Women in Energy give tips to entrepreneurs
Two of Jamaica's successful corporate women imparted useful advice to entrepreneurs on day two of the first-ever Women In Energy conference for the Caribbean.
Held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on March 10 and 11, the conference was spearheaded by Kelly Tomblin, president and CEO of Jamaica Public Service (JPS).
Mariame McIntosh Robinson, president and CEO of First Global Bank kicked off the second day's group of presentations and panel discussions. She spoke to the gathering on the topic 'Getting Your Projects Done: Securing the Right Financing'. Robinson explained the pros and cons of the various sources of capital, including borrowing from family and friends and financial institutions.
PITFALLS TO AVOID
She highlighted pitfalls to avoid when raising capital, including failure to get the proper legal agreements, having too many investors or lenders, focusing too much on the idea and not enough on the management, and poor cash-flow management. Robinson pointed out that potential investors are looking for certain key factors from entrepreneurs when deciding whether to take a chance with their business proposals.
Rochelle Cameron, vice-president, legal and regulatory affairs at FLOW, told the attendees how to 'send the elevator back down'; in other words, how they can connect with sponsors and mentors, who are the persons waiting to send the elevator back down from their top-floor offices to help entrepreneurs advance their careers. Cameron, who is also chairman of FLOW's employee engagement committee, told the budding entrepreneurs to know their cheerleaders.
"Get the right people in your corner because you won't get there quickly enough on your own," was her message. She advised them to be open to feedback and learning. In fact, she suggested that they should go looking for it. Cameron also told each individual to build their own coalition and to connect courageously.
The goal of the conference was to motivate and empower female professionals to reach their full potential and advance their careers in a traditionally male-dominated industry. The conference brought together a cross section of the region's successful women leaders in the energy arena.
Over the two days, participants shared, collaborated, and mentored each other, while women leaders shared their industry knowledge, experiences, and strategies for accelerating positive organisational change and personal growth.