Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 25th 2013 Contents JULY 2013 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG5
From Page 4
So at a glance, they can see the ratio
between premium income and claims.
We need working capital to set up the
marketing initiatives to take us in the direc-
tion we want to go. I m a technical man, I
received leadership and could always use
mentoring and financial management to
keep us along a particular path. These skills
set don t come automatically."
Julia Stafford-Howe, executive
assistant, Caribbean Airlines Ltd:
"My company is called Touch of Class
Fencing. Dane Howe, my husband, and I
are partners in the business. We brought
the concept to Trinidad in April 2012 from
Virginia and Delaware in the United States,
and set up business in June 2012. We re one
year in operation and progressing.
The business takes a lot of explaining.
PVC is used to make fences, rails, arbors,
decks. No painting, is required; all you need
is soap and water. It will not fade, bend,
peel or crack. It s not affected by weather.
I m at the BB because we re new to busi-
ness. We know it has potential to grow. We
joined the BB to get financial and manage-
ment training. I ve partnered with someone
through the BB, Dale Curtis Julien, to use
social media to drive the business instead
of paying high costs to advertise.Most of
our customers go online and search for
fencing and our name comes up.
We plan to take the business up the
Caribbean and to South America. The only
other place with this type of business is the
Bahamas. The export potential is great."
I applied to the BB programme in Novem-
ber and was accepted in February. I have a
Bachelor of Science in mechanical engi-
neering from the UWI (first class honours,
After graduating, I applied to do an MPhil
in manufacturing engineering. I decided to
do Nedco s Enterpreneurial Boot Camp, a
programme Nedco does in partnership with
the UWI to introduce people to the world
of entrepreneurship. The boot camp kick-
started my entrepreneurial adventure.
My BB idea is related to recycling. The
idea is to help deal with the dengue problem,
to which (old) bottles and tyres contribute.
I m aware there are people with a similar
idea. At this point, It s a bit tentative to get
into all the details.
To sum up the BB training, it s like going
through a mini Master of Business Admin-
istration. Part of being in the BB is to min-
imise our mistakes. I really appreciate the
I m a marketing and communications
person. My company is called Heavenly
Hands Cleaning Services. It s a microen-
terprise. We do residential cleaning. Yes, we
even do windows. My business partner is
Priscilla Paul. She s a trained geriatric nurse.
She s doing a nursing degree at Costatt.
We have a lot of regular clients. We have
an average of 15 maintenance clients a month
in St Joseph Village, Maraval, Roystonia,
D Abadie, La Florissante and Maracas, St
We come to clean, but because of how
we clean and our integrity, people also trust
us with their family and loved ones.
Eventually, we want it to be Heavenly
Hands and Home Care Services---geriatric
care, baby-sitting, cooking, yard mainte-
nance. Whatever you need in your home,
we will take care of it.
We need to do it smart, give people value
for money. We re hoping to learn that here.
We have a daily rate for deep cleaning
and we charge the most in the market. How
I clean is different. We clean your house
from top to bottom. We clean windows,
drapes. When we are finished, it is what
you call a Christmas cleaning. We want to
train in geriatric care. That is where we see
the real need. We want to have trained, pro-
fessional staff to do the job properly.
We have engaged City and Guilds to do
beyond level one in geriatric care. I want to
work with the T&T Coalition of Service
Industries to develop standards.
We have a blog called Heaven Help Us.
I write about being on the road. We ve made
a tonne of mistakes. We used to price wrong.
We used to charge $250 a day, which did
not cater for our time, materials and trans-
port. I take all my payments in advance.
People have stolen from us.
"A well-known person in the banking
sector asked us to clean their house. When
we asked for payment in advance, he made
out a cheque for half the amount. People
have given us bounced cheques. In the first
six months of business, we had more than
$45,000 in losses, a little over $5,000 a
I work at the University of T&T as an
administrative assistant II in the learning
centre. My idea is a start-up called Green-
house Organic Technologies. I want to con-
struct a greenhouse using aquaponics tech-
nology, which is a mix of aquaculture and
hydroponics where fish and plants live
together in a recirculating system. I know
one person doing it commercially. I also
want to do some value-added gourmet prod-
ucts, such as seasonings.
I joined the BB for training, mentorship
and for access to get a business going. Finan-
cial management (training) has been a great
help in detailing how I will get this business
up and running. Mentorship and networking
have helped a lot, like the Business Showcase
at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad hotel.
I m now doing a prototype at home in El
Dorado. I want to do this in Tobago first.
I m from Sangster s Hill. In Tobago, we usu-
ally get all food supplies from Trinidad.
There are no local supplies, which affect
prices. I want to supply Trinidad instead of
the other way around. I have sourced land
from my family. The only thing now is to
The next level
What is BizBooster?
The Lok Jack GSB's Web site describes
the BizBooster as a collaborative relation-
ship among private enterprise, academia
and government, aimed at providing inno-
vative startups and existing companies
with a wide range of services, financial and
non-financial resources for growth, success
According to the Web site: "We possess
significant regional and global networks
which provide companies with the opportu-
nity to develop strategic partnerships and
to access international markets more rap-
idly. Whether you are an entrepreneur with
an innovative business idea with great mar-
ket potential or an already established busi-
ness, the BizBooster can take your
business to the next level provided you
meet the qualifying criteria.
"Our purpose at BizBooster is to help
emerging business turn ideas into viable
businesses. We are also responsible for
promoting innovation and job creation by
providing start-ups with support services
and resources tailored to increase their
chances of success. In this vein, Biz-
Booster's CBI will facilitate the orchestra-
tion and focus of critical resources,
intelligence, expertise and relationships to-
wards the achievement of entrepreneurial
success in the Caribbean and beyond."
The site said the BizBooser is looking
for firms that fulfil the following require-
1: Startup or existing SMEs, established
or operating within T&T and the wider Cari-
2: Entrepreneurs with the passion, drive
and commitment for success, together
with the requisite entrepreneurial skills and
3: A management team with the knowl-
edge of product and market and which is
competent in managing the technical and
operational aspects of the business
4: Significant growth projected within a
5: Companies which "Think Big" or have a
focus of continued growth into global mar-
6: Quality value propositions, primarily
due to novel ideas, product or process inno-
vations which provide competitive advan-
7: Companies which are technology-
based or which seek to develop new tech-
8: Demonstrated willingness to accept
third-party financial and non--financial sup-
port and participation
9: Financial viability with regard to the
ability to pay rent or other services pro-
10: Companies whose operations have
positive economic and societal impact
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