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The impact of businesses on communities in which they operate will again be the main focus of contestants in the reality television series, The Innovators, when the show mounts its seventh season this October.

The concept, “Community Innovators,” was used in the sixth season; and underlined the challenges faced by ten upcoming entrepreneurs, as they worked to make their operations beneficial for them and other persons in their respective communities. This season will retain the same focus.

“Over the past six years The Innovators TV series has become a positive disruptor in the Jamaican entrepreneurial ecosystem, by nationally showcasing the growth and journey of unsung micro and small businesses, while highlighting fundamental business lessons, which improved their profitability and sustainability,” stated Yaneek Page, creator, executive producer and co-host of The Innovators TV series.

“For our 7th season, we are promoting and putting into practice the synergy between community members and enterprises, to influence entrepreneurs to build deeper connections within their neighborhoods for mutual reward,” she outlined, adding that, “When businesses integrate with communities it augurs well for national development and equitable growth.”

The Innovators is a 30-minute reality TV series, which was first aired in 2012; and challenges up-and-coming entrepreneurs, dubbed “assignments.” And, since 2015, the show is now being aired in 18 countries.

The “assignments” glean strategies from their mentors to manage, and enhance their operations to achieve financial success. And, the winner of the series receives a cash award from JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL).

“We want to encourage participants to make a deliberate effort to build their communities through entrepreneurship and business growth. The journey begins with season six of our pioneering entrepreneurial show; and we know that the possibilities will be mind-blowing,” Mrs Page stated.

She outlined that, in selecting the winner, the contestants will be judged on: the number of persons they employed; the influence of their business in their locations; and its overall potential to be successful.

Mrs Gillian Hyde, general manager of JN Small Business Loans, sponsors of The Innovators for a fourth consecutive year, pointed out that the theme was in keeping with JNSBL’s outlook to build the economic base of communities through business growth.

“Community-based operations are critical to the Jamaican economy, with many companies increasing employment in their business environment; and using the services of other businesses in their locations. Many of these operations are also making increased contributions to the national economy, particularly in the areas of manufacturing, retail and tourism,” noted Mrs Hyde.

“The decision of The Innovators to maintain focus on the community entrepreneurs theme is welcomed, because it will expose more micro entrepreneurs to the wider society. We firmly believe that highlighting businesses which impact communities, will generate positives for both the operators and their communities,” she added.

Mrs Page stated that last year the “assignments” and their communities benefitted from the potential spin offs, as the skills, products and services they provided created employment and had encouraging impact on other businesses.

“People in communities gained from the businesses through employment and patronising other enterprises; therefore, those positives influenced our decision to continue to engage with businesses, which are prepared to influence community growth,” she stated.

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