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Innovators programme a success

Published: 
Saturday, August 11, 2018
Woman is boss...
High Commissioner to T&T Carla Hogan-Rufelds, seated at left, next to WINC Facilitator Glenda Joseph-Dennis and former T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce CEO Catherine Kumar with WincapTT 2017-2018 graduates. Missing is WINC Facilitator Georgina Terry. PICTURES CARIFIC/BPD

Twelve fiercely motivated Trinbagonian female entrepreneurs decided that this was the year to rev up their businesses to top speed. That’s just what they did by participating in and graduating from the recently completed Women Innovators in the Caribbean (WINC) Acceleration Programme (AP) 2017-2018.

The programme which was partially funded by the Canadian Government and the World Bank, was facilitated by infoDev-certified AP Facilitators Glenda Joseph- Dennis, managing director of Carific Coaching and Consulting Ltd and Georgina Terry, managing director of Business and People Development Associates Ltd (BPD). The businesswomen were able to benefit from expert services in personal and business development, technical workshops, one-onone mentoring and motivational sessions over eight-months.

This was the second cohort of women to benefit from WINC’s uniquely designed transformative methodology in holistic business acceleration.

High Commissioner for Canada to T&T Carla Hogan Rufelds, in her feature address to the graduates, spoke about her personal experiences and the Canadian Government’s $600 million development programme for the Caribbean (of which $20 million was devoted to the World Bank’s Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC)) and its applicability to the general goals and objectives of the infoDev/ WINC programme in the Caribbean.

Hogan Rufelds provided statistics that reflected the gains of women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and Latin America and the gaps that still exist. She reconfirmed with passion her own commitment as well as that of her Government “to build a world in which women’s economic empowerment and the leadership of women are brought to fruition every day.” She exhorted all the women to be “bold, proactive and persistent.”

The programme’s final motivational session was facilitated by Catherine Kumar, ex-CEO T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Her approach was interactive and was appropriate for both graduating participants and guests. She shared her experiences from working in the banking sector and she focused on taking risks, stepping in and out of comfort zones, embracing innovative ideas, delayed gratification and networking as these related to women becoming winners.

Kumar’s authentic sharing of her personal journey and accomplishments motivated many to review the key ingredients of their growth recipes and to be brave in adding new ones.

The 12 women who successfully completed and graduated from the WincapTT 2018 programme include: Aileen Bruce (President’s Inn Ltd); Ain Earle (The Fashion Arch); Alicia Small (game Changer Concepts); Carolyn Chu Fook (Monster Media Group Ltd); Eshe Bruce (Yummazing Creamery); Germaine Williams-Beckles (Rayogee Limited); Jo-Ann Murrell (Carisoul Architecture Co Ltd); Kaisha Lee A Ping Alfred Soundroom Productions Limited & Trendy Trade Show); Nikita Legall Tropical Hives Ltd; Stacy- Ann Williams (Edu-Star Limited); and, Venus Honore-Gopie (Honoré Floral Designs).

According to Stacy Ann Williams of Edu-Star Limited: “The programme transformed me by helping me clarify my vision, focus and ultimately my decision making…at the beginning of the programme I was a franchisee and at the of the programme I am in the process of being a franchisor.”

Carolyn Chu Fook of Monster Media Group Ltd asserts: “Being part of the programme taught me valuable lessons, how to implement new strategies, helped to improve the internal culture of my company, increased my confidence in networking and presenting skills, which lead to delivering presentations to large organisations and also reviewing and improving our business processes. All the participants grew during the programme in their own unique way.”

The programme was supported by ten skilful local and international mentors including: Maxine Attong, Kaylan Bartholomew, Rawle Rollocks, Marcus Sunkow, Inshan Meahjohn, Michelle Low Chew Tung, Dr Nsombi Jaja, Kaffi Williams, Nicole Green and Indira Couch.

Special guests in attendance included Managing Director of Enterprise Hub Ashley Mitchell and Melissa Birbal who represented The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (Cariri), the latter of which sponsored the venue for the launch of WincapTT 2018.

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