2017 National Business Model Competition Launches as Student Entrepreneurs Gear Up to Compete

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) have launched the fourth staging of the National Business Model Competition (NBMC).  The NBMC will be held at the Knutsford Court Hotel on March 23 and 24, 2017.

The competition, will see 16 teams of student entrepreneurs from four universities - Northern Caribbean University (NCU), University of Technology Jamaica, University of the West Indies, and Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts - competing for cash prizes totaling J$4m and an all-expense paid trip to represent Jamaica at the International Business Model Competition (IBMC) in the USA.

The NBMC is one component of the DBJ’s Jamaica Venture Capital Programme (JVCP) that is geared toward building an entrepreneurial eco system.
Over the years, the DBJ and PSOJ, in organizing this competition are supported by a number of private sector companies including:  ICD Group, National Commercial Bank, Pan Jamaican Investment Trust; GK Capital Management, Scotiabank Jamaica, Jamaica National Building Society and VM Wealth.   The Inter-American Development Bank through the Multi-lateral Investment Fund (IDB-MIF) has supported the initiative since 2014.

Judges from the Jamaica’s private sector will select the winner at the two-day competition on March 23 and 24.

Last year’s NBMC winner Guardana Inc, an all-female team from NCU, placed sixth at the international competition at the Microsoft Ventures campus in Washington, USA. In 2015, local team JarGro Enterprise reached the semi-finals of the international competition and in 2014 Herboo Enterprise.  All the national winners have come from Northern Caribbean University.

Business modelling, geared at reducing the failure rate of start-up businesses, differs from a static business plan and focuses on assessing customer interactions then pivoting and changing course based on the lessons learned.

The objective of this annual competition is to foster and promote entrepreneurial spirit, creative thinking and collaboration on the campuses of Jamaica’s universities and is designed to facilitate young entrepreneurs in taking their business ideas through to operationalisation, while facilitating access to mentors, coaches and investors.

Both organisations are committed to ensuring the sustainability of the competition and see it as one of the pillars to national development that will encourage entrepreneurship at the tertiary level.