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Shullette Cox Appointed President of JAMPRO.



On Friday, February 10, 2023, the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), an agency within the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC), through its Chairman, Mrs. Melanie Subratie and its Deputy Chairman, the Hon. Ian K. Levy, announced Mrs. Shullette Cox to the JAMPRO staff as their new President.

The appointment of Mrs. Cox by the Board of Directors strategically aligns with the organisation’s renewed focus on growing exports, expanding investments and improving the business environment of the nation. She was first appointed Acting President on January 2, 2023 and led the JAMPRO team that supported the recent Ministerial Mission to Guyana, which has been lauded as being highly successful.

At the announcement of her full appointment to staff, Mrs. Melanie Subratie, Chairman of JAMPRO, noted that she was pleased with the comprehensive recruitment process carried out by JAMPRO’s Board of Directors and the final selection of the new President, commenting further that “Shullette Cox was instrumental in the successful execution of numerous initiatives at JAMPRO which have helped establish JAMPRO and Jamaica as a global leader. Notably, Shullette has helped to drive the execution of numerous government reforms that have led to an increase in Jamaica’s global ranking on the doing business report, including reforms that moved Jamaica from twenty-first in starting a business to number six in the world and leaders in the Caribbean.” She went on to note that, “ I love how Shullette has the support and enthusiasm of the team, respect from international funding agencies, and confidence of the Board whilst also being a determined leader who likes to get things done and execute on objectives.

I would encourage the private sector to reach out to JAMPRO and Shullette to tap into the incredible support that JAMPRO is able to offer to help increase exports, increase investments and navigate government services.” Cox was appointed Vice President in August 2013, and most recently led the Research, Advocacy and Project Implementation Division. In that role she led in supporting the implementation of investment projects as well as to create and advance policies and reforms to make it easier to do business in Jamaica. Notably, she had oversight of various national programmes, including the National Competitiveness Council, and spearheaded the development of critical initiatives such as the National Investment Policy and the National Business Portal. She is recognised across public and private sector for her range of knowledge and experience in economic development issues. She has previously held roles at the Office of the Prime Minister in 2008 and the Cannabis Licensing Authority, where she was Interim CEO at its establishment in 2015, concurrent with her role at JAMPRO.

The promotion of Mrs. Cox to the Presidency is a success story for progression within the government sector having started her career at JAMPRO as an intern over 20 years ago. In responding to the appointment, Cox noted that she is humbled, thankful and elated to be given the opportunity to lead the JAMPRO team at this critical juncture of Jamaica’s economic development, when the country is poised for extensive economic growth. Cox further stated that “I look forward to working with staff, the Board of directors, the Ministry and our public and private sector partners to grow significantly Jamaica’s exports, to increase substantially local and foreign investments into the economy, and to advocate proactively for improvements in the business environment as we strive”. Mrs. Cox will also be working closely with key entities, such as HEART/NSTA Trust and others, to expand Jamaica’s workforce by ensuring that Jamaicans, and in particular Jamaican young people who are not now in the workforce, can take advantage of training, apprenticeship, certification and employment opportunities that are available.

Senator the Honourable Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, commended the appointment while noting, “The selection of JAMPRO’s new President is critical to the strategic refocus of JAMPRO and the agenda of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce at this time, and I extend congratulations to Mrs. Cox who has been a stalwart for JAMPRO and Jamaica for many years.”

Mrs. Cox holds a Master of Arts degree in Development Economics from Williams College, where she attended as an OAS Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Economics and International Relations from the University of the West Indies. In addition, Cox, serves as a board member for the Development Bank of Jamaica’s Credit Enhancement Fund (CEF), the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) and Jamaica International Financial Services Authority (JIFSA). The Jamaica Promotions Corporation’s (JAMPRO’s) mission is to drive economic development through growth in investment and export. JAMPRO is an Agency in the Ministry of Industry, Investment, and Commerce.

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Who Is Roxane De Freitas?



Early Life and Career Beginnings
Roxane De Freitas has a distinguished career marked by her leadership and strategic roles in major companies. She has served as a pivotal figure in the Caribbean business community, with extensive experience across various sectors. Her early career saw her rising through the ranks in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, which laid the foundation for her expertise in corporate leadership.

Professional Accomplishments
Roxane De Freitas is well-known for her significant contributions to Scotiabank and Massy Stores. She recently retired from the Board of Directors of Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago, where she played a critical role in steering the bank’s strategies and operations. In her tenure, De Freitas contributed to the bank’s growth and its robust community initiatives through the Scotiabank Foundation, emphasizing the well-being of women and youth in Trinidad and Tobago.

In addition to her banking career, De Freitas has been instrumental at Massy Stores. As CEO of Massy Stores Trinidad, she oversaw the expansion of the chain, including the implementation of innovative self-checkout services, which have been lauded for enhancing customer convenience and operational efficiency. Her leadership during the rollout of these services across multiple locations demonstrates her commitment to modernizing retail operations and improving customer experience.

Roxane De Freitas also has a robust background in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, having held several key positions at Unilever Caribbean Limited. Her roles included Country Manager for Unilever Jamaica and General Manager for Unilever Caribbean, where she oversaw operations in multiple territories across the Caribbean. Her leadership has been marked by strategic initiatives that drove growth, enhanced operational efficiency, and improved market share.

Recent Appointments
On June 6, 2024, Roxane De Freitas was appointed to the Boards of Scotia Group Jamaica Limited and The Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited. This new role signifies her continued influence in the Caribbean banking sector, where her strategic insights and extensive experience are expected to drive further growth and innovation for Scotiabank in Jamaica.

Industry Impact and Legacy
De Freitas’s impact on the Caribbean business landscape is profound. Her strategic vision and leadership have not only driven financial performance but also fostered community development and corporate responsibility. At Massy Stores, her efforts in promoting sustainable practices and efficient retail technologies have set new benchmarks for the industry.

A Role Model for Future Leaders
Roxane De Freitas’s journey is a testament to the power of dedication and strategic thinking in achieving corporate success. Her career path serves as an inspiration to aspiring leaders, particularly women in business, demonstrating that perseverance and innovation can break barriers and lead to significant achievements in diverse sectors.

As she takes on her new responsibilities with Scotiabank in Jamaica, the business community will undoubtedly be watching her next moves, anticipating further contributions to the growth and development of the Caribbean’s financial and retail sectors.

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Overcoming Funding Challenges: Strategies for Jamaican Entrepreneurs



Raising capital is a critical yet challenging aspect of entrepreneurship, and Jamaican founders are no exception to this global struggle. Despite the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ideas prevalent on the island, securing the necessary funds to grow and scale early-stage companies remains a formidable obstacle. This article explores the factors influencing investor hesitations, strategies to mitigate these challenges, and practical steps Jamaican entrepreneurs can take to enhance their funding prospects.

Factors Impacting Investor Hesitations
Investors, regardless of geographic location, exhibit common hesitations that can stymie funding efforts. Some of these factors include:

Perceived Market Risk: Investors often see emerging markets, including Jamaica, as high-risk due to economic instability, regulatory uncertainty, and less mature financial ecosystems.

Lack of Proven Track Record: Early-stage companies frequently lack a history of success, making it difficult for investors to gauge their potential for return on investment.

Insufficient Business Models: A lack of clear, scalable, and sustainable business models can deter investment. Investors seek companies with clear pathways to profitability.

Limited Access to Networks: Entrepreneurs often lack access to networks that can connect them with potential investors, advisors, and partners.

Inadequate Financial Management: Poor financial planning and management can signal to investors that a company is not ready to handle significant capital.

Scalability Concerns: Investors need assurance that a business can scale efficiently and effectively beyond its local market.

Strategies to Overcome Funding Challenges
Both investors and entrepreneurs have developed strategies to bridge the funding gap:

For Investors:
Establishing Local Partnerships: Investors often mitigate risks by partnering with local firms that have a deeper understanding of the market.

Providing Mentorship and Resources: Beyond capital, some investors offer mentorship and access to resources, helping startups build robust business models and financial strategies.

Stage-Gated Investments: By investing in stages based on achieving specific milestones, investors can reduce their exposure to risk.

For Entrepreneurs:
Building Strong Networks: Engaging with local and international entrepreneurial networks can open doors to potential investors and partners.

Seeking Alternative Funding Sources: Crowdfunding, grants, and competitions can provide initial capital and validate business ideas.

Demonstrating Market Traction: Showing proof of concept, initial sales, and customer feedback can help convince investors of the business’s potential.

Case Studies
Case Study 1: XXXRock Juice
XXXRock Juice, a Jamaican startup producing organic beverages, faced significant challenges in raising funds. By participating in international pitch competitions and leveraging social media to showcase their product’s popularity, they secured seed funding from an angel investor network. This investment enabled them to scale production and expand their market presence.

Case Study 2: XXXTech Solutions
XXXTech Solutions, a tech startup focusing on innovative software solutions for local businesses, struggled to gain investor confidence due to their early-stage status. By partnering with a local accelerator program, they received mentorship and access to a network of investors. Their refined business model and pilot projects helped secure a substantial venture capital investment.

Top 10 Ways Jamaican Founders Can Better Position Themselves.

  1. Develop a Clear and Scalable Business Model: Ensure your business plan demonstrates a clear path to scalability and profitability.
  2. Showcase Market Traction: Gather data on initial sales, customer feedback, and market demand to present a compelling case to investors.
  3. Enhance Financial Planning and Management: Maintain detailed and accurate financial records, and present realistic financial projections.
  4. Leverage Local and International Networks: Join entrepreneurial networks and attend industry events to build connections with potential investors.
  5. Participate in Accelerator and Incubator Programs: These programs offer valuable resources, mentorship, and exposure to investors.
  6. Utilize Alternative Funding Sources: Explore crowdfunding platforms, apply for grants, and enter startup competitions to gain initial capital and visibility.
  7. Focus on Strong Marketing and Branding: Develop a strong brand identity and marketing strategy to attract both customers and investors.
  8. Seek Mentorship and Advice: Engage with experienced entrepreneurs and advisors to refine your business strategy and pitch.
  9. Present a Strong Team: Highlight the strengths and expertise of your team, demonstrating that you have the skills necessary to succeed.
  10. Prepare a Compelling Pitch: Craft a clear, concise, and persuasive pitch that addresses potential investors’ concerns and showcases your business’s potential.

While raising funds remains a significant challenge for Jamaican entrepreneurs, understanding investor hesitations and adopting strategic measures can greatly improve their chances of success. By developing robust business models, showcasing market traction, and leveraging networks and alternative funding sources, Jamaican founders can better position themselves to secure the investment needed to grow and scale their companies. The entrepreneurial journey is fraught with obstacles, but with the right strategies and perseverance, these challenges can be overcome.


BlackSlate Holdings Group Limited

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Who is Leesa Kow? Managing Director, JN Bank and Chairman of the Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB)



Leesa Kow is a distinguished leader in the financial sector, serving as the Managing Director of JN Bank and the Chairman of the Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB). Her career is marked by strategic vision and a commitment to digital transformation and financial inclusion.

Early Career and Professional Background
Leesa Kow joined JN Bank in 2003 as Senior Manager for Remittances. Her leadership capabilities quickly propelled her through various senior roles, including Executive of Marketing, Sales, and Promotion in 2006, and General Manager of JN Money Services Limited (JNMS) in 2008. At JNMS, Kow oversaw significant expansion, growing the company’s reach from 200 branches and agents to over 8,000 across three continents within three years, cementing JN Money as the largest remittance brand from the Caribbean​​.

Leadership at JN Bank
Kow’s ascent to the role of Managing Director in July 2022 followed her tenure as Deputy Managing Director from November 2017. As Deputy Managing Director, she was instrumental in implementing JN Bank’s digitalisation initiatives, enhancing operational efficiency and customer service. Her strategic focus on technology and innovation has been pivotal in transforming JN Bank into a more agile and customer-centric institution​​.

Contributions to the Financial Industry
Beyond her work at JN Bank, Kow has significantly impacted the broader financial services sector. Her tenure as president of the Jamaica Money Remitters Association from 2012 to 2017 showcased her leadership in advocating for the remittance industry. In October 2022, she was elected Chair of the Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB), where she continues to influence regional banking policies and practices​.

Educational Background
Leesa Kow’s academic credentials are impressive, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Studies and Accounting (First Class Honours) and a Master of Science degree in International Business (Distinction) from The University of the West Indies. These qualifications underscore her strong foundation in business leadership and strategic management​​.

Impact and Vision
Under Kow’s leadership, JN Bank has made significant strides in digital transformation, positioning itself as a forward-thinking financial institution. Her vision for the future includes continued emphasis on innovation, customer service excellence, and financial inclusion. Kow’s influence extends across the Caribbean, as she leverages her roles to advocate for advancements in the banking sector and to support regional economic development.

Leesa Kow’s journey from senior manager to managing director of JN Bank exemplifies her dedication, strategic foresight, and impactful leadership. Her contributions to the financial sector and her role in shaping regional banking policies make her a notable figure in Caribbean banking, inspiring the next generation of female leaders in finance.

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Who Is Chorvelle Johnson-Cunningham CEO, Sagicor Bank Jamaica?



Chorvelle Johnson-Cunningham is a distinguished leader in the financial sector, currently serving as the CEO of Sagicor Bank Jamaica. With a career marked by resilience, innovation, and a commitment to community upliftment, she has significantly impacted the banking industry in Jamaica.

Early Career and Personal Background
Chorvelle’s journey to the top is a testament to her determination and faith. She has navigated significant personal and professional challenges, including a period of severe illness that tested her resolve and faith. This experience has profoundly influenced her approach to leadership and self-care, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance​​.

Leadership at Sagicor Bank
Since assuming her role at Sagicor Bank, Chorvelle has spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at enhancing customer service and expanding the bank’s reach. Notably, under her leadership, Sagicor Bank introduced the “Bank on Wheels” mobile banking solution during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring continued access to banking services when physical branches were less accessible​.

Chorvelle has also championed financial inclusion and literacy, launching initiatives such as the SME Business Banking Resource Centre to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). She has been particularly supportive of women entrepreneurs, providing guidance and resources to help them succeed in the business world​.

Advocacy and Community Engagement
Beyond her professional achievements, Chorvelle is an advocate for women’s empowerment and personal development. She encourages women to climb the corporate ladder through hard work, self-assessment, and surrounding themselves with supportive networks. Her advice is rooted in her own experiences and challenges, offering a relatable and inspiring message to aspiring female leaders​.

Values and Personal Philosophy
Chorvelle’s leadership style is heavily influenced by her personal values and upbringing. She emphasizes respect, teamwork, and treating others as one would like to be treated. These principles have guided her through various professional and personal challenges, reinforcing her belief in the power of a supportive community and faith​.

In summary, Chorvelle Johnson-Cunningham’s leadership at Sagicor Bank Jamaica exemplifies a blend of strategic innovation, community focus, and personal resilience. Her contributions to the financial sector and her advocacy for women’s empowerment make her a notable figure in Jamaica’s corporate landscape.


#11 Chorvelle Johnson Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer of Sagicor Bank Limited

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Breaking Barriers: Female Entrepreneurs in Jamaica



In the world of entrepreneurship, women in Jamaica face unique challenges, often finding the path to success steeper compared to their male counterparts. Despite these hurdles, numerous Jamaican women have emerged as powerful entrepreneurs, carving out niches across various industries. Their stories of resilience and innovation provide inspiration for young women aspiring to make their mark in the business world.

Patria-Kaye Aarons – Sweetie Confectionery
Patria-Kaye Aarons is the founder and CEO of Sweetie Confectionery, a company producing Jamaican-themed sweets and snacks. Aarons faced significant challenges, including skepticism from potential investors and difficulties in scaling production. Her perseverance paid off as she capitalized on the unique appeal of her products, which celebrate Jamaican culture. Aarons emphasizes the importance of staying true to one’s vision and being relentless in the pursuit of success​​.












Dr. Simone French – Imara Medical Center
Dr. Simone French is a notable figure in the healthcare sector. She runs the Imara Medical Center, balancing her responsibilities as a family doctor and an entrepreneur. French introduced innovative treatments like PRP therapy for various medical conditions, showcasing her ability to blend traditional and modern medical practices. Her journey highlights the necessity of excellent time management and a commitment to continuous learning and innovation​.

Jennifer Azan – Jencare Skin Farm
Jennifer Azan is the entrepreneurial force behind Jencare Skin Farm, a renowned beauty and wellness brand in Jamaica. Azan built her business from the ground up, facing the dual challenges of market acceptance and competition. Her success is attributed to her dedication to quality and customer service, as well as her ability to adapt to changing market trends. Azan’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to stay adaptable and customer-focused​.




Racquel Goddard – iDaedle
Racquel Goddard is a trailblazer in the IT sector with her company, iDaedle, which aims to become the Caribbean’s first home-grown Fortune 500 technology company. Goddard’s innovative idea exchange marketplace connects consumers with businesses, fostering collaboration and innovation. Her success story underscores the importance of networking and mentorship in overcoming the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs​​.

Strategies for Overcoming Challenges
These women entrepreneurs emphasize several strategies that have helped them overcome obstacles:

Resilience and Determination: Staying focused on their goals despite setbacks.
Networking and Mentorship: Leveraging connections and seeking advice from experienced professionals.
Innovation: Continuously evolving their business models and offerings to stay relevant.
Customer Focus: Prioritizing customer satisfaction and quality.

Their experiences offer valuable lessons for young women entrepreneurs: success in business requires not just a great idea, but also the determination to push through barriers and the adaptability to navigate changing environments.

The journey of Jamaican female entrepreneurs is marked by resilience, innovation, and an unwavering commitment to their visions. Their stories provide a beacon of hope and a blueprint for success, encouraging the next generation of women to break through barriers and achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.

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