Bright fu­ture for Ja­maican en­trepreneurs

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Janelle Oswald Gleaner Writer janelle.oswald@glean­

THE FU­TURE is bright for Ja­maican en­trepreneurs

A lead­ing pro­fes­sor from a top univer­sity ranked “No. 1 un­der­grad­u­ate school for en­trepreneurs in Amer­ica” by US News & World for the 20th con­sec­u­tive time, has cel­e­brated Ja­maica’s tal­ent stat­ing, “the fu­ture is bright”.

Founder and course de­vel­oper of Op­er­a­tions for En­trepreneurs, Jen­nifer Bai­ley, who is based at Bab­son Col­lege, a pri­vate busi­ness school in Welles­ley, Mas­sachusetts, shares her en­thu­si­asm and ap­plauds the unique tal­ent com­ing from Ja­maica.

A lead­ing man­age­ment con­sul­tant, whose ex­per­tise in­cludes op­er­a­tions man­age­ment, project man­age­ment, in­no­va­tion man­age­ment and en­trepreneur­ship, Bai­ley told The Gleaner why she is ex­cited about Ja­maica’s in­no­va­tive en­trepreneurs.

“What ex­cites me about en­trepreneur­ship in Ja­maica and the Caribbean is this op­por­tu­nity to lever­age our unique chal­lenges and our indige­nous re­sources to cre­ate glob­ally com­pet­i­tive busi­nesses.”

Start-up busi­nesses bring in­no­va­tions, new jobs and eco­nomic growth, in­jects new com­pet­i­tive dy­nam­ics into the eco­nomic sys­tem and adds value of proac­tiv­ity into the so­ci­ety.

Bai­ley continued, “There are a grow­ing num­ber of en­trepreneurs break­ing through tra­di­tion­ally com­plex in­dus­tries or cre­at­ing their own niche in­dus­tries and putting Ja­maica on the map. For ex­am­ple, Oral & Al­li­son Turner, the co-founders of Turner In­no­va­tions, who have in­vented and com­mer­cialised a sor­rel har­vest­ing ma­chine. Or Carol Lue, the founder of the CaribShare, a Ja­maican start-up that pro­duces bio­fuel from or­ganic waste.

“Both of th­ese are com­plex tech­nolo­gies and in­dus­tries. On the other hand, Ke­nia Mat­tis, the founder of Lis­tenMi Caribbean, won a global start-up com­pe­ti­tion, based on her dig­i­tal sto­ry­telling ini­tia­tive which cre­ates cul­tur­ally rel­e­vant con­tent, such as League of Ma­rooons, which is unique to our lo­cal his­tory.”

Bai­ley, who has a PhD in op­er­a­tions man­age­ment and lives in Bos­ton, said, “Ja­maicans are cre­ative peo­ple. The in­for­ma­tion, tech­nol­ogy and cre­ative economies present an ideal op­por­tu­nity to lever­age our skills and tal­ents.”


Re­veal­ing how she be­came an en­tre­pre­neur­ial con­sul­tant at the Bran­son Cen­tre of En­trepreneurs, Bai­ley ex­plains it was all down to her en­tre­pre­neur­ial and net­work­ing luck.

“I at­tended the fi­nale event for the NCB Cap­i­tal Quest Re­al­ity TV show, where Ja­maican en­trepreneurs were com­pet­ing for eq­uity in­vest­ment. I was in­vited by a close friend. At the event I met Lisan­dra Rickards, who is the pro­gramme direc­tor at the Bran­son Cen­tre of En­trepreneur­ship, who said the cen­tre needed a course de­vel­oper who could train in op­er­a­tions man­age­ment for en­trepreneurs, and the rest, as they say, is his­tory.”

A firm be­liever that you should “own your dif­fer­ence”, Bai­ley said what in­spired her is that “I don’t think I made a con­scious de­ci­sion to be­come a woman in busi­ness. How­ever, I do think at­tend­ing an all-girls’ high school al­lows you to de­velop a strong sense of self-con­fi­dence and elim­i­nates many of the in­ter­nal bi­ases and lim­i­ta­tions, which as women we some­times have re­gard­ing pos­si­ble ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions and op­tions.”

Her next trip to Ja­maica will be to work with the iCreate In­sti­tute, an ini­tia­tive fo­cused on train­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of cre­ative Caribbean en­trepreneurs.

Bai­ley, who spent her early pro­fes­sional years as a chem­i­cal en­gi­neer at Al­part baux­ite pro­cess­ing plant in St El­iz­a­beth, said, “The fu­ture is bright for en­trepreneurs be­cause they light up the path­way for Ja­maican busi­nesses. I am ex­cited to con­tinue work­ing with our Caribbean en­trepreneurs and cre­ative peo­ple by of­fer­ing ad­di­tional work­shops for en­trepreneurs in the re­gion and do­ing re­search in the ar­eas of op­er­a­tions man­age­ment, in­no­va­tion man­age­ment and en­trepreneur­ship. “


Ta­mara McKayle


Jen­nifer Bai­ley

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