The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean offers acceleration for entrepreneurs – supporting their development through a unique combination of training, mentorship and investment opportunities.
The Branson Centre team has a laser-sharp focus on addressing the unique challenges of entrepreneurship in the Caribbean and work diligently to empower entrepreneurs to bolster their businesses, become globally competitive and contribute to the region’s social, cultural, environmental and economic development.
To help address the unique barriers faced by Caribbean businesses Jenn Morgan joined the Branson Centre team in a mentoring capacity – sharing her lessons learnt from the world of branding and marketing. Jenn’s the one to find when you need to build a memorable brand. She flexes her marketing superpowers as the Founder and CEO of Radically Distinct with a range of services including marketing consulting, brand design and outsourced marketing management.
She has been mentoring creative entrepreneurs with Branson Centre for quite some time and recently we sat down with Jenn to get to know more about the woman behind the marketing mastery and how she’s been breaking through barriers in the industry.
Tell us about yourself. How did you start your entrepreneurial journey?
I was an entrepreneurial child who spent almost every summer on a new venture. As an adult, my entrepreneurial journey started right after graduating from university. I started as a freelancer in automotive advertising and five years later was running a production company.
What is your most memorable moment as a mentor with the Branson Centre?
A past mentee I worked with was shopping for investors to help her open up a physical retail space for her spa and product line. She and I wrote a marketing plan for how to leverage what she already had, and the events she was planning on attending, this to raise the funds for her space through sales. She executed the plan perfectly and was able to pay for a down payment and the first three months of rent with the money she made. No investors needed.
What is your biggest take away that you’ve had as a mentor?
Marketing is often a big mystery for entrepreneurs. They tend to be too high level or too deep in the weeds. That’s why it’s so important as a mentor to help them identify where they are at, where they want to go, and what the first step is based on their business stage. All regions are different and acknowledging your unique environment is also key.
What advice would you give other mentors and mentees to maximize their experience?
A good mentor is both a coach and consultant and someone who has the wisdom to know which one to be in the moment. You also need to give a good dose of realism in an encouraging way. As a mentor, slow down the feedback and listen more. The mentee is in this program because of something they are doing right. What is that something and how can you help them build on that? Once they get some traction with you, it will be much easier to make bigger adjustments to the overall business development.
As a mentee, you need to get clear on your specific objectives and goals as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you may find that mentors are giving advice that doesn’t help and that can be incredibly frustrating.
- For more on the barriers that people face when looking for employment, head to the Breaking Barriers homepage.