A brighter window appears to be on the horizon for women who are focused on venturing into or improving their formal business operations, and a director of the Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ) is hailing the latest development in favour of female empowerment.
Wilco Finance Limited, in partnership with a number of other entities and organisations, on Tuesday launched the WILCO WOMENtrepreneur Programme in St Andrew. The programme is geared at micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sustainability through the provision of access to finance solutions through working capital support, fixed asset purchase and debt consolidation.
The partnership involves Wilco Finance, Caribbean Assurance Brokers Limited, Acorn Professional Tutors, the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited, and the SBAJ.
With MSME leadership training also included in the programme, a number of key stakeholders hailed the launch as an overdue step and one that should bring great results going forward.
Numbered significantly among the stakeholders at the launch ceremony was Kevin Frith, a business executive and Director of the SBAJ. Before declaring his own roots relative to female entrepreneurship, the businessman stated his mission on the SBAJ board.
“My mission at SBAJ is to contribute as much as I can to the development and benefit of small businesses across the island and, essentially, around the world,” said Frith.
Wilco Finance executives )from right), Deputy Chairman Vernon Wilson; Chairman Patrick Thompson; and Chief Executive Officer Nikisha Walters, expressing pleasantries with businessman and Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ) Director, Kevin Frith, at the launch of Wilco Finance’s WOMENtrepreneur Programme in St Andrew on Tuesday.
He noted that the SBAJ “was established many years ago to facilitate these types of partnerships that will ultimately produce success for businesses with potential, but lacking the required capital to effectively move forward.”
He also said the SBAJ is keen on providing useful support, such as business development coaching and mentoring, to help to strategically position persons as business operators.
Then Frith outlined his own awareness of “the need for financing and the negative impact lack of financing can have on any business operation,” and extended commendation to Wilco and the other stakeholders for the successful launch of the programme.
In closing, he brought home in full practical sense, a historical experience of his that helped to ground his appreciation of the power of entrepreneurship.
“Just by remembering my days as a youngster living with my grandmother and seeing how she would run her little shop, which was small but able to take care of the household in ways that would make me wonder if she is a miracle worker, I am fully seized of the opportunities for success (in business) with the right application,” he said to an appreciative audience.
But, he was not done yet, and declared that, “I mentioned that to say, any bet on women in business is a good bet, and I look forward to the success this venture will bring to both Wilco and all the entrepreneurs who seek to partake in and utilise the facilities that are being offered.”