Entrepreneurial push


Entrepreneurial push

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

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Lauri-Ann Ainsworth gets her biggest rush when the Branson Centre pushes an entrepreneur to new levels of success. 'Push' has been the number one word in her vocabulary since she became CEO of Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean — the region's leading accelerator for entrepreneurs.

As CEO, Ainsworth champions the Branson Centre's mission to “create dynamic Caribbean entrepreneurs”. Since 2011, the centre has been able to open doors for people who didn't know where to turn for guidance in their transformation to entrepreneurs.

“In 2018 we were happy to see more business enablers emerging to support the start-up community and so we pivoted to help the next stage — growth-stage entrepreneurs who wanted to scale but needed more resources, coaching and mentorship. Today, we continue to support entrepreneurs as they battle to survive during this pandemic. Every industry has been affected and we continue to leverage our resources and expertise to help our entrepreneurs recover, become resilient and grow,” says Ainsworth.

Given the challenges presented by the pandemic, she led her team through a major pivot by moving their programmes to a 100 per cent digital experience. The centre currently offers training, mentorship and coaching virtually to serve the immediate needs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. “Now is the time for entrepreneurs to fully embrace technology and innovate where they see gaps and opportunities. It's time to fully embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution and understand the value technology brings to grow businesses and our economies,” Ainsworth urges.

She strongly believes that this is not a time to be paralysed by challenges and that there are solutions available.“Technology has and will always be a game changer for entrepreneurs as they manage and grow their businesses. Entrepreneurs can get more done by leveraging automation, accessing data to drive decision-making, and reaching more significant markets all through the power of technology,” she says.

A mom of two, an entrepreneur and wellness advocate, Ainsworth brings 14 years of people leadership, marketing and project management experience across multiple industries and scales of business. Before assuming the role of CEO, she served as the centre's director of Development and Communications and managed a growing portfolio of work in development, partnerships, fund-raising and communications.

Before joining the Branson Centre, Ainsworth was a member of the leadership team at the tech accelerator StartUp Jamaica and a founding committee member, coach and mentor for the Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurship Programme (CTEP). She co-founded SupportMe Virtual Business Services, a boutique business support consultancy providing marketing, project management, operations, and other management support services.

In 2015, she founded and hosted The Sales Funnel Summit, a virtual conference with 31 of the most brilliant global minds in digital funnel strategies, to help entrepreneurs create profitable online businesses.

Ainsworth recently launched her podcast, The Thriving CEO, targetting successful but overwhelmed entrepreneurs, coaches and online course creators who are busy dong it all — running a business, raising a family and managing a growing team.

Each week she talks about how to ditch the overwhelming while achieving your goals by implementing the 3 S's (systems, support and self-care). Topics include how to manage your time, create repeatable systems in your business, outsource and build a team to free up your time so you can focus on high-value activities that grow your business and allow you to spend more of your time doing the things that matter most.

On a mission to help people thrive in life and business without the burnout, she focuses on improving work-life balance through productivity and wellness for her team and the entrepreneurs they support.

Ainsworth has a degree from the University of Toronto, several professional certifications and is a certified life and wellness coach.

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