One of the most popular questions in Jamaica has always been, ‘how can I own my own business?’. It seems that the majority of Jamaicans are dreaming of becoming their own boss. Whether it is through a trade, service or by selling goods, owning a business, is the order of the day. To help that, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) has decided to make that dream come through by helping our youth create that reality very early in their life.
One such way the JCC has been supporting the dreams of youngsters who dream of one day becoming a successful entrepreneur is by introducing them to successful young entrepreneurs. Although JCC thinks of many ways to get this done, the staging of the third iteration of the JCC Young Entrepreneur Conference, with the theme – Own your Future, held at the Courtleigh Auditorium yesterday, was a great success. A packed auditorium proved that our youth have the passion embedded and the active participation, cemented that fact.
The audience was treated to great stories of triumph from all the presenters. They also were able to get personal with each during a no holds barred question and answer segment which took the presenters even deeper, revealing of their true self, feeling, passion, and emotions. Starting with Tyrone Wilson from Kintyre in St. Andrew, who became the founder and CEO of the eMedia Interactive Group Limited and the iCreate institute; the audience learned first off that his first venture was a complete failure. Was it not for the motivation around him, he would not be where he is today.
Tiamoyo Lynn of Miss Dutchie also chimed in to discuss support and gave an anecdote of her start and journey into the world of entrepreneurship.
Having horrible skin conditions while living overseas and not having enough money to go to dermatologists and such, created the need to make products that helped her look and feel better. Racquell Brown, founder of Irie Rock, grew that need into a line of 37 life changing products which are known throughout the diaspora. As you can see, she no longer has any problems with her skin.
The Key note speaker was Marvin Hall. Mr. Hall is the creator of special programmes like “Lego yuh mind”, which is a summer programme that pushes its participants to stretch their imagination through building robots. His “Halls of Learning” has impacted hundreds of students across Jamaica through hands on interaction which, once again, challenges young minds to create a future they want through utilizing technological tools.
As is the norm for such a dynamic thinker, the audience was treated to an out-of-the-box presentation by Mr. Hall which left mouths, ears, and eyes open about the tenacity that is needed to succeed, and the result of never ending persistence. Mr. Hall decided not to wow the audience with talks and demonstrations about artificial intelligence and the like. He instead decided to share a very personal and private e-mail chain that summed up his journey and left no stone unturned.
There were so many special nuggets from Mr. Halls sharing that it would really take a documentary to dissect them with real relevance. Here is one such collection for you to get a feel of what took place.
Throughout the morning the audience was blessed with gems of advice, experience, and wisdom earned throughout the entrepreneurial journey. The host Debbie Bissoon, a successful entrepreneur herself, coated the morning with advice and guidance through pointed questions for each speaker. The questions sounded like Ms. Bissoon some telepathic connection to the minds of the audience and plucked out all the questions they wanted answered. She was the best choice for this event.
Even the response from JCC given by Mr. Lloyd Distant Jr., the president of the JCC, after all the questions were answered, was filled with teaching pearls. Take a listen.
Here are some final nuggets from the panelists which left the audience thinking and beaming with encouragement.
Each speaker was an examples of young Jamaicans taking risks to actually chase their passions and having successful results. As explained above, the journey for each of the speakers, even the key note speaker, was not smooth, but quite the opposite. The morning allowed the audience to hear the ‘real deal’ about becoming and being an entrepreneur within the Jamaican landscape. It was a refreshing change to the “just do it” speeches we hear often. This time around it was ‘just do it and know that you WILL fail at least once…’, coupled with the encouragement to get back up and persevere. The audience, which traveled from as far as Portland, was fired up by the time the event ended.