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The JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL) “Start Up Kick Start” competition, a social media promoted initiative for start-up businesses to receive funding for their operations is now in its judging phase, having received more than 100 entries via social media in the opening stages.

The Kick Start competition started in January, when applicants were invited to submit their business ideas for a start-up venture; and have a chance to win $100,000. Businesses operating less than six months were also permitted to make submissions.
That phase of the competition began on January 2; and ended on the 29th. 

“We were impressed with the interesting mix of business submissions and the number of entries we received,” explained Mrs. Jacqueline Shaw-Nicholson, communications and client services manager, JNSBL. “We had numerous queries from persons who were interested in entering; and, ultimately received more than 100 entries.”

Mrs. Shaw-Nicholson stated that after submitting their business ideas, each entrant was required to do a business model canvass; and a “question and answer sheet” with specific questions about the operations and its potential market.

“We requested the business model canvas, because it’s a good way to capture in summary how a business creates and delivers value to its customers. It also allows the entrepreneur to test potential strategies, about the business model,” she noted. “From the business model canvass, they can also determine what is required for their business to succeed.”It also forms an excellent basis on which to build out the business plan, she added.

She explained that during the judging phase, the number of applicants will be reduced to a top 10; followed by a top three applicants.

The top three persons will “pitch” their business idea before a panel of external judges, for the chance to win $100,000. “The top three finalists will also benefit from business development coaching; In addition, there will be monetary prizes for second and third place,” she explained.

Mrs. Thelma Yong, Deputy General Manager, JNSBL, said that JNSBL decided to mount the competition as part of its ongoing mission to assist micro small and medium entrepreneurs, and further boost the country’s entrepreneurial potential.
“The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2017/2018 revealed that 85 per cent of Jamaicans in the age group 18 to 64 agreed that: most persons consider starting a business as being a good career choice,” she stated.

 “However, from our experience,” Mrs. Yong noted, “we are aware that many start ups struggle to navigate the initial phase of business development; therefore, JNSBL is seeking to stimulate structured ‘Start up initiatives,’ as one way in which we are assisting entrepreneurs to get their business started and funded.”

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