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Moguls expand their capacity

BY TAMEKA GORDON Business reporter
Wednesday, August 01, 2012

THE Jamaica Observer Moguls in the Making picked up tools to sharpen their competitiveness and efficiency at a capacity building workshop from programme sponsor Scotiabank on Saturday.

The finalists in the paper's entrepreneurship programme were engaged in one-to-one discussion and presentation sessions on record keeping, customer service, and business planning for success.

Patsy Latchman-Atterbury, Scotia's vice-president of small and medium enterprises, said the bank viewed efficient business management not only as a way to help companies repay bank loans, but as a means of improving the economy.

The value of professional development cannot be overlooked and is a key component in building successful businesses, she said.

While some entrepreneurs see their businesses simply as a way to supply their immediate needs, they should seek to build businesses to last through proper record keeping and an "instinctive business attitude," said presenter and accountant Orville Christie.

"The objective of these workshops is to trans-form the landscape of entrepreneurship in Jamaica," he said, noting that "a new outlook on the dynamics entrepreneur-ship needs to be created to aid economic and individual growth."

You could be operating at a loss blindly, if you don't get a hold of your books," said Durren McLean, operator of Shhh boutique, explaining why he valued the record keeping aspect of the workshop the most.

Participants were urged to recognise the force of the global competitive landscape. "Relationship building in customer service is as important in the business' arsenal as a winning product," said Dr Anne Crick, senior lecturer of organisational management at the Mona School of Business.

"Word of mouth is the best form of advertising," she told the participants.

Professor Rosalea Hamilton, president of the Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSME) Alliance, told the entrepreneurs of the importance of their business plans in charting the success of their companies.

"It's not just something you present to the bank to get a loan," she said, "but the vision of the company which should be shared with your employees so they know where you are going and how they too can help in ensuring the success of the business."

The workshop was a continuation of the Mogul in the Making programme, sponsored by Scotiabank and Columbus Business Solutions, and was held at the Scotiabank Corporate learning centre in Kingston.

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