Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Growth & Jobs | Sandals, SDC to launch Startup X business programme

Published:Tuesday | August 22, 2017 | 8:00 AM
General manager of Sandals Montego Bay, Carl Beviere (left) listens with approval to aspiring business owner Karen Cole (center) explain her product idea to sponsor Dax Pessoa from USAID.

Approximately 40 aspiring business owners now have a better grasp of how to conduct research, formulate, develop and create products that can be marketed worldwide.

They are eyeing the nutraceutical and cosmetics industries and were trained on how to develop these products, as well as to understand the market, through an entrepreneurship training programme called Startup X, put on by Sandals Resorts in Montego Bay and its philanthropic arm, the Sandals Foundation. USAID COMET II and the Social Development Commission (SDC) were partners in this training programme.

It was held recently and represents the second phase of Startup X, which was aimed at economic development in the parish of St James, thereby fostering job and wealth creation, as well as social protection.

During the training, the aspiring business owners were required to develop and package their products, after which the top 15 where selected. They were selected on the basis that they had met several prerequisites that deemed their products market-ready.

An intense interview and presentation of the products were done at a showdown of the top 15 business owners at Sandals Montego Bay. They discussed their operational ideas to a panel of judges which included representatives from Jamaica National, Sandals Foundation, Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Heart Trust-NTA, SDC and USAID. Each entrepreneur competed for a total of $100,000 to be funded by the Sandals Foundation. The winner will be announced in September in recognition of World Tourism Day at the official launch of Startup X Business Programme.