weeks to complete the writeup, or else. The exact words Opal Levy’s mouth were, “you don’t want me to come find you.”
Of course the boot camp would not have been possible without the kind support of the following sponsors.
From the entrepreneurs own mouths
Hear from some of the entrepreneurs who completed the boot camp below.