Thu | Jul 19, 2018

In-School Productivity Campaign | Importance of time management and accountability in early entrepreneurship

Published:Wednesday | January 31, 2018 | 12:00 AMSashelle Gooden/Gleaner Writer
Sashelle Gooden, Senior Communication Specialist
Sashelle Gooden, Senior Communication Specialist at the Jamaica Productivity Centre (left), stands with LASCO Brand Ambassaor, Nadesia Watson- Smith (right) as they present a LASCO gift basket to Allman Town’s acting principal, Latoya Nesbitt, as encouragement to continue the innovative culture being cultivated within the school.
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This week we visited Allman Town Primary School located in one of Jamaica Productivity Centre's (JPC) neighbouring communities in Kingston to lend guidance and support to the students entering the Microsoft Global Enterprise Challenge. The Global Enterprise Challenge gathers students from around the world to compete in an international, online event which develops their knowledge and experience of enterprise through a shared practical experience.

The challenge provides young people with the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to assist them in the transition from school to work, including the ability to create and manage personal, community, business and work opportunities.

Allman Town Primary has consistently been the only English speaking Caribbean primary school entrant in this competition! With time running out this year and students lagging behind, the Jamaica Productivity decided to assist with ensuring a productive process through teaching proper planning and time management.

In speaking with the students, we recognised that the problem was not a lack of innovation, they were brimming with ideas and even knew the names of their businesses. From our discussions with them, we identified that their biggest barrier was lack of clarity on how to transition from a concept to an operational business.

We took the afternoon, placed the students in their business groups and proceeded to have each group draft a simple business plan answering six questions:

1. What is your business going to be?

2. Who & where will your customers be?

3. How will you contact them?

4. What resources do you need to start your business?

5. Who will be a part of your team and what will be their responsibilities?

6. What is your timeline for each critical step needed to get your business operational?

With each group putting on paper these questions and discussing the answers among themselves, they started to recognise the immense amount of work needed to have a successful business. Each student started to develop a sense of personal responsibility for the part they have to play in the business' success as well as a sense of direction of the next steps.

Each step of the process was built into a timeline and assigned to an individual student highlighting the concept of accountability and time management. We emphasised that the success of the business implementation was dependent on the quality of the work in adherence to the timeline developed as each step of the journey has a significant impact on the subsequent step.

The submission deadline for the competition is in March. We wish Allman Town Primary all the success and the Jamaica Productivity Centre stands ready to assist as called upon and is in our power to help.

- Sashelle Gooden is a senior communication specialist.