Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 10th 2015 Contents B8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Josanne Arnold, an entrepreneur in the BizBooster
Incubator Programme of the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate
School of Business (UWI-ALJGSB), dominated the
Caribbean Call to Action Entrepreneurs Challenge, a
regional entrepreneurial boot camp competition, to
win the grand prize of representing T&T at the United
Nations in New York and a business trip to meet with
business experts in Washington DC.
The 26-year-old Tobagonian is the CEO of GOT
Greens, which provides wholesale production and dis-
tribution of organic fresh produce to food service busi-
nesses. The 100 per cent chemical-free produce is
grown at a greenhouse located in Whim Village, Tobago,
using a method called aquaponics.
Arnold s good fortune continued when she got her
wardrobe for the overseas trip fully sponsored by a
UWI-ALJGSB student. Candace Brathwaite, UWI-
ALJGSB s BizBooster manager explained, "As the Biz-
Booster manager, part of my responsibility is to facilitate
strategic partnerships between students and entre-
preneurs in the incubator."
BizBooster is a commercial business incubator pro-
gramme which provides innovative start-ups and
existing companies with financial and non-financial
services to nurture these new companies and increase
their long-term viability.
Brathwaite continued, "When I heard Josanne won
the competition, I approached Kifah Cudjoe, a student
in the MSc in Small and Medium Enterprise Man-
agement programme, who is a fashion consultant and
co-owner of Style 57 Fashion located in Tobago. She
immediately agreed to sponsor Josanne s wardrobe."
Twenty-four-year-old Cudjoe sells urban clothing
at her Spence Plaza, Scarborough store. "I fully support
young entrepreneurs since I am one and I believed
Josanne would represent T&T extremely well. I, there-
fore, welcomed the opportunity to sponsor her
wardrobe," Cudjoe said.
Arnold thanked Cudjoe and the BizBooster team
and said, "I was shocked and delighted by Kifah s
generosity for this was one less cost for me. The
support from BizBooster has been awesome!"
Asked what she felt gave her the edge in the regional
challenge, Arnold said she made the best of her four-
month internship and it paid off. "My business plan
was very detailed and well-thought-out. In addition,
the judges indicated that I had accomplished the most
growth of my business during the four months by
applying the new concepts I learnt."
Arnold hired three additional staff to grow her team
to six, completed training workshops for them, bought
a new plot of land to support her upcoming expansion
plans, secured additional financing and sponsorship,
completed her mock website, started her aquaponics
business and completed market research.
Arnold s win gave her the opportunity to pitch her
business for funding consideration to DC-based investor
group, the Washington DC ArchAngels at a special
event hosted at the Franklin Tower, Washington DC
on October 14. Arnold also visited the University of
the District of Columbia which has a substantial agri-
cultural programme with a focus on urban farming,
including aquaponics. Arnold met with faculty rep-
resentatives who took her on a tour of their rooftop
and urban farms, as well as DC Urban Greens, another
urban farm in Washington DC.
During the second part of her trip, Arnold presented
her company s business plan, followed up by a ques-
tion-and-answer session to a global audience at the
Activating Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment
UN seminar on October 16. Arnold also met with the
Jamaican ambassador and had talks with key people
in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Speaking about her experience in New York and
Washington DC, Arnold said she established linkages
to assist her in the future. "Collectively, the events,
tours, presentations and engagements were a step in
the right direction for any young budding entrepreneur
Lok Jack entrepreneur
impresses at the UN
as it opened up a wide spectrum of opportunities for
the development of my start-up and the acceleration
of my personal growth.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to promote sus-
tainable agriculture in T&T on a global platform such
as the UN. The feedback received from my presen-
tations proved to be very encouraging and useful. It
was a great series of events and now I m all fired up
to begin building a platform for sustainable agriculture
and aquaponics in T&T and around the world."
Kifah Cudjoe, left, consults with Arthur Lok Jack GSB entrepreneur Josanne
Arnold on Arnold's wardrobe for her recent trip to Washington and New York.
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