Jamaican entrepreneur selected for Pres Obama initiative

Jamaican entrepreneur selected for Pres Obama initiative

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 22, 2015

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JAMAICAN entrepreneur Kirk-Anthony Hamilton was among 75 global entrepreneurs selected to attend the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) initiative in the United States earlier this month.

The initiative, launched by President of the United States Barack Obama in April 2014, aims at harnessing energy, ideas and experience in developing the next generation of global entrepreneurs. PAGE is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between celebrated American entrepreneurs, the White House, the Department of Commerce, the Department of State, the US Agency for International Development and Small Business Administration partners.

As part of their commitment to Entrepreneurship, PAGE members develop signature entrepreneurship initiatives designed to inspire entrepreneurs, expand networks and global exposure of existing entrepreneurs, or increase deal-flow between investors and entrepreneurs. The initiative is organised around providing opportunities and pathways to access capital; access talent and education; and access hope and inspiration.

Hamilton was selected by the World Economic Forum to attend the initiative.

"Entrepreneurs work very hard to create value for customers, investors and their team," Hamilton told the Jamaica Observer. "To have those efforts recognised at such a high level feels amazing and I'm just thankful I was given the opportunity to be there to represent Jamaica and the Caribbean."

In honouring the entrepreneurs, President Obama welcomed the participants from around the world to the White House, following his announcement for the support of young entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean, during his visit to Jamaica. The week-along series of events included presentations by billionaires Mark Cuban, Daymond John and Barbara Cocoran from popular television show Shark Tank and an announcement by President Obama of a new cohort for the PAGE initiative. The event also provided networking opportunities for the participants.

"Being the only one selected from the Caribbean, it shows that Jamaica is still being recognised. My plans going forward are to acquire real estate for the development of a boutique hotel and this will propel me into entering the hotel industry," he told the Caribbean Business Report.

Hamilton is the founder of the Infiniti Partnership, a platform that creates value by pursuing interests in real estate development, lifestyle, hospitality and entertainment projects. The 29-year-old is also co-curator of the Destination Experience, a social discovery experience, gathering a global network of business leaders and influencers to promote investment, prosperity and philanthropy in the Caribbean and is also know for delivering Kingston's Global Party in 2011.

Last year, he was invited to attend 2014's Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Morocco, hosted by US Vice President Joe Biden. Hamilton, along with selected entrepreneurs from 20 countries, was recognised for their entrepreneurial achievements during their stay in the United States.

According to Hamilton, President Obama also used the occasion to announce new commitments in support of the Spark Global Entrepreneurship initiative -- a programme aimed at generating US$1 billion in new investment for emerging entrepreneurs worldwide by 2017, and issued a call to action to companies, organisations, and individuals across the globe to increase their support for emerging entrepreneurs.

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