Eight exciting entrepreneurs from the Caribbean are now one step closer to accessing a share of $130,000, through the Made of More Entrepreneurs Challenge.
The competition’s semi-finals took place last week with the finalists announced after successfully completing an all-day session with some of the Caribbean’s most impactful business people.
Each entrepreneur presented a 10-minute pitch to the esteemed panel of judges – winners were then selected based on the strength of their business plans, ability to repay the business loan and creativity of presentation.
The top three presenters for the day were:
- Randy McLaren: a exciting young dub poet and entrepreneur, who is the creator of the customisable and increasingly popular ‘Bresheh bag’.
- Theo Smith: whose company, Great House Caterers, has been dominating his local wedding industry by providing exotic and creative menu options. Read our recent profile about Theo and his journey with the Branson Centre.
- Lacey-Ann Bartley: who runs Bartley’s All In Wood, providing real wood furniture and souvenir gift items.
Virgin Unite, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Made of More, Randy Mc Laren
“The semi-finalists listened keenly during our training sessions and retained the information,” said Lisandra Rickards, Entrepreneur Programme Director at the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship- Caribbean. “They can now put the skills learned into practice, not only for the Made of More Challenge For Immediate Release but every pitch they do from here on out. This is the development that the Branson Centre wants for all our entrepreneurs.”
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship - Caribbean and Arthur Guinness Foundation will be giving all eight finalists an equal shot at investment during the September finals, to be held the ATL Automotive Showroom and Branson Centre Accelerator space, in Montego Bay.
Virgin Unite, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Made of More,Theo Smith
To assist in preparation for their final pitch, finalists will each be given access to the judges’ feedback on their semi-final presentations and all finalists will receive additional advice from the Branson Centre’s team of business leaders and sponsors such as the Arthur Guinness Foundation, Paul Hansworth of First Angels Jamaica, and Natalie Chin- Watkins of the Jamaica Observer.
Virgin Unite, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Made of More, Lacey-Ann
Imru James is Brand Manager for Stouts and Malta at Red Stripe and was present on the day: “The finalists are all well deserving of their position. They have all proven that they have the ability to sustain their businesses, and have the potential to grow in a socially impactful way through funding received from the Made of More Challenge.”
The $130,000 will be awarded to winners of the Made of More Entrepreneurs Challenge through low-interest, zero-collateral loans, as well as social impact grants. All eight finalists will be vying to receive much needed funding to ensure that their businesses continue to be ‘Made of More’.