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Three share top prize in 2019 Scotiabank Vision Achiever Programme

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Scotiabank Jamaica has, for the second year, named three winners among its vision achievers.

Dr Dayna Mitchell, Dr Janice Simmonds-Fisher and Lascelles Smith were the top prize winners at the recent awards ceremony for the 2019 Scotiabank Vision Achiever Programme.

Dr Mitchell operates her dental practice, Pure Smiles Dental in the Corporate Area, while Dr Simmonds-Fisher manages a stem cell therapy treatment centre in Kingston and Montego Bay, St James, called the BIO-regeneration Integrated Medical Centre.

Smith runs a honey-manufacturing business, Las-Bee Producers, in Negril.

The three topped the group of 22 business owners who participated in a 17-week long course led by action coach Marcia Woon Choy.

This year's participants operate in varying industries including health care, manufacturing, agriculture, fashion, retail, public relations and marketing, and environmental solutions.

The Scotiabank Vision Achiever Programme provides micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) owners with an extensive range of capacity-building courses, which is expected to improve the way they operate.

The winners were selected based on their attendance, class participation and performance during the course and were rewarded with several prizes from the programme's various sponsors.

They will receive $450,000 in digital business solutions from Digicel Business; advertising content and social media training from iCreate Institute valued at $1.5 million; $750,000 grant-funding from the Development Bank of Jamaica and $600,000 in digital marketing from Trend Media in addition to Scotiabank, trophies.

Audrey Tugwell Henry, executive vice-president, retail banking at Scotiabank said the Scotiabank Vision Achiever Programme is an important plank in the bank's efforts to help small businesses operators navigate the challenges associated with operating a business.

“We are very cognisant of the challenges that exist in the world of business, especially for MSME's. In our business we see the gaps that exist, and some years ago rationalised that if the Jamaican business landscape was ever to improve, someone would have to step in and fill that hole to make it easier for those traversing the world of entrepreneurship be able to find success,” said Tugwell Henry.

She commended the participants for holding firm to their commitment to enhancing their abilities through the programme.

The awards ceremony also showcased the products and services of all the entrepreneurs who participated in the programme.

Dr Mitchell, who received the Transformational Award, valued at $150,000 from Lithographic Printers, said the programme taught her valuable lessons about operating a business.

“It showed a lot I did not know about business and what the other side of the world looks like outside of medicine. I have grown as an individual and business owner,” said Dr Mitchell.

In giving the vote of thanks communications specialist Cheryl Neufville-Crooks, managing director of Neufville Management & Communications, likened the Scotiabank Vision Achiever Programme to an executive MBA along with a personal management consultant.

“Very few of us would have been able to afford this level of management support at this time,” she said.

“Thank you for an extensive 17 weeks of information, guidance, skills development and so much more,” said Neufville-Crooks.

The Scotiabank Vision Achiever Programme has helped, through intricate training, to develop more than 200 businesses since its inception in 2011.

The programme has been designed to impart core competencies required for running a profitable business.

These include sales, systemising the business processes, marketing and understanding business financials.