I met Jovan a couple of years ago in the community of Mountain View. He is a bright, ambitious young man who lives in an impoverished area of Kingston. But poverty isn’t the only thing going on there. There are a few flourishing businesses, a brand new, solar-powered Internet Cafe and an active community organization run by Francena and Ann-Marie. Crime has decreased in this area and things seem to be turning around. But back to Jovan. He was working at Burger King when I saw him last, and he was proud of this job. It seems he is flourishing too, thanks to the help of a business mentor and former Cuso volunteer Donna Gabbadon. Donna apparently helped Jovan to develop a business plan for a bamboo venture when Jovan expressed frustration at the lack of opportunity in his community. Check out the inspiring story here. And here is Jovan in his own words:
Since participating in the mentorship program and developing his business plan, Ottey entered it into a competition organized by the Diaspora Youth Connect program, the Mountain View Community Development Council and Diaspora for Development. Placing second, Ottey will receive start-up equipment for his company. He is now hopeful, and his next step is to start his company, which he plans to name Innovative Bamboo Furnishing and More.
“I just want to create a life experience and right now I am looking ahead to target investors and the wider market over the next six months,” he said.