Careers & Education

Alicia Brown, Ana-Kaye Green win UWI Venture Competition

BY AINSWORTH MORRIS Career & Education writer

Sunday, December 22, 2013    

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ALICIA Brown and Ana-Kaye Green are the 2013 winners of the 11th annual University of the West Indies (UWI) Venture Competition.

The announcement of the duo's victory was made at the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) on November 29 immediately after the final judging round of the competition ended.

They entered a business called Regal Farms Limited that will produce Sea Island cotton in Jamaica, and convinced the panel of judges that their project was the most sustainable.

The judges were Dennis Chung, financial analyst; Anthony Lawrence, global brand manager, Grace Foods Limited; Phillip Bernard, general manager, Jamaica National Small Business Loans; Brian Goldson, non-executive chairman of the board at Access Financial Services; and Collen Webster, business coach, Mona Business Support Services.

According to Brown, winning the first place trophy over nine other business ideas selected for the final round of the competition was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

She said much of their success in this competition was based on mentorship and guidance they received from their mentor Roy Reid of Jamaica Money Market Brokers.

"Throughout the process we were asked some very tough questions and were given great direction while working closely with our mentor. He helped us to work on our financials and our presentation and that's part of the reason we are winners today," Brown said.

In congratulating the team, Douglas Lindo, project director, UWI Venture Competition, lauded the women for seeking mentorship for the success of their project.

"Mentorship creates a platform for experience, bridging the gap between academics and industry. Additionally, it facilitates networking between young talent and experts," Douglas said during the final round of the competition last month.

As part of the winning package, Brown and Green were awarded one-year scholarships to the MSBM and were offered a place in the Vincent HoSang Entrepreneurship Programme. The team also won two of the three sectional prizes for best financials and best presenter.

They will represent Jamaica in 2014 at the annual Opportunity Funding Corporation Venture Challenge in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

The second place trophy was awarded to Tova-Malka Trench Anderson and Randy Hayle, who submitted a business plan for Pro-San Environmental Solutions; while Oneil Grant and Salomie Lyle-Scott, who submitted a business plan for MicroDiagnostic Solutions, placed third.

The competition, launched in 2002, is open to final year students at UWI. The aim is to nurture new business ideas, products and services with commercial value.

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