Outsourcing to the Caribbean: Entrepreneurial Opportunities within the Region

Jamaica pride itself as a leading Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) location with sixty-one (61) companies offering call centre and BPO services. Named a priority sector for the Government of Jamaica, it is no wonder this Caribbean destination was the one of choice for the inaugural Outsource to the Caribbean Conference (OCC), themed “Leveraging the Nearshore Caribbean for Outsourcing Services”.  Jointly organized by Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) and the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), it was funded by the European Union via the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).  CEDA is the only regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group.

The 18 country-strong event which ran from 5th to 7th December 2017 at Iberostar Beach Hotel, Montego Bay, opened with a Welcome Reception and Regional Investor of the Year Awards. The awards recognized regional investors who have made extensive contribution to the region’s development and growth. Attendees took the opportunity to network, highly anticipating the day that followed. The tour of the Montego Bay Free Zone, home of Yoni Epstein’s itelBPO, a major sponsor, was a fitting climax to an informative, content rich event.

Iberostar Beach Hotel, venue of the inaugural Outsource to the Caribbean Conference 5th-7th December, 2017

At the start of the OCC, the Honourable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands boasted, “Now is the time to do business with the Caribbean”. She gave in her defense, strategic location; skilled labour force; competitively priced labour; labour retention; environment that supports businesses and high quality of life.

The deafening cry heard time and again for better data collection and analysis within the Caribbean was echoed by Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, CEDA’s Director. “We need data to support what we do. Without the data, we cannot make sensible decision”, she added. Notwithstanding, she provided an informative overview:

“Given the existing contribution of the outsourcing sector to job creation in the region and its potential for expansion, we believe that it must be given priority. In 2010, the sector provided employment for 47,000 workers and by 2015, this number had increased to 74,000; this is an average of 5,000 workers being added annually. BPO and other professional services generated over US$2 billion in revenue in 2014. Calculations show that companies in the region generate close to US$25 million in revenue for every 1,000 agents.”

After the main remarks, a number of panel discussions ensued. The discussion on ‘Caribbean Talent’ was a highlight. Professor Paul Aiken, Head of the Engineering Department, University of the West Indies spoke of the opportunity for Jamaica to leverage ‘Reverse Logistics”. The idea is to establish a local facility that would repair broken parts/products bought on Amazon for example and sell them to other territories as refurbished items.

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, the Honourable Audley Shaw, when asked about the kinds of  viable opportunities available to prospective entrepreneurs within the current BPO landscape, had this to say:

“It is clearly a great area for growth, not just in jobs but for entrepreneurship. A lot of the people abroad are not themselves wanting to set up their own operations but to contract their work to an independent operator. It is an area that I would commend to JAMPRO in its promotional programme, both in terms of identifying potential entrepreneurs, making sure they are getting trained as well as including that into the market overseas to say, we have the entrepreneurs, we have the market place and we have the people.”

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, the Honourable Audley Shaw and The Entrepreneurial You’s Heneka Watkis-Porter after an interview at the Outsource to the Caribbean Conference.

In response to the same question, Coke-Hamilton had this to say:

“It is an incredible landscape for the downstream opportunities of the sector. If you have a set of persons answering phones, there is also the opportunity for offering transcription services, training on how to answer the phone, cultural sensitivity training, transportation services, security services, legal and medical facilities. These are all things that can be done around the ecosystem of the BPO.”  She further hinted at the opportunity for students leaving university for example to start writing culturally sensitive scripts for companies. There are various levels of entry but some things are low barrier, making it more accessible to startups.”

She continued, “There is an opportunity to improve on our customer service to train people in understand value. If people understand why they need to be nice to people it will make a difference. Understanding that being nice is not being subservient. This is true for many of us post-slave societies – moving from this post-slave, rebellious nature to an understanding of our end game. A mind-set shift is needed.”

President of Jamaica Promotion (JAMPRO) and CAIPA, Diane Edwards elaborated:

“The best example of entrepreneurship I can give right now is Yoni Epstein. He started his operation with 7 people in a small room and who is now at 1,000 plus members of staff. There is entrepreneurial opportunity available but you have to know the industry. Spend time to research it. It is high-performance requiring you to be close to your customers and satisfying them. Choose which niche to get into, which may not require a vast number of people. Legal process outsourcing is a great niche one can enter into. There is an opportunity to create entrepreneurs in this space.”

It was a commendable first initiative, with obvious room for improvement. It is unfortunate that many of the tables allocated for the various countries were without a representative even provisions were made for them to be there.

Now that the discussions have been elevated, we can now examine how the model can be improved upon, impacting not just the employment challenges within the region but that of underemployment as well.

038 – How to Evolve into an Unstoppable Leader – A Look at work-Life Balance, with Terry WIldemann

Terry Wildemann guides entrepreneurs and intuitive leaders to business success by helping them spring back from the brink of burnout. Terry use the same practical and cutting edge resilience solutions that helped refocus her own business after she experienced several health extinguishing burnouts. Her Shiftology™ business and leadership systems offer leaders solutions to tap into their “Inner Business Game” to discover and implement untapped strategies and actionable ideas. Terry’s is the author of 2 solo and 6 co-authored books. Her latest book “The Enchanted Boardroom: Evolve Into an Unstoppable Intuitive Leader” can be found on Amazon.

Intuitive leadership expert, Terry Wildemann, shares her #shiftology technique on @TheEntrepYou #podcast today! @leaderintuition Click To Tweet


Show  Notes:

I asked Terry an ice-breaker question, whether she’s ever locked herself out of the house. Her response, “Oh yes! And I’ve climbed in through my share of Windows”.

Terry and I went on to talk about intuitive leadership and explored the myth of work-life balance.

Some questions I asked Terry:

Definition of work life balance

What to do when you feel like you’ve lost control of your life?

How should we deal with guilt about neglecting your different roles?

How should we deal with guilt about neglecting your different roles?

Intuitive leadership and the shiftology technique, what’s that?

Main Take-Aways:

  • Work-life-balance is a myth. The goal is to integrate both and make them parts of our lives.

  • When we acknowledge our emotions, and tune in to how our body feels, our intuition increase.

  • In a place of listening where you can go inside and tap into those intuitive places, that is what balance is about.


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037 – Overcoming Bitterness, Healing Through Forgiveness And, Living From A Place of Gratitude, with Carolyn Jones

Carolyn is a Forgiveness Guide and Coach, Award-winning Author, and Speaker. At fifty-eight, she overcame the anger and bitterness she’d lived with her entire adult life when she discovered forgiveness and gratitude.

#PeakPerformers, Carolyn @carolyncjjones talks forgiveness and gratitude on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

I always like to start things off on a light note.  I asked Carolyn, “Would you rather be three inches taller or three inches shorter?”

Here response, “I wondered what the world looks like from a higher height. I’m rather short so I would like to be 3 inches taller.”

Then I jumped into the issue of forgiveness. Here are some of the questions I asked Carolyn.

How did you grow up?

How did that cause you feel when you were going through that?

How did you make the transition into who you are today?

You found a way to forgive your parents, how did that happen?

How can forgiveness help us to live our best lives as entrepreneurs?

Forgiveness becomes easier when we become grateful and come from a place of gratitude…why is it important to practice gratitude?

How often do you find that people put on a front?

How can we take small steps in forgiving ourselves and those who would have wounded us in the past?

Main Take-Aways:

  • Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you condone what the offender has done.

  • Being grateful creates more abundance.

  • When you decide to forgive, you make a decision to hurt and suffer less.


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035 – Collaborating for Success, with Richard Branson, Amy Porterfield, Kirk-Anthony Hamilton, Chris Ducker, Michael O’Neal & Malcolm MJ Harris

Every November for 1 week, there are thousands of events and competitions in close to 200 countries to inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. In 2017, the week is observed during November 13-19. I’ve reached out to 6 global entrepreneurs to share their thoughts on collaborating for success. They are Richard Branson, Amy Porterfield, Kirk Anthony Hamilton, Chris Ducker, Michael O’neal and Malcolm MJ Harris.

@richardbranson @kirkanthony_jm et al talk about collaborating for success. Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

Richard Branson, Virgin Group

-To execute an idea, you need to be a leader of people.

-Lots of people have the same idea, it is about how you execute that’s critical.

-Can you motivate, inspire and bring out the best in people?

-I’d much rather invest in someone that is good with people.

-What we need in life are people who look for the best in people.

-It is not easy to be an entrepreneur.

Richard Branson eagerly and playfully using my braided hair to get his ‘locks’ after our interview.

Chris Ducker, Youpreneur

-Nobody’s got a monopoly on good ideas, it all comes down to the people you surround yourself with.

-Be you all the time, it is the easiest thing to do. You are unique. An original is always worth more than a copy.

-People are either going to love you or hate you and that’s fine. Stay away from the messy middle.

-If there is a problem, fix it right there and then

-Relationships are something to be treasured and not to be used.

-Spend time with people, they want to know that you give a damn.

Malcolm MJ Harris, National Care Financial

-If you are not collaborating within your business then your business is probably about to die out.

-One thing no one can do better than me is to put in the work.

-I am not a passive CEO, I make sure I am the hardest working person within my company.

-Do you want all of a grape or do you want half of a watermelon?

-If you look at all the great businesses, they are the by-product of collaboration.

-You shouldn’t be talking to anyone about your business unless they sign an NDA.

-Finding a competitor who can complement what you are doing is ideal.

Michael O’Neal, Solopreneur

-If there is a universal law across the most successful people that I’ve spoken to, it’s that relationships have built their businesses.

-You must walk into a conference with a plan and a strategy to build relationship with people you meet at conferences.

-You must go into a conference with an intention; follow up after.

-A consistent meet up is one of the best things you can do for your business.

-Have a weekly happy hour to network with others to make the connections you want.

Amy Porterfield, Online Marketing Expert

-I’m looking to see if they (prospective partners) are attracting a similar type of audience.

-Collaboration has built my brand, put my name out there and grow my business.

-I’m a huge fan of collaboration.

-You would be amazed how much bigger of an audience you can attract by collaborating with people whom you wouldn’t normally get in front of their audience.

-With social media, it is getting harder to be seen and cut through the noise.

-Collaborating with the right people gets you in front the right audience.

-I’m looking to see if their (partners) style of marketing is in line with my style and for integrity.

-I’m attracted to people that will share the good with the bad, the wounds and the challenges as well as the wins; I want to hear the grittiness.

Kirk-Anthony Hamilton, Tech Beach Retreat

-It is extremely valuable to entrepreneurs to have the right connections and the right relationships to progress their goals a lot quicker.

-I set out on a path to try and connect with some of the best in the world; I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time in global communities.

-People run the world; it all comes down to who you know and the relationships you have; Most challenges are solved through who you know.

-The term entrepreneur is about those who want to maintain an open mind.

-I don’t call it networking. I am more into relationship building. Networking has become a transactional term.

-It is not about networking, it is about access.

-It’s way more about how you connect with people and the memorable impression that you leave than the quantity of hands that you shake and the amount of business cards that you distribute.

Main Take-Aways:

  • Relationships are something to be treasured and not to be used

  • If you are not collaborating within your business then your business is probably about to die out

  • You must walk into a conference with a plan, strategy to build relationship with people you meet at conferences

  • Collaborating with the right people gets you in front the right audience

  • It is extremely valuable to entrepreneurs to have the right connections and the right relationships to progress their goals a lot quicker.

  • To execute an idea, you need to be a leader of people.

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Pat Flynn

John Lee Dumas

Tony Robbins

Shark Tank

Air BnB

Elon Musk

Justin Trudeau (PM Canada)

Barack Obama

Hamdi Ulukaya – Chobani

Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean

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You Gotta Be Hungry: Unleash Your Greatness With Les Brown

It was November 4, 2017 – a Saturday morning like none other, at least like no other Jamaica has ever seen. In a flash, the room at the Jamaica Conference Centre began to come alive, quickly filling up with hungry people.

Les Brown engages a hungry audience at the Jamaica Conference Centre November 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Involve Magazine

The anticipation on faces told a story of deep yearning and longing, probably even desperation. But nothing physical could satisfy that gaping void. It was a hunger that goes much deeper than the bottom of the stomach. After all, the weeks of obvious intense planning by a hard-working team could not afford to yield disappointment. Greatness like you’ve never seen before, was about to be unleashed.

Elegantly garbed in a powerful red long-sleeved top complimented by a flared, quietly-sexy black skirt, host Amita Persaud-Webb shouted exuberantly to the audience in waiting at 9:11 AM EDT, “Good morning and welcome to the Unleash Your Greatness Conference”. Moments later, co-host Oliver Mair joined in getting a room, which was full to capacity, even more euphoric about what was to come.

A pre-conference chat with some of the attendees revealed the expectations of many. They range from ‘killing the enemy within”, to “eliminating fear” to “getting inspiration to take action”.

Clearly, everyone was ’hungry’ to hear and see the main speaker, the legendary and highly sought-after, Les Brown. This, they had to wait for until the other scheduled speakers presented. But lest there was any doubt about the caliber and aptitude of the other speakers, they never hesitated to dispel any such myth through the demonstration of their mastery and competence. Delivering with gusto and sincerity, they rose above the obvious pressure of presenting on a platform with the man of the moment.

Les Brown and his son Patrick shares lens as they departed Jamaican soil at the Norman Manley Internation Aiport after the Unleash Your Greatness Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre November 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Involve Magazine

Patrick Brown, son of Les Brown, was the first one to serve up the appetizer. He came on stage rapping much to the amusement of an audience in waiting. “Greatness is your heritage”, he posited. “program yourself for success”, “we all start from somewhere and nobody starts at the top”, he continued. He went on to share his experiences growing up in the shadow as ‘Les Brown’s son before poignantly ending with a poem entitled, “It’s Time”. It’s time to step into your greatness, he charged, to the applause and approving cheers of a gathering whose appetite has clearly been whet.

Next on was Paul Bryan who spoke of his experience thirty (30) years ago with Les Brown via his mom’s cassette tapes which she played incessantly. “You’ve gotta be hungry”, was the main message that stuck like a glue to Paul’s memory. This was to make the point of the importantance of feeding your children’s minds with positive messages from an early age. Against the backdrop of the fertilization process where from a possible four billion sperm, only one will fertilize an egg, “You are, by your mere presence, extra-ordinary”, Paul emphasized before segueing to his roadmap to greatness which went like this:

  1. Get pregnant (with an idea) and give yourself over to an idea that excites you;
  2. Create environments for your success;
  3. Establish partnerships;
  4. Develop yourself;
  5. When greatness calls, answer, ‘YES’ knowing you have everything it takes to succeed.

With an American accent, Jon Talarico emerged next, shouting what seems to be the catch line for all visitors to the Jamaican shores, “Wat a gwaan Jamaica?” to an already steaming gathering. He started out by saying his turning point came from hearing that he has greatness within from a Les Brown conference he attended years ago. Jon went on, sharing his irrefutable Laws of Greatness – all ten of them.

  1. The Law of responsibility;
  2. The Law of motion;
  3. The Law of goals and planning;
  4. The Law of conduct;
  5. The Law of value creation;
  6. The Law of reciprocity;
  7. The Law of being unique;
  8. The Law of infinite possibility;
  9. The Law of education;
  10. The Law of attitude.

Sheree Martin, in her down to earth presentation style, put forth the idea that everything in life stems from two emotions, love and fear. When we live from a place of love we can never fear. She continued, “Measure success on your own terms…nothing has meaning except the meaning that you give it…you are a co-creator, the universe is conspiring to give you what you want. Live in appreciation of everything and bless others who are living in abundance even if you are not there yet”. Sheree’s model for success is based on Experiences, Beliefs, Actions and Results.

Kevin Ingram, representing sponsor National Commercial Bank (NCB), shared the secret of how the wealthy unleash their greatness. “Let your money stay in the bank and borrow other people’s money, create a vision, define what you want to be; practice good habits, keep focused and stick to your plan”, he said.

Keeping it ‘positive’. International Gospel Recording Artiste shares lens with Les Brown after his riveting performance at teh Unleash Your Greatness Conference at teh Jamaica Conference Centre on Saturday November 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Involve Magazine

In keeping with the positively charged atmosphere, the internationally acclaimed Gospel Recording Artiste, Rondell Positive, took the platform just before the lunch break. As he belted out hits like ‘Overcomer’, fans sang along while being feted to a dance off by Patrick Brown, son of Les Brown, host Amita Persaud-Webb and the man of the hour, Les Brown.

Host Emprezz Golding causing the attendees to erupt in laughter at the Unleash Your Greatness Conference with Les Brown at the Jamaica Conference Centre November 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Involve Magazine

After lunch, there was a shift, a changing of the guard as it were. A new host had taken the platform. The vivacious media personality, Emprezz Golding with her infectious personality, stopped short of bringing the audience to tears through laughter. Her energy set the stage for what to come. Giving out prizes after prizes, she brought audience members on stage to get their moment of fame. Many just had to merely open their mouths and a prize would be theirs.

When Internet Income Jamaica and Pow Social’s Alicia Lyttle, graced the platform, it wasn’t to train participants how to make money online but to let them in about what she has been through. She shared her powerful story of being a two-time Cancer survivor who had to overcame several other odds to be where she is at now. She charged everyone to:

  1. Understand responsibility
  2. Shed your past
  3. Hit decline when the calls from the naysayers and ‘waste’ people come in

Duane Lue-Fung, in his usual debonair style which is known to sell ice to an Eskimo, asserted that we must have a strong ‘why’ in our quest for greatness. He charged the twelve hundred strong participants to:

  1. Read the biographies of successful people;
  2. Express gratitude for everything, everyday;
  3. Stay away from average, it is the biggest enemy to success;
  4. Be intentional about your thoughts as they create your reality.

UK based, Online Marketer Danny Walsh added his flavor to the diverse pool of speakers. “Conversations is the key to success”, he pointed out. He further went on to state that, “If you are fishing in the wrong pond, you won’t catch the big fish.

Standing tall and strong at age 72 Les Brown at the Unleash Your Greatness Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre November 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Involve Magazine

Then it was time. The moment everyone waited for had arrived. Time for American motivational speaker, author, radio DJ, former television host, and former politician, Les Brown, to appear. The man of 72 years, appeared on stage to a standing ovation and cheers from a hungry crown. He invited everyone to be seated and for the next 1 hour and 40 minutes he held the attention of everyone. “Seated in this room is greatness and I’m honoured to be in your presence”, he started. Les went on to share his story of being labeled ‘educable mentally retarded’ while in grade school. His story is nothing short of resilience, telling the narrative of overcoming, through the help of his adopted mother and high school teacher – a tale he tells with pride.

As Zig Ziglar once said, “some people say motivation doesn’t last, neither is bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily”. A motivated and inspired audience was the result as was the objective of the conference. The stage has been set for the next event of this kind to take place because the motivation has to continue.

The Unleash Your Greatness Conference is the brainchild of Inspire Me Events, managed by Internet Income’s and Pow Social’s Alicia Lyttle, Lorette Lyttle and Andrew Reid, and Think Grow Lead’s Duane Lue-Fung and Paul Bryan.



034 – Let Go of Baggage; Become Empowered by Developing A Strong Spiritual Belief, with Leslie Karen Hammond

Leslie is the Empowering Story Whisperer, an Internationally Known Spiritual Teacher, Guided Meditation Master, International Speaker and 3 times Author.  She helps people create empowering stories to live and love by.

#PeakPerformers, Kay @ConfidenceBldr talks spiritual empowerment on #TheEntrepYou today!

Show  Notes:

Here’s how I started out the conversation with Leslie, would you rather not hear or not see?

Just as I thought, she responded, “I would be fine not seeing because I see a lot with my eyes closed.”

Here are some of the things we spoke about…

What does letting go of baggage have to do with entrepreneurship?

What do we need to let go of baggage?

How do spiritually driven entrepreneur move past these fear for example the fear of failing?

What does it mean to live a spiritual life?

Why does every story matter?

Why are so many people afraid of telling their story?

For persons facing fear because of trauma, how can they open their hearts again to let it all out and be ok with being vulnerable?

Main Take-Aways:

  • Don’t allow the fear of being judged prevent you from sharing your story.

  • Whatever issues of the past we are dealing with affect how we show up to those we serve.

  • Having a strong spiritual belief can assist you in taking risks.


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