NCB inks deal with Branson Centre
National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCB) and the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship - Caribbean (BCoEC) recently signed a partnership agreement confirming the institution as one of the Branson Centre's preferred financial-services partners in Jamaica.
The partnership will see NCB facilitating disbursement, maintenance and collection of funds under the Branson Centre's 2017 Made of More Entrepreneurs' Challenge, as well as the management of business accounts for loan recipients.
NCB has also committed to sponsoring this year's staging of the challenge, alongside lead sponsor Guinness, and will also sponsor the centre's programmes for one year, including all boot camps, workshops, and entrepreneur family meetings.
In return, the Branson Centre will provide capacity-building support, including but not limited to pitch coaching, business plan development, and mentorship for entrepreneurs supporting NCB's digitisation programme and participants in its other small/medium enterprise-enabling initiatives such as Capital Quest.
"The Branson Centre believes that entrepreneurs who are committed to scaling up are the key to transforming Jamaica's economy," said Lisandra Rickards, chief entrepreneurship officer at the Branson Centre.
Search for high-potential entrepreneurs
"As the centre becomes more targeted towards finding and connecting quality ventures to capital, this partnership with NCB will help us to widen the net in our search for high-potential entrepreneurs, as well as increase the rigour of our investment-preparation training," Rickards said.
"The partnership with the Branson Centre aligns perfectly with two of NCB's strategic focus areas. We have been working to support increased access to financing and capability building in the SME sector for several years. In addition, we embarked on our digital transformation journey in earnest in November 2015, and recently launched the first Agile Lab in the English-speaking Caribbean to accelerate the transformation - which requires partnership with dynamic fintechs and start-ups," said Nadeen Matthews, chief digital and marketing officer, NCB.
"We want to ensure that a proper framework is in place to enable these start-ups developing software solutions to support NCB's new digital direction, can grow into viable wealth and employment generating businesses. The Branson Centre's track record in this regard is noteworthy. This partnership bodes well for each of our individual businesses and the country, which makes it a triple win," Matthews added.