PRESS RELEASE, 7 SEPTEMBER 2015
TWO CARIBBEAN FEMALE YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS WIN THE CARIBBEAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP CHALLENGE
Two female entrepreneurs took first and second place in the keenly contested Caribbean Entrepreneurship Challenge: Josanne Arnold of Trinidad and Tobago and Janice McLeod of Jamaica.
The Caribbean Entrepreneurship Challenge is an initiative of the Global Leadership Coalition (GLC) in collaboration with the 1M1B Foundation and the Caribbean Center of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (COESL). The challenge was open to young people between the ages of 18 and 29 from across the Caribbean including Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Haiti, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Challenge begin with 70 proposed business plans in the areas of agriculture, sustainable energy, climate change and cultural industries. A distinguished panel of judges narrowed the group to 26 budding entrepreneurs who were invited to attend a three day Leadership and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp held in Bridgetown, Barbados in May 2015. From there the group was further narrowed to 13 entrepreneurs who were selected to participate in a 4-month Change the World Internship, designed and led by of 1M1B Foundation.
Over the course of the internship, the entrepreneurs received advice and guidance from volunteer mentors including Ashley C. John of St. Vincent, Kareem Hertzog of the US, Marcia Brandon of Jamaica, Mary Symmonds of Barbados, Taka Juba of the US, and Ritu Singh of India. The mentors provided training in leadership and self-management while guiding the entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into viable businesses. On Saturday, 5 September, they presented the results of their projects to judges Mark Ifill (Barbados), Enid Meleika Alleyne (Guyana), Dione Chamberlaine (Belize), Una May Gordon (Jamaica), and Manav Subodh (India).
Placing first in the competition, 25-year-old Josanne Arnold is the Founder and General Manager of Tobago based G.O.T Greens. Her enterprise is the creation of an aquaponic greenhouse creating affordable, high quality organic vegetables, grown and produced in an environmentally friendly and health conscious manner. Over the course of the challenge, Josanne created five jobs and has plans to expand further.
Runner up was 24-year-old Janice McLeod who created Agro Central, a cloud based platform which allows agribusinesses to effectively manage their suppliers using web, email and mobile services. Over the four month challenge she enabled over 50 suppliers to expand their orders and revenue.
The other semi finalists who remained through to the end of the challenge were: Jennell Pierre of Guyana, Joshua Forte and Nikele Davis of Barbados, Kengthsagn Louis of Haiti, Margaran Joseph of St. Lucia, Vijay Singh of Trinidad and Tobago and Vincent Polak of Suriname.
Mary Symmonds, the Co-Founder of the Global Leadership Coalition acknowledged all the participants on behalf of her partners, the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods and 1M1B Foundation, without which the Challenge would not have succeeded. She congratulated the entrepreneurs for their tireless work throughout the 4-month internship and recognized the leadership and entrepreneurial skills including being
- unstoppable and innovative – overcoming challenges and following through with their projects
- results oriented – focusing on achieving their 4 month goals while laying the groundwork for the sustainability of their enterprises
- adaptable – making necessary course adjustments and using the tools acquired during the training
- coachable – responding to the coaching and mentoring they received
- accountable, reliable and disciplined – participating in the training sessions and completing the online training course, using the knowledge they gained to enhance the feasibility and sustainability of their enterprises
The Global Leadership Coalition aims to develop a new type of leader that is socially conscious and entrepreneurial while making a difference in their communities, countries and throughout the world. Through its partnership with the Caribbean Center of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (COESL), it aims to reach young people throughout the Caribbean. In collaborating with 1M1B, it aims to impact the job creation goals of the Caribbean and elsewhere.