The Honey Bun Foundation’s Advisory Committee Model, which provides teams of expert advisors to help owners of fledgling small and medium businesses unlock their potential, has reaped impressive results, with one business reporting a 50 per cent jump in revenue and another moving from being a small to a medium-sized company.
The Honey Bun Foundation was founded in 2019 by Michelle Chong, CEO of Honey Bun bakery, to create business models for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and people in the creative industry, to help them grow and thrive.
The Foundation’s Advisory Committee Model establishes relationships between operators of SMEs and teams of advisors – accomplished experts in various fields – who work with the SMEs to close gaps and correct deficiencies.
The first cohort of nine SMEs included Shiloah Beehive, a social enterprise that engages women from rural communities in beekeeping to produce pure honey and by-products. After participating in the 12-month programme, and working with advisors engaged by The Honey Bun Foundation, executive director of Shiloah Beehive Amanda McKenzie said her business’ revenue soared by 50 per cent and her profits jumped by 30 per cent.
“The Honey Bun Foundation’s Advisory Committee has helped my business access new markets – new retail markets were added, and this has improved the accessibility of our products for customers,” said McKenzie.
BOOST TO PERFORMANCE
The advisors who helped boost the performance of Shiloah Beehive were Rowena Coe, managing director of Marketing Strategy Limited; Atoy Williams, an agronomist; and Prince Graham-Haynes, an entrepreneurial lecturer.
The programme saw the SMEs working with their advisors on a strategic roadmap and profit-and-loss templates created by The Honey Bun Foundation. The templates have clearly defined objectives, with milestones and monthly reporting requirements.
Candice Gordon, founder and managing director of Shevelle Naturals, which produces all-natural skin, hair and body products, has also seen a transformation in her business.
“It was truly refreshing to have a group of persons I could share my ideas with and get really meaningful feedback. Throughout the year, Shevelle was able to move from basically one distribution outlet to 10, double its sales revenue, and for the first time been able to take on staff.”
Chong, who said she founded The Honey Bun Foundation because she understands first-hand the roadblocks and trials faced by entrepreneurs, said she was pleased with the success of the first cohort of SMEs to participate in the Advisory Committee Model.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the Jamaican economy. Those of us who have travelled the often lonely and treacherous entrepreneurial road have a responsibility to support those just entering the space, so that they can thrive and better themselves, their families, their communities and the nation as a whole,” she said.
Jordan Dawson, owner and managing director of Dawson Trading Company, a Jamaican frozen produce business, said The Honey Bun Foundation has been a game changer.
“Through its advisory committee model, The Honey Bun Foundation has provided Dawson Trading Company its bedrock for growth, allowing our company to grow its revenue by over 50 per cent, moving Dawson Trading Company from a small to medium company in just two years,” he said.
The advisors who worked with Dawson Trading Company were Ricardo Durrant, investment and promotions manager at JAMPRO; Nicholas Dawson, a senior manager at Scotia Investments, as well as Chong, who also lent her expertise to help grow the business.
MORE DREAMS TO BE REALISED
Nashauna Lalah, general manager of The Honey Bun Foundation, said now that the model has been tried and proven, greater things are ahead.
“We know that this model works, so we will only improve and grow from here. This means more businesses benefitting and more dreams being realised. The heart of this programme is the advisors who give their time and energy selflessly to help others to achieve their goals. They represent the best of Jamaica, and we thank them for their support and look forward to wonderful things to come.”