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Vincent Hosang UWI Venture Competition Launched

Published:Wednesday | October 22, 2014 | 12:51 AM
Contributed Photo Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, deputy principal, University of the West Indies, Mona with Alicia Brown (centre) and Ana-Kay Green, winners of 2013 Vincent Hosang 2013 UWI Venture Competition.
Contributed Photo From left: Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, deputy principal, University of the West Indies, Mona; Kim Mair, executive director of Joan Duncan Foundation of the JMMB Group; Michael Williams, executive director (acting) Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM); Thelma Yong, credit and risk assessment manager of JN Small Business Loan ltd; Douglas Lindo, Vincent Hosang UWI Venture Competition; James Moss-Solomon, executive in residence - MSBM and Omar Spence, marketing manager of programmes at Bank of Nova Scotia, pose for a photograph at the launch.

The 2014 Vincent Hosang University of the West Indies Venture Competition (UWIVC) was launched at the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) yesterday evening.

The competition was introduced in November 2002 with the objective of encouraging students of the university to use their talents and skills to harness ideas and opportunities that can be grown into full-fledged operating businesses.

Since 2003, the winner of the competition has gone on to participate in the Opportunity Funding Corporation Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OFCIE) now Thurgood Marshall College Fund OFCIE business plan competition held in Atlanta each year among historically black colleges. The team from UWI is the only non-United States team that participates in that competition and has won the top prize three times over the past four years.

In endorsing the programme, Professor Densil Williams, executive director of MSBM, said, "Economic growth won't happen unless enterprises become a priority. The ownership of capital is far too often in the hands of multinational corporations. We must become shareholders in our own enterprises. This competition is a positive start in getting our people to believe again that they can become owners of capital."

The competition's major sponsors for 2014 are the Joan Duncan Foundation and the Scotiabank Small Business Banking unit, which were also major sponsors in 2013.

boot camp

As part of their support, the Joan Duncan Foundation will further their mission of integrating the world of business with the needs of the wider community through offering participants the opportunity

to participate in a boot camp for Transformational Leader-ship and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Addi-tionally, they will be presenting an award to the team that best demonstrates an inclusion of CSR in their business plan and while giving a contribution of J$25,000 to a registered charity of that team's choice.

BNS manager for marketing programmes, Omar Spence, said, "Partnership with young entrepreneurs is important for the development of our economy. It is important that our university graduates are equipped to explore entrepreneurial options should corporate jobs not be readily available. We at Scotiabank encourage entrepreneurship and stand ready to support this sector of the economy."

Other corporate sponsors include JN Small Business Loans Limited, The Jamaica Observer Limited and the Mona School of Business and Management.