The fund allows for eligible female owned and operated businesses that are members of the Women Business Owners Jamaica organization to access:
  • Secured Facilities: 9.95% per annum for  the first 3 years 
  • Unsecured Facilities: 11.95% per annum for the first 2 years
Under the LOAN PROGRAMME eligible members can access amounts from J$500,000 up to a maximum of  J$10 million. See more information at the website.

Having completed comprehensive training of 300 women on important entrepreneurial skills and tactics in its Project, Strengthening and Promoting Women Entrepreneurs in Jamaica, the WBO continues to work closely with this group towards its ultimate goal. Starting in July 2013 the organization implemented a Technical Assistance Program to assist these entrepreneurs with completing their Business Plans. This fundamental tool is a must for all businesses in the development of strategies to maintain and grow their enterprises during these turbulent times. It is also a required document for a) good governance and b) financial institutions.
It is anticipated that on the completion of these Business Plan trainees will be better poised – if so desired - to access loans which have been specially developed by our project sponsor, the Bank of Nova Scotia for the Project.
The training program is open to all graduates of the Project as well as WBO members FREE of cost. Please contact the WBO Project office for further details or email the Project Office at [email protected]
On February 10th  2013, Women’s Business Owners along with its major sponsors, Scotiabank Jamaica Ltd and Columbus Business Solutions (Flow) hosted the 2nd Commencement exercise for the second group of entrepreneurs – women who completed the final leg of training under the Strengthening & Promoting Women Entrepreneurs in Jamaica project. This exercise was ably funded by the Multi-Lateral Investment Fund, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank. 

This Graduation exercise was the culmination  of WBO’s training programme for approximately 300 women. This project will also see the implementation of a mentorship programme for graduates, as well as technical assistance provided to assist with the completion of Business Plans necessary to access financing from Scotiabank Jamaica through its Women in Business Loan Program.

 A documentary, case study booklet, major closing event and an in-depth mentorship programme are all in place to be rolled out later this year.

Click here to see more photos of the Graduation Ceremony 2013.
The WBO is on the move with a mission to further advance the growth and development of women-owned businesses in Jamaica through the election of a new Board of Directors. The following women entrepreneurs were selected for the WBO Executive:
  • President - Andrea Cowan, CEO, Women Business Owners, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Treasurer - Dena Davis, Solid Life & General Insurance Brokers Ltd
  • Company Secretary - Mrs. Sandra Samuels-Reid,  Totally Male 
  • Financial Committee
  • Marcia Woon Choy,  MWC Associates Ltd and local franchise owner of Action Coach 
  • Rita Humphries-Lewin, The Barita Group
  • Andrea Cowan, CEO, Women Business Owners, Kingston, Jamaica

Other 2013 Board members are: 
  • Lorna Green, Founding President, Digital Transtec Ltd
  • Shirley Carby, Carlong Publishers Ltd
  • Blossom O'Meally-Nelson, Aeromar Logistics 
  • Nadine Boothe-Gooden, Language Cradle
  • Marjorie Allen, Interiors by Design                                
For original article, click here.

IN commemoration of International Women's Day (IWD), members of the Women's Business Owners of Jamaica headed to all girls' schools in the Corporate Area to inform them about a special internship for all sixth formers this summer.

This involved them sharing their story as well as being somewhat of a motivational speaker. Rita Humphries-Lewin, chairman of Barita Investments Limited, took a visit to her alma mater.

Rita Humhries-Lewin (4th left, front row) with Andrea Cowan, president of Women's Business Owners of Jamaica and co-owner of Lillian Ltd (5th right, front row) share a picture moment with sixth form students of the Immaculate Conception High who won Lillian aprons in the Q&A segment. (PHOTO: MAHAILIA BRAHAM)

Humphries-Lewin, just like many of us now, had no idea of what career path she wanted to take so opted not to go to sixth form. Instead, she went straight to working and never stayed for more than three years at one spot. At her last job interview she was offered the opportunity to go to Canada for six months for training in stockbroking. "I call this plainly being at the right place at the right time but for some it is planned happenstance," Humphries-Lewin said.

With her training she was able to become the first female stockbroker in both Jamaica and the Caribbean, in what was, a male-dominated job. She also became the first female agent for the 35-year-old stockbroking management (Barita Investments), as well as the first female chairman of a stock exchange in the Caribbean.

She invites us all to 'shine bright like a diamond' this summer as an intern. All interested are encouraged to check out their Facebook page (fb.com/womenbusinessownersja) on the eighth of every month until the end of the year. You can become an intern as well as win prizes, there's really not much to lose.

It might just be your planned happenstance reading this article.

At St Andrew High School for Girls', business students gathered in Audio Visual Centre for a Women's seminar presented by Shirley Carby, owner and Managing Director of Carlong Publishers Limited. She is also the founding vice-president of the Women Business Owners' Association of Jamaica (WBO).

Carby's purpose of visiting St Andrew High School was to promote awareness of and interest in entrepreneurship. She encouraged the girls to always appear strong at all times, as this was one of her challenges she faced. She also encouraged the girls to seize opportunities and take risks, in their pursuit of owning their own businesses in the future.

Carby also outlined the importance and some of the objectives of the WBO. It provides a forum for networking among women and business owners. WBO also includes women in decision making in both public and private sectors, as well as it creates links between themselves and other global enterprises.

Her visit seemed to have impacted the girls, as it seemed to motivate them and encourage them to be innovative and seize any opportunities that are presented.

— ICHS text: Halima Leslie
— StAHS text: Danielle Watson
Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/teenage/Powerful-women-visit-Kgn-girls--schools-for-Int-l-Women-s-Day_13808556#ixzz2RXMlaD8K

Public Relations Manager of Flow Jeanette Lewis (left) stands beside Vice President of Marketing, Public & Corporate Affairs at Scotiabank, Monique Todd, main sponsors of Women Business Owners' Strengthening and Promoting Women Entrepreneur Programme
Friday April 20, 2012 -  Women Business Owners Ja. Ltd. (WBO) hosted a Networking Event for its over 300 associates who are members, beneficiaries of its IDB-funded national project, and their guests at the Knutsford Court Hotel on April 19th. The event was another milestone achievement for the organisation, as the room was filled almost to its capacity with women owners of businesses from various industries and ages. 

The networking 'mix and mingle' also introduced WBO's partnership with Scotiabank and Columbus Business Solutions, the new main sponsors of WBO's Strengthening and Promoting Women Entrepreneurs in Jamaica Project, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. Gore Developments Limited also came on board as an event sponsor.

According to Monique French, Scotiabank's Senior Vice President of Credit Risk Management, "We are very exciting to be partnering with such a productive set of entrepreneurs. We have had a long history of doing so, and decided that this would be another good opportunity to continue the legacy, especially given that women owned businesses are known to add fire to the economy." 

Scotiabank will be the lead sponsor of the WBO project until its completion in early 2013.

Jeanette Lewis, Public Relations Manager at Flow who has signed on as another main sponsor via Columbus Business Solutions, stated: "At Columbus Business Solutions, the business arm of Flow, we recognize that women business owners make a significant contribution to economic growth and development in Jamaica. It is important to us to enable the work of micro, small and medium enterprises by ensuring that these entrepreneurs have access to the appropriate resources that enable the strengthening of their businesses".  

WBO Vice President and CEO of Lillan Limited, Andrea Cowan, noted the importance of hosting such an event for women in business, who are particularly in need of opportunities to mingle and make business connections in a comfortable and relaxed environment. Attendees were no doubt notably enthusiastic about the affair.  

According to patron Ingrid Coke of Mapco Printers Limited, "The event  has been an excellent opportunity for women business owners to showcase their businesses and to network."

Yet another attendee, Shaun Grant, Owner of Sage Delights, who displayed a massive, intricately designed WBO-branded cake which left much of the room in awe upon its debut, revealed that it was mentorship she received through WBO that gave her the push to expand her small business. 

From Left-right, Michael Look-Tong, Director, Media Services at Flow, Stella Rosen, Project Coordinator- WBO, Monique French, Senior Vice President of Credit Risk Management at Scotiabank, Dorothea Gordon-Smith of Garbage Disposal and Sanitation Systems and Immediate President of WBO, Nadine Booth-Gooden of Islandwide Builders & Leading Contractors and International Business & Language Consulting, also a member of WBO, Yaneek Page of Future Services Ltd and President of WBO, Andrea Cowan of Lillan Limited and Vice President of WBO, Lana Francis of Franmark Distributors and a director of WBO, and Dena Davis of Solid Life & General Insurance and Treasurer of WBO, all of whom are enjoying each others company at the WBO Networking Event.
President of Women Business Owners, Yaneek Page, joins the hundreds of women entrepreneurs who networked at the event
From left to right, Patsy Latchman-Atterbury- Vice President of Small and Medium Enterprise at Scotiabank, Blossom OMeally-Nelson of Aeromar Ltd and director of WBO, Murphy Greg- Business Banking Officer at Scotiabank, Jeanette Lewis- Public Relations Manager of Flow, Yaneek Page- President of WBO, Shaun Grant of Sage Delights and Participant of WBO (maker of cake) all cut the beautiful WBO Branded cake of the evening.
Attention registered, women-owned businesses in Jamaica, Women Business Owners Ja. Ltd in collaboration with UWI Department of Management Studies presents the 2012 Business Series, Learn how to raise capital on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Hear the Honey Bun story.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 5:30pm.
The Guardian Life Auditorium
12 Trafalgar Road, New Kingston.

RSVP TODAY. [email protected].
For more information visit our facebook page http://fb.com/womenbusinessownersja

Our new President - Yaneek Page, Future Services International Ltd
On December 5, 2011 Women Business Owners Ja. Ltd. voted in its new Executive. 2011 was a successful year for the organisation who launched its Inter-American Development Bank-funded Strengthening & Promoting Women Entrepreneurs project with 148 women trained under the project's first leg and another batch of women slated to begin training in January. The WBO team also hosted several networking and fundraising events in 2011, while increasing its membership and database of women in business in Jamaica.The following women entrepreneurs were selected for the WBO Executive:
  • President - Yaneek Page, Future Services International Ltd
  • Immediate Past President - Dorothea Gordon-Smith, Garbage Disposal & Sanitation Systems Ltd (GDSS)
  • Vice-President - Andrea Cowan, Lillan Limited
  • Treasurer - Dena Davis, Solid Life & General Insurance Brokers Ltd
  • Recording Secretary - Ethnie Miller Simpson, Brandz Avenue
  • Company Secretary - Mrs. Hyacinth Kerr, Company Consultants Ltd
Other 2012 Board members are: -
  • Lorna Green - Founding President, Digital Transtec Ltd
  • Shirley Carby, Carlong Publishers Ltd
  • Lana Francis of Frankmark Ltd
  • Blossom O'Meally-Nelson of Aeromar Logistics 
  • Rita Humphries-Lewin of The Barita Group
  • Sandra Bramwell of Versan Education Services
  • Gale Peart of Caribbean Fortress Ltd & My Elite Grocer (MEG) and
  • Marcia Woon-Choy of Action Coach 

View more pictures from the ceremony
Kingston, Jamaica, February 7, 2012
On Tuesday, February 7th at the Knutsford Court Hotel, Women Business Owners Ja. Ltd. (WBO) and the National Commercial Bank Ltd. (NCB) hosted a graduation ceremony celebrating the success of 149 women who completed the first leg of training under the Strengthening & Promoting Women Entrepreneurs in Jamaica project funded by the Multi-Lateral Investment Fund, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank. 

NCB was the lead sponsor of the project's first year in which WBO completed a major launch event, toured the island to enlist women for training, launched a new website and trained 149 women owners of business. 

According to Audrey Tugwell, the event's guest speaker and Senior General Manager of NCB's Retail Banking Divison, "We are very interested in building small businesses in Jamaica and see women business owners as an important segment within the small business sector which we will continue to support. We are proud of their achievements." 

The graduates were markedly elated to have completed the training and the WBO team has noted that the feedback received from the beneficiaries far surpassed their expectations. Michelle Smith, owner of Chocolate Dreams, was one of several women graduates who are owners of established and recognized businesses. "This experience has taught me that education and improvement are the keys to success", Smith revealed. Other established business women included Christine King of the Sunday Herald and Catherine Radlein of Brick Oven. 

Women Business Owners Jamaica Limited (WBO), headed by new President Yaneek Page, was established in 2003 to foster and promote the success of women business owners through education, research, mentorship, and networking, with an aim to assist in the growth of women-owned business in Jamaica. 

The Strengthening & Promoting Women Entrepreneurs in Jamaica project began in 2010 under the guidance of past president Dorothea Gordon-Smith who spareheaded the conceptualization, funding acquisition and management of the project. The 3-year project aims to educate, train and mentor women who own small and medium businesses, to facilitate the growth of their businesses from one level to the next. 

As of February 2012 WBO began training another set of approximately 150 women, with training sessions in both Kingston and Montego Bay. By the end of the year the project is slated to have trained and mentored a total of 300 women across the island. A documentary, case study booklet, major closing event and an in-depth mentorship programme are all in place to be rolled out later this year.

As you are aware you have been selected to be trained and mentored in our project....

Strengthening & Promoting Women Entrepreneurs in Jamaica