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Innovators take the spotlight for NCB's Nation Builder Awards

Published:Friday | October 4, 2013 | 10:00 AM
Bernadette Barrow, assistant general manager, NCB Retail Banking.

The diversity and innovation of Jamaica's small and medium business sector is mirrored in this year's selection of nominees for National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited's (NCB) premier rewards programme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the Nation Builder Awards.

This year, the independent panel of judges selected seven nominees representing a variety of new and emerging fields of business innovation such as digital animation and high-tech construction, specialist medical services, creative industries, and even ecotourism.The nominees were selected in the categories listed below:

Nation Builder:

1. Free Form Factory Limited

2. Gray's Pepper Products Ltd

Start-up:

3. Accident and Emergency Medical Services

4. GSW Animation

Innovation:

5. Man B Special Museum & Culture Bus

6. GeoTech Vision Enterprise Limited

Women in Business:

7. Althea Bryan, Blue Mountain Bicycle Tours Limited

8. Valrie Grant, GeoTech Vision Enterprise Limited.

According to Bernadette Barrow, assistant general manager, NCB Retail Banking, this year's pool of nominees showcases the nation's most creative and enterprising business minds at work. "Our nominees demonstrate that, despite any economic hardship they may face, our Jamaican SME sector continues to reap success and to give back to their communities. NCB, with our long-term dedication to nation building, continues to embrace our SMEs and proudly support them as our partners in building a better Jamaica," she said.

As another way of demonstrating its dedication to this buoyant sector, NCB and its sponsorship partners will also reward deserving final-year University of the West Indies management studies candidates for coming up with the most outstanding business proposal in fulfilment of their bachelor's degree programme. Through this 'Vision Award', the bank and its partners will provide capital investment for the students' proposed start-up company.

This year, several entities have again offered their sponsorship support. They are: The Gleaner Company Jamaica Ltd, RJR Communications Group, LIME, Mona School of Business and Management, The Lions Club of New Kingston, HEART Trust/NTA, The Jamaica Business Development Corporation, and The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.

The pool of nominees for the NBAs was selected based on their demonstrated community impact, creativity and innovative thinking, strategic direction and commercial viability. All the finalists will receive a combination of cash, products, technical and capacity-building training, scholarships, financial consultation, and marketing support, to boost their business growth.

NCB's annual awards programme, which is now in its sixth year, celebrates small and medium-size businesses which demonstrate outstanding entrepreneurial performance and strong community involvement and impact.

The winners in each category and the company which is selected to wear the title NCB Nation Builder will be announced at the awards gala on Tuesday, October 22, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.