Youths share business ideas on Day 2 of VYBZING Forum in Jamaica

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The day opened with a review of the overnight homework assignments. Groups had been formed and named, and worked assiduously for long hours brainstorming and selecting their business idea, preparing the Business Model Canvas and their business pitch. During the opening session, the teams shared insights into some of the challenges they encountered in completing their assignment and how they were able to overcome them. After a few minutes of open discussion, the facilitators spent a few minutes with each group to provide specific guidance and insights. Commenting on the morning' discussion, Ayanna Samuels said she found that the participants were inspired and gave a lot of thought to their ideas. The Business Canvas was strongly employed to refine how the projects can make money and to define the future growth plan. She said that one of the issues revealed was that most participants believe that making a profit is evil and Jamaica is suffering nationally because of the mind-set that has been ingrained - that money is the root of all evil. The teams want to do social good, yet they feel that the goal is not to make a profit - we need to shift that thinking. Ayanna also revealed that the teams feel that investors will be turned off if their goal is stated as being to make a profit. Facilitator, Jeremy Stephen highlighted the key financial reports and how to prepare a budget for the business. The first instructional session for the day was “Attracting Investors /Financing Options for Startups" presented by Jeremy Stephen. The teams learned some essential principles about financial attributes and indicators of interest to potential investors, about the key financial reports - balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement, and how to prepare a budget for the business. Before breaking for lunch, the training on building a website that was started on Day 1 was concluded. The feature presentation of the day followed lunch when Ayanna Samuels discussed “Gender Equity in ICT." Her presentation helped the participants to understand the difference between Equity and Equality, understand the relevance and importance of the issue and provided insights into the barrier to gender equity in the ICT sector. Ayanna' presentation included many real life examples from her own experience and knowledge. One participant Sadie said, “I learned that gender doesn't matter once you are motivated to do something you can push forward." She and others in her group revealed that they learned that one shouldn't be constrained or feel the need to conform to traditional gender roles, biases and expectations. The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to Pitch Rehearsals and preparation for final judging of the business proposals. The Facilitators provided detailed feedback to help the teams hone their presentations to “elevator pitches" - they learned that entrepreneurs must be ready at a moment' notice to present their idea in 30 seconds or less and be ready at all times to pitch their business in any scenario. The 11 teams presented their business ideas and for the first time we learned the company names and concepts they had developed for homework: Live Jam - a mobile app which uses gaming to teach non-Jamaicans about Jamaican culture JahMi - an industrial animation studio specializing in educational material, with the ability to produce other local content Waterloop - a solution for water management - reduce, reuse and recycle water Trash to Treasure - an event planning firm that uses recycled materials as d√©cor for events Healthwiz - transforming illness into wellness Somet Milling Company - using local ground produce to make flour as an alternative to wheat flour Yaad Canvas - Onlne marketplace selling Jamaican arts in its various forms - visual, performing, culinary AgriConnect - a produce delivery service - delivery to consumers and businesses iSpeek Productions - producers and providers of original local content to local and international media Jade Wealth Management - Financial consulting services for SMEs and Individuals DliverIt - an app to facilitate island wide delivers - linking consumers to courier services Judging criteria for the final presentations on Day 3 were revealed to be: Originality of the business idea; Fluidity of the presentation; Relevance of the idea; and Suitability of budget. To close Day 2, the Facilitators all concurred that the participants were doing a great job. They reminded the group of budding entrepreneurs that the expected outcome of their participation is that they will have learned skills and feel empowered to go back to their communities to implement their ideas. The teams departed the workshop venue making their plans for how to approach the task ahead for the evening. The overnight homework assignment given to the teams is to continue to refine their business idea and prepare their presentations for judging on the final day. At the end of Day 2 many admit that the workshop has exceeded their expectations. Roxanne White said the best part was the pitch rehearsal process and getting the feedback from her peers and the Facilitators. To view more photos and for live updates visit the VYBZING Facebook page.

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