Kingston, Jamaica: Tuesday October 5, 2010: Continuing its drive to promote entrepreneurship particularly among tertiary students, Churches Co-operative Credit Union (CCCU) has awarded a grant of $300,000 to University of Technology (UTECH) graduate, Wayne Jones Jr, winner of CCCU’s Entrepreneurs’ Award for 2010.
Wayne, who recently earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from UTECH, will be using the grant funding 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, Wayne can access additional financing for his business at very competitive lending rates.
The Entrepreneurs’ Awards Programme, which CCCU launched in 2006, is part of the financial institution’s programme of supporting entrepreneurship and facilitating the development of local enterprises.
“At CCCU we pride ourselves in 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 businessunits across the island and why we have established our Entrepreneurs’ Awards Programme to give young persons a means of accessing funding to start their own business upon graduation” said Dionne-Sheree Smith, Assistant Manager, Marketing & Communications, CCCU.
“We don’t see entrepreneurship as just another means of making a living, we see it as key factor that can drive Jamaica’s economic development by creating employment, expanding industries and even attracting overseas investments,” she added.
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 funding from CCCU.
“There were a lot of great business ideas floating around in my peer group 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,” Wayne said.
“Young entrepreneurs are usually the ones with the big ideas that revolutionize industries but often times 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,” the 23-year-old awardee added.
While he was particularly pleased to have secured financing for his new business, Wayne is thrilled that CCCU has set him up with a mentor to guide and advise him through the unfamiliar process of establishing and managing a company.
“Mentorship is very important because as a young entrepreneur I have these ideas but, at this point, I don’t necessarily know all the right principles to be successful so I am happy that Churches is giving me a mentor so I will have someone who is experienced to guide me along the way,” he said.
Churches Co-operative Credit Union Entrepreneurs’ Award(s) are given each year to an individual student or group from any of the participating tertiary institutions who submits the most feasible and comprehensive business plan for a small enterprise. To qualify for the award students must be in their final year of studying, must have at least a B average and must intend to go into business within 6 months after graduating. The participating campuses are presently the University of the West Indies, the University of Technology and the Northern Caribbean University.
ABOUT CHURCHES CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT UNION (CCCU)
Established in 1971, Churches Co-Operative Credit Union (CCCU) has been a member of the Jamaica Co-Operative Credit Union League since 1977. As the island’s second largest credit union in terms of membership, the organization offers a comprehensive range of financial services including savings and investment accounts, loans, insurance packages and a pension fund. For more information about Churches Co-operative Credit Union, please visit www.churchescreditunion.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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