IN continuing its drive to promote entrepreneurship among tertiary students, Churches Co-operative Credit Union (CCCU) has awarded a $300,000 grant to University of Technology (UTech) graduate, Wayne Jones Jr, winner of the CCCU’s Entrepreneurs’ Award for 2010.
Jones, who recently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, will use the money to establish a firm that will offer website development and cloud computing services.
In addition to providing seed money for the venture, CCCU has linked the young entrepreneur with a mentor who will guide him through the business “start-up” process. The credit union has also indicated that, should the need arise, Jones can access additional financing for his business at very competitive lending rates.
“At CCCU we pride ourselves on being the leading credit union in Jamaica that has chosen entrepreneurship as a major area of focus. This is why we have established micro and small business units across the island and why we have established our Entrepreneurs’ Award programme to give young persons a means of accessing funding to start their own business upon graduation,” said Dionne-Sheree Smith, the CCCU’s assistant manager of marketing and communications. “We don’t see entrepreneurship as just another means of making a living, we see it as a key factor that can drive Jamaica’s economic development by creating employment, expanding industries and even attracting overseas investments.”
The 2010 awardee said he was doubtful that he would have been able to embark on his new business venture at this time, had he not secured the grant from the CCCU.
“There were a lot of great business ideas floating around among my peers at school but because people didn’t have the funds and didn’t see where they could access the funds or even get the necessary support and guidance, a lot of students were discouraged from trying to get something started,” he said. “Young entrepreneurs are usually the ones with the big ideas that revolutionise industries, but oftentimes we don’t have the financial support behind us so I am particularly grateful to CCCU because this grant has given me the financing to actually bring my idea to life.”
Waldon Wright (left), officer in charge of business loans and special projects at Churches Credit Union, presents Wayne Jones Jr with his grant valued at $300,000.