Yaneek Page, being her own boss
Published: Monday | December 14, 2009
Yaneek Page of Future Services International. - photos by Rudolph Brown/Photographer
Working for others did not give Yaneek Page the kind of self-actualisation she was looking for. So after working in a large organisation for two years, she opted to be her own boss.
Page, 31, is the owner of a first-of-its-kind organisation, Future Services International Limited, a company that provides Jamaicans locally and abroad with legal funding and litigant support for civil suits.
"If you have a civil case and you cannot afford to pursue it because of monetary reasons, Future Services will fill the gap by financing your suit. But, at its conclusion, you pay us back," says Page.
She further explains that they only fund cases that are seeking monetary damages. They emulate the business module of established organisations in the United States of America that operate on a risk module. It stipulates how much money they can spend on each matter, the type of matters they pursue and whether it is claiming for monetary damages.
An important criterion that clients must fulfil in order to receive funding through Future Services, is to have legal representation. The defendant must also be able to establish liability and to pay judgement or settlement.
"I must point out that we don't offer legal advice, so having your own legal representation is a must. We rely, in part, on what the legal counsel has to say about the matter the client is pursuing." The client must also sign an authorisation to his or her information in order for Future Services to validate the merit of the matter.
Page notes that the clients' attorneys must demonstrate confidence in the matter. "Plus, they must sign an irrevocable professional undertaking on their clients' behalf to pay us in a specific time frame, even if that specified time arrives before the matter is settled."
As Page relaxed in the comfort of her Braemar Avenue office, she also told Flair that she was just 17 years old when she started a beauty and spa company. She says that, at the time, she did not have any interest in returning to school so she went full force into her business. But, two years later, she packed in and decided to pursue a college education. By 25, she had completed a bachelor's degree in management and psychology, and a master's degree in social policies at the University of the West Indies.
At the graduation for her second degree, Page created history by walking away with all the awards given out that year by the Sir Arthur Lewis' Institute of Social and Economic Studies. She was awarded most outstanding social policy student, most outstanding research paper and most outstanding student overall.
She told Flair that, at the event, one of her colleagues, who gave the vote of thanks, challenged her not to be just another person to receive many awards, but to be someone who will do something great.
Page confesses that she did not take up that challenge right away. Instead, she got a job at the Planning Institute Of Jamaica where she did a very short stint. Afterwards, she began working at GraceKennedy in the risk management department where she spent two years. Last year, after serious self-evaluation, she decided she wanted to be as much as she could be.
Just not enough
"So I sat down and thought of what would make me happy because where I was career wise, it was just not enough."
She recalled that her thesis was on crime and extortion, and began doing some brainstorming as to what kind of business she could do. She then decided to start a company that would make a positive difference in the lives of Jamaicans, and that's how Future Services International was born.
Page added that many persons told her that she was entering a risky business and it would not work. But she believed that the greatest fear is not taking a risk at all. "By not taking a risk, you would have lost out on the opportunity to be the greatest person you could be. Plus, to date we have had scores of cases which we have settled."
Page points out that her job is no walk in the park. She recently returned to work from maternity leave, so she has to juggle being a mother of two, a wife, with a very demanding job.
She notes that they try not to be burdened by challenges because a lot of people are relying on them. She noted that for many, her company is their last resort, but she hopes that people would make them their first.
On the flip side, her greatest reward is when people come back to say 'thank you' after their cases have been settled. She told Flair she hopes to see the day when being 'poor' does not mean you can't get justice or the best legal representation available. So, persons who have suffered injustices and are seeking monetary damages can now find refuge through Future Services International.
'By not taking a risk, you would have lost out on the opportunity to be the greatest person you could be. Plus, to date we have had scores of cases which we have settled.'
Yaneek Page's company provides Jamaicans locally and abroad, legal funding and litigant support for civil suits.