Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Three Jamaican social entrepreneurs and two from the wider Caribbean will this year benefit from the Arthur Guinness Fund, which seeks to further the legacy of Arthur Guinness and to support social entrepreneurs across the world.
The year's awardees will be announced during the Arthur Guinness Concert, set for September 26, and each will receive J$1.5 million cash.
"The substance behind the Arthur Guinness celebrations is about those community heroes, persons who are believers. They are thinkers, they are innovators and they build the foundation for tomorrow's generation," said Guinness Brand Manager Racquel Nevins. "Guinness is about heartland connections, and one of the biggest ways to connect with persons in the community is to help to celebrate those persons who help make their communities better."
The effort is part of the annual Arthur Guinness celebrations that celebrate the life and legacy of the man who founded the Guinness Brewery 254 years ago. The celebrations began in 2009, marking the 250th anniversary. "We have Arthur Guinness celebrations the last Thursday in September, and as part of the celebrations, we added the Arthur Guinness Fund, which is about championing and supporting people from around the world who roll up their sleeves and really make great things happen for their communities," Nevins said.
Last year's awardees
Last year, 10 awardees received cash to further their dreams. "Last year, we supported 10 projects from the Arthur Guinness Fund, from adult education and skills training to people in the creative industry who don't have the money to access the right advice. We had projects helping persons 18 years and older trying to make a difference, trying to do something with their lives," Nevins said. This year, however, the number of awardees was reduced to five - three from Jamaica and two from the Caribbean.
"This is so, so we can provide more funding for each awardee so that the impact on their project is greater," Nevins said.
Joan Webley of Nanook Industries, one of last year's recipients, has been added to the panel of judges that will determine which nominees will be awarded for 2013.