I have been following the fortunes of the Katalyxt family in the past few years – and in particular, its support for young entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, I missed the launch of this year’s Youth Innovators’ Competition, but thought I would share their press release and photos from that event, which is always inspiring. Once again, I salute Winsome Minott for her inspiration and her great generosity of spirit. Winsome is a business owner, who could just concentrate on making money; but she also seeks to “give back” to Jamaica by encouraging young people to think creatively and to develop a bold vision. Here is Katalyxt’s press release (what is “Business in a Box”? I will have to find out!)… Stay tuned…
Katalyxt does it again! A subsidiary of Mint Management and Finance Services Limited, Katalyxt in collaboration with sponsors: Jamaica Producers, Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), Jamaica Association for Micro Financing (JAMFIN), Tru-Juice, Ministry Of Education Youth & Information, Exim Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia launched the Katalyxt Youth Innovators’ Competition at the José Martí Technical High School on Wednesday, 23rd November 2016. A strong turnout of participating schools made the atmosphere both interactive and exciting and provided a space in which students were enthusiastic about sharing their opinions and creative ideas.
In keeping with the mission of Katalyxt, which is to encourage innovation and to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, the 2017 launch kicked off with Team Leader Winsome Minott who spoke of the importance of success and “failing forward.” Minott noted that “Nothing beats the right attitude and perseverance,” she emphasized the need to find innovative solutions including new ways to bring products/services to market. “An entrepreneur must be prepared to face several challenges and never be discouraged.”
DBJ, a sponsor since 2012 (represented by Ms. Keisha Facey) addressed the importance of securing capital for new businesses. Ms. Facey shared with youth entrepreneurs how to utilize capital to bring their ideas to fruition. Emprezz Golding, of Talk up Yout also delivered a stirring message to the young innovators of over 80 students from several schools; she charged students to “talk up” and share their ideas with the world: “Talk is important as it allows entrepreneurs to share perspectives and provoke thought.” Using her own journey as an example she encouraged youth entrepreneurs to begin with available resources. Golding encouraged the youth to where possible utilize resources available in Jamaica to build Jamaica. Kristen Cousley, a visiting entrepreneur now based in China, explored the potential of subscription boxes. Several students who could not contain their excitement, asked many questions with a view to starting on this innovative journey. Cousley sold well the concept of creating “Business In a Box.”
The schools received preliminary training at the launch of the 6th “Katalyxt Youth Competition. The team would like to continue fostering a deep sense of creativity and innovation amongst Jamaica’s youth. The program seeks to address many of the problems and deficits being faced in today’s Jamaica by encouraging new thinking.
Mrs. Lena Buckle- Scott, representing the Ministry of Education Youth & Information, noted that the Ministry was pleased to partner with Katalyxt for the sixth year; she brought greetings from the Minister of Education and asked the students to give of their best. Mr. Conrad Wright from The Bank of Nova Scotia challenged the students to make use of this great opportunity afforded by Katalyxt, which was not available when he was in school.