JN Fund Managers gets youth ready for global trade

Sponsors business training and passports for young entrepreneurs

Tuesday, July 29, 2014    

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JN Fund Managers (JNFM) has strengthened its commitment to the development of young entrepreneurs in Jamaica by funding over 200 high school students to receive business training and mentorship.

The training, which was done in partnership with Junior Achievement Jamaica (JAJ), involved the students taking part in a six-month entrepreneurial programme, Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE), while receiving guidance from JNFM's licensed advisors.

The JACE programme is an experiential training that guides students in starting and operating companies in their schools. It focuses on strengthening the capacity of youth to be leaders in various sectors, while building competencies needed to excel academically and in the global economy. Of the over 40 schools in the JACE programme this year, nine were sponsored by JNFM.

These schools were Ardenne High, Glenmuir High, Herbert Morrison High, Holmwood Technical High, St Jago High, St George's College, St Hugh's High, Kingston College and Vere Technical High.

According to Annette Clayton Baker, vice-president of marketing and public relations at JNFM, "Exposure to entrepreneurship at high school level promotes self-confidence and an awareness of community. Students believe that they are now better able to craft solutions and learn to create their own opportunities. They learn to invest in themselves."

In addition to the training and mentorship the students received, JNFM also funded passport application fees and photographs for 66 students in the JACE programme.

"Although the passports are important in promoting a sense of national identity, they also serve to encourage the holders (of the passports) to conduct business legitimately and were part of a rite of passage that the teens, who had not owned passports before, needed to experience," she said.

This is the second consecutive year that JNFM has partnered with JAJ to execute the JACE programme and the passport initiative.

Omario Brown, student of St George's College, was one of the young entrepreneurs who benefited from the JACE programme and is now the holder of a Jamaican passport for the first time.

He expressed that it was difficult for him to obtain a passport: "I really appreciate the assistance from JN Fund Managers and Junior Achievement in getting my passport for the first time," said Brown. "The JACE programme has certainly developed the entrepreneurial skills of my classmates and myself."

As a result of JNFM's sponsorship of the JACE programme and the passport initiative last year, JAJ alum Callia Smith was able to represent Jamaica at the Junior Achievement Next Generation Leader's (NGL) Forum in Canada last year.

The NGL is a global entrepreneurship conference and competition that brings together hundreds of creative business minds to foster the development of innovative ideas to create opportunities for job creation and economic growth. This was the first time that Smith owned a passport and travelled outside of Jamaica.

"Having a passport has made a huge difference in my life. Not only was I able to connect with great minds across the world, but I am now able to conduct many other transactions, both business and personal," Smith explained.

Clayton Baker said that JNFM will continue to partner with JAJ to fund both the passport and JACE programmes.

"I am confident that the JACE programme is the right fit for our high school students. We will continue to partner with Junior Achievement to provide ways of improving the educational opportunities outside of the classroom. We are engaging their attention to possibilities here and overseas."





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