Known as the brainchild behind the flourishing Patwa Apparel clothing line, Heneka Watkis-Porter is once more spreading her entrepreneurial wings. This time, she will be igniting palates with her new 10 Fyah Side line.
Just in time for The Gleaner-initiated Food Month spanning the entire month of November, the line which will consist of jellies, jams and hot sauces was launched last Thursday.
The launch at the JAMPRO office, in St Andrew, showcased the line's first set of products, comprising of the guava jam, barbecue and jerk sauces.
A beaming Watkis-Porter said the idea came to her about a year ago, and with a vision and purpose she turned her idea into a reality.
With her eyes set mostly on the export market, one of her rationales for creating and manufacturing a sauce line simply surrounds this reasoning, "I have logically concluded that whereas people will not always buy clothes in periods of economic downturn, they will always eat. Therein lays my opportunity."
With the international appeal of Brand Jamaica and the extension of the Jamaican Diaspora, Watkis-Porter said that providing an authentic taste of Jamaica is an area to capitalise on.
"Jamaica is a mere .004 per cent of the world's population, ranking 137 in terms of population size. Yet, our cultural impact on the world is phenomenal."
Already in advanced negotiations to export her products to Columbia, her guests of honour expressed at the launch how much of a trailblazer Watkis-Porter is.
Marcia Woon Choy, of ActionCoach Jamaica, said that Watkis-Porter possesses the characteristics that are important for the success of any entrepreneur.
According to her, purpose, passion and productivity are essentials for business owners to ensure longevity and success. And another 'P' which complements the successful operations of any business is profit.
"It has to be a commercial profitable enterprise that can one day work without her," Woon Choy notes.
In speaking to Watkis-Porter's determination to succeed, Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Valerie Viera said it was important to have a global vision with the right attitude.
"Planning is important, it is key in any business because you have to strategise.There is also perseverance because there will be testing times, but you have to overcome those."
Citing the launch of 10 Fyah Side as a move in the right direction for Jamaica's economy and for local entrepreneurs, Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams says tapping into new markets should be the prime focus for local manufacturers.
"Entrepreunership, such as we are seeing today, provides the Jamaican economy with the opportunity for new innovative ideas, rising exports, with increased productivity, as well as creating new jobs. Our challenge now is to ensure that we can support entrepreneurs to turn good ideas into great businesses."
To facilitate this, she pointed to the recent launch of the micro, small and medium-size enterprise (MSME) and entrepreneurship policy, which will help to create a more enabling business environment, increased financing for MSMEs and to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Feeling quite accomplished so far on her entrepreneurial journey, Watkis-Porter, who has a retail outlet located in Devon House, expects support from customers both locally and internationally. She is currently looking to form alliances with local and international distributors.