Female entrepreneurs get equipment
Eleven female entrepreneurs, primarily from Manchester and St Elizabeth, have received equipment, tools and other inputs to kick-start their operations.
The items, provided through a CDN$25,000 (approximately $2.8 million) grant from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, were officially handed over during an entrepreneurship showcase held recently at Zorn Moravian Church Hall in Christiana, Manchester.
The beneficiaries, who participated in the Young Women/Men of Purpose (YWOP/YMOP) entrepreneurship training programme, were successful business pitch competition winners among the 32 persons who completed the course. Among the entrepreneurs who benefited from the support is certified chef, Sashell Thomas, who received a mixer, blender and stove.
Thomas produces a line of jerk seasonings and other items, made from all-natural ingredients, under the brand 'Wi Jammin Caribbean Foods'. She also makes banana bread and fruit juices, which she plans to place on the market soon.
She told JIS News that through the training provided by YWOP/YMOP, she learned about money and business management, which are key to the growth of her operation. Thomas, who started her business in 2022, said that over the next five years, she hopes to be exporting to Jamaicans in the diaspora and to become a household name. She currently operates from home but plans to move into a business location shortly.
Another beneficiary is Shadine Salmon, who creates beautiful decorations, including balloon garlands, for weddings, christenings, gender reveals, engagement parties and corporate events through her Xquisite Events operation. She received a machine that fills balloons with air. In March, Salmon will complete two years in business. She noted that while she lives in St Elizabeth, most of her clients are in Mandeville, Manchester's capital.
"Right now, I am saving towards a car and in the next five to 10 years I see myself having a shop. I want to expand into renting small items that customers can use for their events. People have been reaching out to me for balloon garlands so I will expand that as well," she told JIS News. Salmon said that the training she received from YWOP/YMOP has helped with her business, especially in keeping good records.