DBJ appeals to Private Sector to support student entrepreneurs …6th staging of National Business Model Competition

The Development Bank of Jamaica is appealing to corporate Jamaica to lend its support to the annual National Business Model Competition (NBMC), an initiative that encourages and promotes entrepreneurship on the campuses of local university since 2014.
Speaking to a group of business leaders recently, Milverton Reynolds stressed the importance of entrepreneurship in national development and the role of the private sector in supporting Jamaica’s future leaders. 
“We need your support, not just financially, but also as advisors and mentors.  The students who participate in the NBMC are the future of our nation and they need you to help to open doors for them through networking, advice and counseling, so we need you to sign on to the initiative.  It is a win-win situation all around” he explained.
Since 2014 the DBJ has spearheaded the NBMC and have been receiving outstanding financial support for investment houses and corporate Jamaica to include: Pan Jam Investment, Scotiabank, NCB Foundation, GK Capital Management, Musson Foundation, Restaurants of Jamaica (Burgher King), Sagicor Jamaica, PetroCaribe Development Fund.  Support has also come from the Inter-American Development through its Multi-lateral Investment Fund (IBD-MIF) and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica provides project management services.
Four universities – Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts (EMC) Northern Caribbean University (NCU), University of Technology, Jamaica (UTECH), and the University of the West Indies (UWI) - have been participating in the NBMC.
Audrey Richards, Project Coordinator, Jamaica Venture Capital Programme, who has oversight for the NBMC in presenting the initiative’s ‘report card’ stated; “ it is our considered opinion that “universities are fertile grounds for creative thinking and future leaders.  This initiative is organized and executed to hone and fulfill these young Jamaicans potential.”
Continuing she said:  “Between 2014 and 2018 approximately 1600 students on our four campuses have benefitted from training in: idea generation and business modeling, business development training, customer segmentation and retention, financing modeling, channel distribution, pricing and business valuation.
For the first four years (2014-2017) of the competition NCU, through its Morris Entrepreneurship Centre (MEC), has won the NBMC.  UWI through the Mona School of Business & Management (MSBM) won in 2018
Coming out of the NBMC 60 business entities have been formed and of this approximately 40 are registered operational businesses and contributing to GDP.
Annually the local winner is afforded an all-expense paid trip to participate in the International Business Model Competition (IBMC) in the USA.  The competition is rotated between a number of universities and annually attracts approximately 5000 students worldwide.
Jamaica has always done well at the IBMC and the records show that in 2014, Herboo Enterprise from NCU placed 8th out of 42 universities worldwide.  In 2015 - JarGro Enterprise representing NCU reached the semi-finals.  2016 - Guardana Inc., also from NCU placed 6th and received honourary mention.  In 2017 - Nastima Nutraceutical also from NCU placed 4th.  In 2018: Jamaica had its best year ever when five teams participated with four gaining entry through the highly competitive At-Large window.  BEASC Technology from NCU won first in the world and was named Global Champion and won US$30,000.   A second team - Eco Structures, UWI won second place and was awarded US$20,000.  A third team placed 7th.
The 6th staging of the NBMC is scheduled to take place on March 21 and 22, 2019 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.