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Businessuite Top Caribbean Entrepreneurial Success Stories

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The Caribbean, known for its idyllic beaches and vibrant cultures, is also a breeding ground for some of the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs. From fintech visionaries to ecommerce pioneers, these individuals have taken their diverse backgrounds and turned them into global success stories.

Let’s dive into the tales of ambition, resilience, and success that characterize the entrepreneurial spirit of the Caribbean.

Martin Hanna – Penny Pinch Inc.
Martin Hanna is a testament to the fintech revolution brewing in the Caribbean. As the CEO and Founder of Penny Pinch Inc., Hanna has redefined what it means to provide value through technology. His company caters to a growing demand for digital financial solutions, demonstrating the vast potential of fintech outside traditional tech hubs. Hanna’s success story is not just about innovation; it’s about understanding and meeting the unique needs of his market.

In a region where access to financial services can be limited, Penny Pinch Inc. stands as a beacon of hope. By focusing on user-friendly products, Hanna has ensured that technology serves as a tool for empowerment. His approach blends local insights with global trends, making Penny Pinch a standout example of how fintech can bridge gaps in the financial landscape.

Hanna’s journey is notable for its focus on sustainable growth and community impact. He believes in leveraging technology to create a more inclusive economy, a vision that has earned him respect and admiration both within and beyond the Caribbean. As Penny Pinch continues to expand, Hanna’s leadership reflects a commitment to innovation that serves all.

 

Nicholas A. Rees – Kanoo Pays
Nicholas A. Rees, a former Olympian turned FinTech visionary, stands at the helm of Kanoo Pays. His remarkable transition from sports to business captures the essence of adaptability and determination. As the Chairman and Co-founder, Rees has steered Kanoo Pays to become a pioneering licensed Payment Institution in the Caribbean.

Under his guidance, Kanoo Pays serves as a platform for financial inclusion, connecting individuals and businesses across the region. Rees’s approach combines a deep understanding of finance with a passion for technology, making banking more accessible and empowering for Caribbean communities.

Rees’s background as a Chartered Certified Accountant, coupled with his MBA from the University of Miami, provides a solid foundation for his entrepreneurial ventures. His vision for Kanoo Pays includes not just financial success but also a significant impact on society, highlighting the role of businesses in driving social change.

His story is a reminder that entrepreneurship can emerge from any backdrop. Rees leverages his diverse experiences to build a company that not only profits but profoundly impacts lives. Kanoo Pays exemplifies how innovative business models can transform the financial landscape in the Caribbean and beyond.

 

Elevating Ecommerce: Kadion Preston and Caribshopper
Kadion Preston, co-founder and CEO of Caribshopper, has carved a niche in the booming ecommerce sector. Through Caribshopper, Preston facilitates global sales for Caribbean merchants, enabling them to reach audiences far beyond their geographical confines. This venture not only showcases the rich diversity of Caribbean products but also boosts local economies by opening new markets.

Preston’s tech background, combined with a keen business acumen, has allowed him to navigate the complex challenges of ecommerce. His platform stands as a testament to the power of digital transformation to foster economic growth and regional integration.

With Caribshopper, Preston has built a bridge connecting Caribbean creativity and craftsmanship with the world. His work has not only elevated the profiles of local artisans and businesses but also inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs in the region to look beyond traditional markets.

Preston’s entrepreneurial journey is a masterclass in harnessing technology for social and economic development. By leveraging ecommerce, he has created opportunities for growth and innovation that transcend geographical limitations, making him a pivotal figure in the Caribbean’s entrepreneurial landscape.

Conclusion
The stories of Martin Hanna, Nicholas A. Rees, and Kadion Preston highlight just a sliver of the entrepreneurial talent flourishing in the Caribbean. These individuals exemplify the region’s capacity for innovation, resilience, and global impact. Their ventures have not only transformed their respective industries but also offered valuable lessons:

Adaptability and resilience are key to overcoming challenges. Innovation should be driven by a desire to meet the specific needs of one’s community. Entrepreneurship can be a powerful tool for economic and social empowerment. Global success is achievable, regardless of one’s geographical starting point. As the Caribbean continues to make its mark on the global stage, these entrepreneurs serve as beacons of hope and inspiration, showing that with vision, hard work, and a commitment to impact, anything is possible.

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Artificial Intelligence

Who is Jensen Huang Nvidia CEO?

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Jensen Huang, born February 17, 1963, in Tainan, Taiwan, is a renowned American entrepreneur and co-founder of Nvidia Corporation, a leader in graphics processing units (GPUs) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Under his leadership, Nvidia has evolved into a powerhouse in the tech industry, with significant influence on AI development and the gaming sector.

Early Life and Education

Huang’s journey began in Taiwan, where he was born to a chemical engineer father and a grade school teacher mother. The family moved to Thailand before eventually sending Jensen and his brother to the United States to live with their uncle in Tacoma, Washington. They later attended the Oneida Baptist Institute in Kentucky, an experience that introduced Huang to the rigorous academic and social environment of American education.

Huang pursued electrical engineering at Oregon State University and later earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. These academic foundations laid the groundwork for his future innovations in technology.

Career and Achievements

In 1993, Huang co-founded Nvidia, recognizing the potential of GPUs not only for graphics but also for general-purpose computing. This vision has driven Nvidia to become a central player in the AI revolution. Nvidia’s GPUs have become essential tools in various fields, including scientific research, autonomous vehicles, and deep learning.

Huang’s strategic leadership has garnered numerous accolades. He was named the best-performing CEO in the world by Harvard Business Review in 2019 and was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2024. He has also been recognized in Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in both 2021 and 2024.

Under Huang’s guidance, Nvidia has achieved remarkable milestones, such as a market valuation surpassing $2 trillion and dominating the AI chip market with an estimated 80% share. His vision extends to the future of AI, predicting exponential growth in AI capabilities over the next decade.

Personal Life

Jensen Huang is known for his distinctive personal style, often seen in his trademark black leather jacket. He resides in Los Altos Hills, California, with his wife Lori, whom he met during his college years. They have two children, who are also involved in the tech industry.

Huang’s contributions to technology and AI continue to shape the industry, making him a significant figure for C-suite executives to follow. His insights and leadership offer valuable lessons in innovation, strategic growth, and the transformative potential of AI.

For more detailed information on Jensen Huang and his impact on Nvidia and the broader tech industry, you can visit Nvidia’s official site.

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Businessuite News24

Who is Andrea Coy, CEO of GK Foods International Business?

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Andrea Coy is a seasoned executive with an extensive career in the food and finance industries. As the CEO of GK Foods International Business, she oversees the global manufacturing and distribution operations of GraceKennedy Foods across multiple regions, including the USA, Canada, the UK, Latin America and the Caribbean, Belize, West Africa, and Europe.

Career Journey and Leadership Roles

Andrea Coy began her journey with GraceKennedy Limited in April 2005, initially serving as the Financial Controller of Hi-Lo Food Stores. Her rapid rise through the ranks saw her appointed as General Manager of Hi-Lo in March 2006. By October 2010, she was leading World Brands Services, and in March 2012, she took on the role of CEO of Hardware and Lumber Limited. Her leadership prowess was further recognized in March 2014 when she became Senior General Manager for the Global Category Management Unit within the GK Foods Division.

In October 2015, Coy’s portfolio expanded as she was named CEO of GraceKennedy Foods Domestic. This role gave her responsibility for multiple segments, including Hi-Lo, Grace Foods & Services, World Brands, and several factories in Jamaica. Her current role as CEO of GK Foods International Business, assumed in January 2018, places her at the helm of the company’s extensive international operations​.

Board Memberships and Professional Affiliations

Andrea Coy’s influence extends beyond her executive duties. She is a member of the GraceKennedy Group’s Executive Committee and chairs several boards, including Grace Foods Ltd. and GraceKennedy Belize Ltd. Additionally, she holds directorships on the boards of GK Foods & Services Ltd., GraceKennedy Foods (USA) LLC, and Grace Foods UK Limited, among others.

Her expertise is further acknowledged through her role on the Bank of Jamaica Board of Directors, where she serves on the Audit Committee and chairs the HRD Committee. Coy’s background in finance is underpinned by her experience at Citibank, NA, where she served as Resident Vice President, and at Shirlome Chemical Group and Mair Russell Grant Thorton, where she held various senior positions​​.

Educational Background

Andrea Coy holds both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Accounting from the University of the West Indies, achieving honors and distinction, respectively. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica since 1997. To further bolster her managerial acumen, she completed professional education in Turnaround Management Strategies at Harvard Business School in 2011​​.

Impact and Vision

Under Coy’s leadership, GK Foods International Business continues to strengthen its global presence, adapting to market demands and expanding its footprint. Her strategic vision and operational expertise have been pivotal in driving the company’s growth and ensuring its competitive edge in the international market.

Andrea Coy’s journey reflects her resilience, strategic thinking, and dedication to excellence, making her a notable figure in the food industry and a leader poised to drive GraceKennedy’s international business to new heights.

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Artificial Intelligence

Jensen Huang: Driving Nvidia’s Role in AI Development and Advancement

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Jensen Huang, co-founder and CEO of Nvidia, has been a pivotal figure in transforming Nvidia into a global leader in AI technology. His visionary leadership has propelled the company from its origins as a graphics chip manufacturer to a powerhouse driving significant advancements in artificial intelligence (AI).

Early Vision and Strategic Innovations

Huang’s journey began in 1993 when he co-founded Nvidia. His early vision for high-performance computing and GPUs laid the foundation for Nvidia’s growth. The launch of the GeForce 256 GPU in 1999 marked a major milestone, revolutionizing computer graphics and setting the stage for Nvidia’s future innovations.

Transformative AI Technologies

Under Huang’s leadership, Nvidia has developed cutting-edge AI technologies that are now integral to various sectors. Key among these is the Nvidia DGX Cloud, which provides enterprises with scalable AI infrastructure. This service allows companies to rent powerful AI computing clusters, facilitating rapid development and deployment of AI models.

Moreover, Nvidia’s AI Foundations services, including NeMo, Picasso, and BioNeMo, cater to diverse AI needs, from custom language models to drug discovery and creative industries. These services illustrate Huang’s strategic foresight in addressing industry-specific AI applications.

AI Integration Across Industries

Huang’s vision extends beyond technology to practical applications of AI across multiple industries. For example, Nvidia’s partnerships with cloud providers like Oracle, Microsoft, and Google enhance its AI ecosystem, enabling seamless integration of AI capabilities into enterprise operations. In healthcare, collaborations with Medtronic and other companies are revolutionizing medical devices and drug discovery through AI.

Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility

Jensen Huang has also championed sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Nvidia’s initiatives in this area underscore a commitment to environmental stewardship and social impact, ensuring that technological advancements benefit broader societal goals.

Future Prospects and Vision

Huang remains optimistic about AI’s future, predicting exponential growth in AI capabilities. He foresees AI systems that can continuously learn and solve increasingly complex problems, further solidifying AI’s role in shaping the future. At the 2024 GTC, Huang emphasized AI’s transformative potential, highlighting Nvidia’s role in pioneering new AI-driven industries.

Jensen Huang’s leadership has been instrumental in Nvidia’s rise as a dominant force in AI technology. His strategic initiatives and visionary approach have not only advanced Nvidia’s capabilities but also integrated AI into critical sectors, driving innovation and shaping the future of technology. Under Huang’s guidance, Nvidia continues to set new benchmarks in AI development, ensuring its continued influence and success in the rapidly evolving tech landscape.

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Entrepreneurship

Development Bank of Jamaica Re-Opens Innovation Grant Application Window

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The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), through its Boosting Innovation Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE), is pleased to announce that the Application Window for its Innovation Grant Fund (IGF) is now open, effective January 2, 2024. The Application Window will remain open for six (6) weeks, until February 13, 2024.

The Innovation Grant Fund (IGF) is an opportunity for medium-sized Jamaican companies with new and innovative products and service to access grant funding in the amount of Twenty million Jamaican Dollars (J$20 million).

Christopher Brown, Programme Manager, BIGEE states; “The DBJ is delighted at the projects we have funded in the last three iteration, since we began in 2020. To date we have awarded grants to twelve (12) medium-sized Jamaican companies representing an investment by the Bank of J$190 million. The majority of the projects have been successfully completed and the remaining are now in the Close Out phase; all of which has recorded growth and on an upward trajectory.”

Lu’ Shana Cheddesingh, Technical Coordinator under whose portfolio the Innovation Grant Fund falls explains “For this the fourth cohort of the IGF, we will be utilising the funding received from the European Union (EU) and so strong focus of the incoming cohort will be placed on two main areas – Women-led and/owned businesses, and Climate Mitigation projects. We will continue to fund projects from Jamaica’s productive sectors”. Continuing Ms. Cheddesingh stressed that, “Application process is via our website at www.thinkbigee.com.“

The DBJ is encouraging medium-sized Jamaican companies with innovative products and or services that are new and revolutionary to apply.

BIGEE – Boosting Innovation Growth & Entrepreneurship Ecosystem – is the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) five-year project valued at US$25 million and financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is the Executing Agency. The Agreement was executed between the GOJ and the IDB late 2019; however, there were unforeseen delays in the launch due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The objective of BIGEE is to promote sustainable and robust growth among start-ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Jamaica. In 2021 based on the performance of the programme, the European Union (EU) awarded a non-reimbursable grant of US$8.2 million to support the initiative.

The DBJ, a wholly owned institution of the GOJ has assumed a catalytic role for initiatives that have significantly impacted MSME development over the years; this makes the institution a good fit to successfully implement the GOJ’s and IDB’s vision for the programme.

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Businessuite Women

The Path Of Least Resistance…Monique Powell

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“The path of least resistance would be to just take a job in someone’s company and start enjoying the (comparatively) soft life again. Nothing in this country is set up to truly foster the growth of entrepreneurship. The fortitude and resilience required to stick it out is next level. There’s a part of me that sticks with it because I do feel like the next generation of people who look like me (skin colour and gender) need to see even more visible examples of people from working class backgrounds building enterprises. Money is not what keeps me doing this. The salary I had when I left my job in 2016…a whole 7+ years ago is STILL more than what I take from the business now. Some days I’m motivated to keep doing this, some days I wonder if I’m making the right the choice with my life.”

Monique Powell

#36 Monique Powell, Founder and CEO of QuickCart (formerly QuickPlate)

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