Scotiabank Jamaica has announced the 25 small businesses that will be participating in its 2023 Vision Achiever (SVA) programme as well as a major increase in the prize package that will be offered.
The 2023 cohort will share J$7.5 million in cash and prizes—50 per cent more than in 2022, with the top three taking home more than J$1.2 million made up of $500,000 in grants from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), $250,000 in advertising from Trendmedia and Gleaner respectively, $200,000 gift certificate from Unicomer and other gifts.
The balance of the prize pool will be awarded as individual prizes such as Top Entrepreneurial Woman, and the People’s Choice Award to name a few.
Participating companies in the 2023 staging include: Sensors and More, Ramjuss Welding Plus and Construction, Sweet Encounters Limited, VKBH Customs Broking, All Things Granite, Granny Nanny 24/7 Day-care and Nanny Service, Get Social Ltd., Jabbas Caterers Ltd., Golden Peak Limited, Western STEM Academy, Puddonplussweet Salon, Le Champ Cosmetics, Kevorn Drafting and Construction, Ajawi Construction, Netronics Solutions, Betta Farms and Distributors Limited, Little Memories JA, Dore Taxes, Chefs Choice Distribution, First Cloud Caribbean, Colossal Trucking Ltd., Surf & Turf Fridays Catering Consultants, Teresa Pastries Limited, Nankunda & Associates, and Pronamic Builders and Construction.
“We have maintained a long-standing commitment to our local SMEs and have invested almost $100 million in this programme over the past 12 years. More than 350 businesses across the island participated in the programme and as we have worked with them, we have gained greater insights into the challenges that they face,- much of which have been significant during the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” shared Kaysia Johnson-Vaughan, director of SME and professional partnerships at Scotiabank as she explained the rationale for the prize boost.
“We are also so grateful for our sponsors who have continued to partner with us to increase the value gained by these fledgling businesses each year,” she further noted. This year’s programme sponsors include the Development Bank of Jamaica, Icreate Ltd., the Gleaner Company, Trend Media Ltd and UNICOMER (Courts Jamaica Ltd).
To be eligible for the programme applicants must meet the requirements of a being a Jamaican national owned business, in operation for more than two years , have a good credit history, and have annual sales of USD$100,000 in the last fiscal year.
More than 150 SMEs submitted applications for the programme and 40 companies were shortlisted and interviewed by a panel of judges as they vied for a space in the programme.
The top three and individual prize winners will be selected based on criteria that includes attendance, completion of modular assignments, and the real-life implementation of practical learnings during the course.
Participants are trained each year by International Business Coach Marcia Woon Choy, CEO of ActionCOACH Jamaica.
The Scotiabank Vision Achiever programme was created to assist small and medium-sized business owners to transform their business. The 17-week programme combines both online and face-to-face learning in areas such as financial accounting, marketing, management skills, practical activities, and other rudimentary business skills.