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Marcus Sewell had two separate anxiety attacks while preparing his pitch for an opportunity to win $100,000, during the JN Small Business Loans Start-Up Kick Start Competition in June. However, his hard work was rewarded on October 4, when he became the first winner of the competition, which began earlier this year. He finished ahead of Ava Gay Lewis who received $30,000 and Kimone Knight who received $20,000. In addition to the cash prizes, all three finalists received business start-up kits, letter heads, mentors from their respective industries, business development sessions and other collateral which will assist them on their journey.

Lewis’ venture, Aveeena Salon, a night-time spa specialising in hair and beauty care, was awarded second place, while Kimone Knight copped third prize for JA Kids Factory, a company that makes hair and skin products for children ages zero to 15.

The Start Up Kick Start,” competition was a social media-promoted initiative for start-up business owners to receive funding for their operations. The competition was open to start-ups, with businesses operating for less than six months being permitted to make submissions. The competition, which received more than 100 entries, invited persons to submit a business plan and business model canvass and complete an application form. From there, they were narrowed down to a top 10 before the finalists were invited to make a boardroom pitch for a chance to win a $100,000 cash prize.

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