Scaling a business to become more sustainable and profitable isn't always easy.
To help entrepreneurs across the Caribbean take their businesses to the next level, the team at the Branson Centre provide strategic guidance, innovation advice and investment.
The centre's six month accelerator programme has been designed for entrepreneurs ready to scale from small to medium size businesses. Joel Harris, owner of Shavuot International, is one such entrepreneur.
We recently spoke to Joel about Shavout and how the Branson Centre team have helped him develop a business model for a more sustainable future.
Shavuot is a family owned company, founded in 2014. We specialise in herbal teas, spices, Jamaican black oil and other speciality foods. All products are created with ethically sourced ingredients and grown through sustainable community partnerships, with the support of our local farmers. Our products are packed and ready for shipment within 12-24 hours of harvest, ensuring the ingredients retain the fresh, bold and fragrant tastes of Jamaica.
Once we heard of this initiative and its focus on helping companies scale up we immediately applied.
Beyond ethically sourced produce we are also committed to employing young people from local, disadvantaged communities. We provide employment, training and mentoring and seek to transform communities through profitable partnerships and ventures.
I am incredibly grateful that we were contacted by the Branson Centre last year and told about the 2019 cohort. Once we (Shavout) heard of this initiative and its focus on helping companies scale up we immediately applied.
The three biggest benefits of the programme so far have been:
- Strategic planning and development training for future company growth
- Media exposure to increase brand and company public awareness
- Knowledge on how to prepare the company for investment and expansion
It's important that entrepreneurs remember to take action and follow their dreams. We must also be visionaries, not just for our own self-interest, but so others can buy into a dream of building a better Jamaica.
As Shavuot continues to grow, we aim to invest into larger development projects that will create better access and opportunities for communities that we are partnering with. To date we have employed over 50 employees from the community and invested over $10 million Jamaican dollars in communities we partner with and we seek to grow our investments.
We see ourselves in transforming not one community, but many across Jamaica. We want to be recognised globally as an innovator and best quality provider. We aim to continue inspiring others through our vision and core focus of 'harvesting goodness'.