YEA launches merchant card
… celebrates 15th anniversaryWednesday, October 13, 2021
In an effort to assist micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to grow their businesses, the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA) has launched a merchant card which encourages patronage of local businesses.
According to the president of YEA, Cordell Williams Graham, the 'unconventional' access to finance strategy is a part of the Buy YEA initiative, as well as the Buy Jamaican: Build Jamaica campaign.
“So while we may not be able to facilitate access to finance in the truest sense, through our membership card we're enabling entrepreneurs to gain access to discounts, special offers, and other YEA benefits that will help them to save, cut costs and be able to redirect these monies to reinvest in their businesses and to become more profitable,” Williams Graham said during the association's 15th anniversary celebration event held recently.
“There are many ways to skin a cat they say, and while access to finance continues to be a challenge, helping people save more and make more money creates greater fiscal space for MSMEs to invest in their own business,” she continued.
According to her, existing members can sign up to become merchants, while interested non-members can register by paying the YEA membership fee, which is currently $10,000 a year.
Once approved as a merchant, entrepreneurs automatically become a member of the association and will gain access to all the benefits. These include but not limited to mentorships, fellowships, scholarships, and coaching.
Members of the YEA will be able to use this card at other various members' enterprises.
“For example, a car wash entity could give 10 per cent off a wash and vacuum of the car or for every three wash and vacuum that you do, you get the fourth one free. We have launched this card and will continue to build out the framework and invite more persons to sign up and become a part of YEA and to gain access to tremendous benefits,” Williams Graham said.
She added, “We are hoping this will not only bring hope to entrepreneurs, but encourage them to become a part of a network that can help them to ride out the storms of the pandemic. We are also hoping to drive home the importance of small businesses to the economy among the wider public.”
Celebrating this year's anniversary under the theme '15 and Forging Forward', the business development organisation launched this capacity-building initiative to commemorate the milestone.
Additionally, it officially rolled out its mentorship and coaching programme, which will facilitate peer-to-peer mentorship opportunities among members of the association, as well as connect entrepreneurs with successful business leaders across the world with one-on-one and group coaching and mentorship interventions.
Later this month, the association will launch its annual digital Young Entrepreneurs Stories and Strategies Magazine ( YESS Magazine) that will feature inspirational and motivational anecdotes, and give insights on business strategies and solutions to guide entrepreneurs.
Furthermore, in November for National Entrepreneurship Week, the YEA will host its Virtual Success Summit under the theme 'Nothing Can Stop Us Now'.
Over the years, the Young Entrepreneurs Association has partnered and collaborated with the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Development Bank of Jamaica, JMMB SME Resource Centre, the US Embassy, the Chinese Embassy, and the Jamaica Employers Federation.