I find this interesting. On the Branson’s Centre of Entrepreneurship home page, they have two locations, Caribbean and Africa. That’s it. I might be paranoid, but there must be something special about the Caribbean!
What is the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship you ask? And is it related to Richard Branson. The same guy with the Bolt ad? Yes, if you’ve seen it, it’s the same guy, and yes its the Sir. Richard Branson of Virgin Fame.
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship
Sir Richard Branson, the Multi-Billionaire from Virgin Mobile, Virgin Travel, Virgin everything has created the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. The center was launched by Virgin Unite (the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group) using funding from lead partner Virgin Holidays (the UK’s leading long haul tour operator), based on information from the website.
They describe the business as follows.
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean will act as a hub for aspiring entrepreneurs. Our mission is to offer practical business skills, access to coaches to offer guidance, mentors to share their experiences and financing opportunities to enable growth. It will support the development of small and growing businesses and job creation in the Caribbean with an emphasis on tourism related businesses with strong financial, social and environmental credentials.
The Center is located in the Montego Bay, Jamaica, but its programmes are open Caribbean-wide. As they describe it, “it just so happens that our physical space is located in Montego Bay, Jamaica but all entrepreneurs that are Caribbean nationals are welcomed to apply, and we would love to have you!”
What is this programme? Simply put “We are looking for individuals from across the Caribbean who want a partner through the highs and lows of growing and running a business.”
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship has created an Entrepreneur Development Programme that will take budding businessmen and women twenty (20) aspiring entrepreneurs to participate in a 12-week practical training programme. Selected high potential entrepreneurs from those twenty applicants will then be invited to enter the incubator after they complete the training program.
Other points that I’ve picked up about the programme
- You don’t need a specific business plan to apply
- Stage 1 – Successful applicants will be required to attend a mandatory practical training programme that will meet once weekly for a period of up to twelve (12) weeks.
- Stage 2 –Applicants who progress to the Incubator stage of the programme, will have access to all services and resources available in the Branson Centre to be used at their convenience.
- Costs – The only cost that applicants will incur to the centre is the JMD $500 application fee. There will be no fees to participate in the practical training programme, but successful applicants will be expected to cover all personal costs including, but not limited to transportation.
- You can see the last see the set of applicants and information about their business here
There is a lengthy 4-part application process, including personal details like passport number and your criminal records, however for an opportunity like this, J$500 and spilling your guts on the Internet should not be a problem.
The Frequently Asked Questions section of the website has some of the information you may be interested in. Applications close midnight February 6th 2012.
I would love if somebody from the MoneyMax101 community got into this programme. Apply Today.
Thanks to January 2012 issue of YourMoney eZine for featuring this article.