Yaneek Page is widely regarded as one of Jamaica’s most promising and dynamic young entrepreneurs.
She is a pioneer in litigant support services and enterprise-wide risk management in the Caribbean, having founded Future Services International Limited, the first company in the region to specialize in legal funding and helping companies manage enterprise risks. Future Services International Limited/Yaneek Page was a regional winner in the prestigious NCB Nation Builder Awards (2011), in the category “Women in Business”. Read More
I am constantly writing about ways to earn both online and offline because of our persistently high levels of youth unemployment, and the wealth of untapped opportunities for them to create their own sustainable incomes outside of the elusive traditional jobs.
The most recent employment data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica shows the national unemployment rate for October 2015 was 13.5 per cent, however, the unemployment rate among youth aged 14-24 was substantially higher at 32.7 per cent.
Most troubling though is that the highest rate of unemployment in the country is still among young women aged 14-24 years at 43.9 per cent more than three times the national rate.
Ideally, what we all should be striving for is low single digit unemployment rates among all ages and genders. However, though we are far off that goal, the country has been making gains in recent times as the numbers have been on a downward trajectory.
Yet more strident efforts are needed, and all hands on deck are welcomed.
One way to accelerate that decline is to empower the unemployed and underemployed to exploit non-traditional opportunities, such as freelancing online, which require the barest of resources, minimal cash, but huge investments in time and productivity.
A few days ago I received two social media messages which illustrated the secrets to success for earning online, and the vast opportunities that are available for Jamaicans to tap into right now. One message read:
I read your article two years ago (I think) about earning money through fiverr.com and odesk.com in The Gleaner. I even photocopied the article and cut it out (I still have it, lol) when I was in high school and I was, like, I’m gonna sign up for that. So I did but did nothing with the page. Then I listened to your online webinar about freelancing and I finally got a laptop which would make it easier to do the freelancing. I deleted my previous account and created a new more professional one and started using it. I joined in January 2016 and did extensive research and since then I’ve made US$60. It?s probably not a lot to other people but to me it?s wooooooooooooow, I made money online. I hope to continue doing research and making my profile more attractive. JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU FOR PUBLISHING THE ARTICLE AND DOING THE WEBINAR BECAUSE IF IT WASN’T FOR YOU I WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN. The caps are necessary because I am truly grateful. Nuff blessings – Ashley.
As an adventure-seeking nature lover, you can’t wait to discover and experience its splendour for yourself. But there’s a big problem. The route to get there is long, winding and treacherous in many places. Most people are too scared to go.
If you were bold enough to try and had the option of using a map or an experienced guide, one who knew the danger zones and safest shortcuts, which would you choose? The guide, of course! Assuming you want to arrive in good time and in one piece.
In a sense business mentors are like experienced guides for entrepreneurs who have set out on the precarious voyage of starting or growing a business. They can offer practical guidance, ideas, insights, connections and shortcuts to help you achieve your goals faster and easier, while helping you avoid major pitfalls.
The problem is business mentors are not easy to find, especially in our neck of the woods where the few who are qualified are in high demand and too busy to commit to long-term mentoring relationships. However, finding, keeping and maximising the relationship with a great mentor is not impossible and could be easier for you if you follow the steps below.
Set goals and develop a mentor profile.
You need to be clear on where you want to go and identify the resources you may need to get there. Mentors can’t and won’t set goals for you. in fact, that, would be an unreasonable request. Once you define clear business and professional goals that are SMART that is, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to your overall mission and time-bound then you can begin to outline a profile of the type of mentor you will need to help you advance.
Research existing programmes.
It’s important to do thorough research on mentoring programmes that may be available. for example, a few local business associations have mentoring programmes for people who are relatively new to business. There are also some international initiatives to which entrepreneurs can apply, for example, the acclaimed Cherie Blair Mentoring Programme for women entrepreneurs.
I have a preference for formal programmes because they have more structure, offer screening, proper training and matching of mentors and protÈgÈs, and set clear guidelines with respect to commitments, tenure, confidentiality, measuring effectiveness, and termination, among others.
Compile a list of prospects.
If you can’t find or prefer not to engage with a formal programme, then you can create a list of prospective mentors based on the profile you would have developed at Step 1. Once you have a list of prospects, do detailed research on each one to learn about their story, passion, values, common interests, associations and charities to which they are affiliated.
Outline the expected value.
This step is critical because it will allow you to express and sell the value of mentorship to prospects. Remember that experienced and accomplished entrepreneurs and business professionals lead busy lives, with time being their most precious resource.
You must likely make a very persuasive argument for why they should invest, not simply give, their time generously to developing you and your business.