Mona School of Business and Management Continues To Support Excellence and Innovation at UWI through the 2023 Staging Of The UWI Vincent HoSang Venture Competition
Coming off the heels of its 10th Anniversary Gala and Awards; celebrating excellence and innovation, the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) recently launched the 2023 staging of the UWI Vincent HoSang Venture Competition (UWIVC). The competition was established over 20 years ago, to assist tertiary level student entrepreneurs move their business ideas from mere concepts up the value chain, to commercially viable entities that are market ready. This is paramount to the university’s strategic thrust towards playing a more integral role in the strengthening of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
A major new development of the competition this year is the UWIVC’s collaboration with RevUp Caribbean that will see the strengthening of the capacity building initiatives of the competition in addition to providing greater mentorship support to the participants, a key element to the success of any budding entrepreneur. In addition, this year’s extended bootcamp series as UWIVC Chairman Douglas Lindo stated at the launch, “will bring real entrepreneurs and real technicians in the room, to bridge the journey of where entrepreneurs think the idea is, to where the real opportunities should be. This will help to cut down on the costly mistakes often made by startups in their early stage”.
Another exciting development this year, which speaks to the impact of the competition, is the fact that two of our longstanding partners, the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation and the Development Bank of Jamaica, both increased their sponsorship contribution to One Million Dollars and Six Hundred Thousand Dollars respectively, which will go directly to the students as part of their prize monies to invest in their business. Sponsors of this year’s competition are Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority , JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation; Development Bank of Jamaica; RevUp Caribbean; NCB and Baymac.
In the current economic environment, it is critical now more than ever, to encourage students to become self-sufficient and therefore the UWIVC remains dedicated to creating a blueprint to success for entrepreneurs. In his charge to the students, MSBM Executive Director Dr. David McBean encouraged them to be resilient in these uncertain times as he stated “Pursue your dreams and ideas with full force and remember failure is an opportunity to get up and do it again”.
Speaking on behalf of Caribbean Food Delights (CFD) and the Vincent HoSang Family Foundation, benefactors of the programme, Mrs. Sabrina HoSang Jordan, CEO, CFD, reaffirmed the organization’s belief in and commitment to the programme as she stated “It is our dream that UWI and MSBM will be at the forefront of entrepreneurial education for generations to come. So I implore all participants to take advantage of every opportunity and soak up all you can from the mentors, experts and fellow innovators because winning is great but the journey, will last a lifetime”.
In addition to representatives of sponsoring companies and other members of the private sector, the launch event was attended by senior members of the UWI community including, the Deans of the Faculty of Social Sciences Dr. Heather Ricketts and Faculty of Humanities and Education, Dr. Silvia Kouwenberg as well as Professor Daniel Coore Chair, Mona Campus Entrepreneurial Committee.
The goal of the UWIVC is to inspire and activate young Jamaican entrepreneurs at the UWI Mona and therefore the competition is open to all enrolled students, faculty and researchers. Since inception of the UWIVC, multiple students have transformed their ideas into successful businesses. The MSBM remains steadfast in the commitment to preparing the next generation of globally competitive leaders for an ever changing world, through the adoption of techniques that will help them to stay nimble, while remaining innovative and being agile enough, to meet new market demands and stay profitable.