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Event-packed Entrepreneurship Week

The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) with support from members of the Host Committee; the Economic Development Department, and Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative, have successfully completed the 2020 Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) celebrations that took place during the month of November.

Launched in 2008, GEW was celebrated worldwide from November 18 to 24. It has grown to include over 180 host countries, 60,000 partner organisations with millions of activities planned throughout the world. Bermuda has participated in GEW since its inception growing the participation and engagement every year. Even during a pandemic, the BEDC still ensured that there was a variety of opportunities, in person and virtual, to keep Bermuda entrepreneurs inspired.

BEDC Business Awards

On Saturday, November 14, 143 people attended the virtual BEDC Business Awards. The Awards celebrated the achievements, growth and resilience of Bermuda’s entrepreneur, featuring local businesses that were nominated by the public in recognition of their success within the last year and those entrepreneurs that have dedicated themselves to personal growth & learning by completing BEDC’s educational courses.

The event highlighted the following awards: Entrepreneur of the Year, Business of the Year, Most Enterprising Young Entrepreneur, Family Business of the Year, New Start-up of the Year, Vendor of the Year, the Covid Resiliency Award, People’s Choice Award as well as the BEDC Client of the Year.

Taking home the Entrepreneur of the Year award was Waneeka Saunders of Glam Pop. Also Nominated in the category were Shannon Cann of Asé Naturals and Dwayne Adams of Streakers Spin Studio.

The Business of the Year award went to Katherine Fisher of Gotcha Covered. Also nominated in the category was Dennie O’Connor of Beach Boys Ltd and Dr Kyjuan Brown of Northshore Medical.

Kei-Shea Fubler & Kaylaya Pendleton of Top Koat Lounge, was named most Enterprising Young Entrepreneur ahead of first runner-up Ahmani Peets of Ahmani’s Cookie Company and second runner-up, Sabriuna Wilkinson of Nurture Laiche.

David S. Augustus & Derrick Augustus of Augustus Funeral Home was named the Family Business of the Year. Also nominated in the category were Robert Rogers, junior of Bermuda Sign Painters and John Michael Marshall of Marshalls Maintenance.

Kieshé Simmons & Jakai Franks of Kooking with Kie and Kai was named the New Start-up of the Year ahead Lyle Butterfield of Nature’s Gift Hair and Body and KeiShea Fubler & Kaylaya Pendleton of Top Koat Lounge.

Calshae Iris of Vim & Venust was awarded Vendor of the Year. Also nominated in the category were Waneeka Saunders of Glam Pop and Kim Lawrence of Zen Crystals BDA.

As this year has been unprecedented, we added a new award: Covid Resiliency Award which was awarded to Katherine Fisher of Gotcha Covered. Also nominated in the category were Catarina Rocha Flower Wall Bermuda and John Michael Marshall Marshalls Maintenance.

The People’s Choice Award went to Kim Lawrence of Zen Crystals BDA with 422 votes, ahead of first runner-up Dwayne Adams of Streakers Spin Studio (255 votes) and Kieshé Simmons & Jakai Franks of Kooking with Kie & Kai (222 votes).

Chalsey and Kenton Trott of Luxury Cuts Studio took home the BEDC Client of the year award. Also nominated in the category were Jekon Edness & Tariq Somner of Blue Rock Construction and Alaina Trott of The Bridge Trading Post.

During the Awards, certificates were awarded to those entrepreneurs that took part in BEDC courses. There were 30 certificates presented to individuals who took part in Quickbook Financial Statements 2020, 32 certificates for Entrepreneurship 101 (Summer), 15 certificates for Think Like an Entrepreneur (Spring), 11 certificates for Think Like an Entrepreneur (Fall) and 5 certificates for our Streetwise MBA programme.

Festival of Entrepreneurship: Start-ups Edition

On November 17, BEDC hosted the Festival of Entrepreneurship: Start-up Edition to celebrate and recognise 47 entrepreneurs who persevered and embarked on new ventures during one of the most catastrophic global socioeconomic events in modern history.

Attendees were treated to an entertaining night, featuring the outstanding Silver City Band, great food and drink. Donte Hunt, BEDC MSME officer and co-organiser of the event, said: “The diversity of start-ups was truly refreshing which showed that entrepreneurship is alive and well in Bermuda!”

Rocket Pitch Competition

Finalists of the 13th annual Rocket Pitch Competition pitched their businesses before a panel of judges on November 18 in the hopes of winning a share of $40,000 in cash and services. The competition, which this year, was sponsored by the BEDC, the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Chubb, Horizon Communications, the Economic Development Department, and Clarien, has helped to launch or expand over 40 businesses.

Businesses ranging from a site linking charities and volunteers to a concierge relocation service, pitched in six categories including:

• Pitch Pink – tourism focused solutions

• Pitch Tech – technology focused

• Pitch Town – businesses with the local community in mind • Pitch Green – an eco-friendly solution

• Youth Pitch – for students under the age of 18

• Pitch Co-op – solutions that utilise a co-operative business model.

First place and second places are chosen for each category. Successful applicants walked away with a cash prize – first place, $5,000 and second place, $2,000 – and also a start-up services package, sponsored by local businesses.

This year’s services package included: business coaching by Transform Bermuda, marketing and communications services from Total Marketing and Communications, business research support from Narrative Research Bermuda, business and HR support from Millennium Bermuda, accounting services by Quantifi, and access to a wide variety of membership tiers from LeadxDesign’s digital suite.

The winners of the 2020 Rocket Pitch by category, included:

Youth Pitch: Sponsored by Horizon Communications

1st place: Volunteer Bermuda – An online service connecting volunteers with charities by Loré de Kock & Moya van Niekerk

2nd place: MFJ Cosmetics and Designs – a vegan, handmade cosmetics business focusing on scrubs, facial serums, false lashes and lipgloss by Mya Furbert Jacobs

Pitch Tech: Sponsored by the Economic Development Department

1st place: Upstaff – a virtual administration and social media management service by Eshe Montsho

2nd place: GigWorks – an online platform that allows individuals to sell their skills and services by Rickai Edwards

Pitch Pink: Sponsored by the Bermuda Tourism Authority

1st place: Soft Landing – a concierge relocation service by Cecilia ‘Cesa’ Edwards & Lloyd Holder

2nd place: Escape from Devil’s Isle – Bermuda’s first canopy zip line park by Dean Bottomley

Pitch Green: Sponsored by Clarien Bank

1st place: Faithful Fragrance – an all-natural, soy wax candle business with scriptures added to each candle by Chelsea Crockwell

2nd place: Back to Nature: an outdoor playground and nature experience for kids of all ages by Colina Carter

Pitch Town: Sponsored by the Economic Development Department

1st place: Equilateral Studio – a creative branding agency for businesses in the wellness industry by Kori Hypolite

2nd place: FairBelle – a local, beauty subscription box by Jordan Butterfield & Kimberly Fraser

Pitch Co-op:Sponsored by the BEDC’s ECD Unit

1st place: Cirqle Bermuda – an entertainment and arts collective co-operative by Tara Cassidy

2nd place: Strength Health & Wellness – is a wellness centre, and marketplace fulfilling nutritional and physical health needs by Ranae Kai Bean

People’s Choice Award: Sponsored by Chubb and Digicel

The People’s Choice award was chosen via a live poll where viewers in attendance, and those watching the live stream, could pick their favourite pitch of the night. Digicel kindly sponsored a portion of this award with the winner taking home an internet package of 250 Mbps for six months and $1,000 sponsored by Chubb. Volunteer Bermuda was the winner of this award receiving 38 per cent of the vote; we had 342 people take part in the live poll.

#ChooseWomen, the 2020 Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference

Over 220 women enjoyed a dynamic virtual conference that had them engaged, learning, and entertained. Attendees were able to get advice from international guest speakers, Wendy Diamond, Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne and Rachael Bozsik, and breakout rooms featuring local women at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Conference put on by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) on November 19.

The conference covered a host of topics including Investing in Women, Supporting Women, Women in Collaboration and Women in Tech.

Organiser Colina Outerbridge said: “We didn’t know what to expect switching from an in-person conference to virtual due to Covid-19, but like everything else we had to adapt. Having it virtually actually helped to add some elements that might not have happened if held in-person, but I am just excited that my team and I were able to pull it off. After hearing all the awesome feedback from the attendees, just lets me know that in the end it is all worth it. Hard work pays off.”

BEDC would like to extend a thank you to the sponsors of this year’s #ChooseWomen conference; sponsors including Butterfield Bank, Deloitte, BTA and HSBC.

InspireCon by Driven Society

The BEDC continued its partnership with Driven Society to bring Bermuda entrepreneurs InspireCon. On November 21, over 100 guests joined virtually to hear engaging and thought-provoking conversations from 12 influential millennial thought leaders. The line-up of talent included Sage East, Arinze Emeagwali, Kelley Green, Goldie Harris, Jason Johnson, Quiana Parks, John ‘JP’ Petty, Justin Shaifer, Nakea Tyson, Ayanna Wilks, Dennis Williams & Dela Yador. Born in Bermuda in 2019, InspireCon is an international event series focused on entertainment and enrichment where ideas are born, cultivated, and released to effect change in our communities. Guests were also able to browse and engage with 20 vendors who were showcasing their goods and services during the event.

In addition to BEDC coordinated events, GEW was celebrated by our partners with shared interest in supporting local entrepreneurship. Partner events included:

• Personal Information Protection Act 2016 (Pipa) hosted by Melanie Fullerton of Walkers Global and Jamillah Lodge of the BEDC

• BPSU Women’s Committee: Bridging the Generational Gap in the Workplace hosted by Tina Evans. Panelled by Dayla Burges, Teneika Eve, Kathy Ming, Wendy Greenidge-Foggo.

• Ignite Bermuda’s: Celebrate Success in celebration of Cohort 2 and their entrepreneur awards and their Midway Pitch competition

• The 5th Annual Women’s Empowerment Summit hosted by Blackbook Promotions • The Social Dilemma Discussion hosted by ConnectTech/Girls in Tech Bermuda, and sponsored by HSBC with panellists including Kim Perdikou, Stuart Lacey, Qian Dickinson, Suzanne Khan, moderated by Coral Wells

For more information about Global Entrepreneurship Week visit www.gew.bm, e-mail info@bedc.bm or call 292-5570

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Published December 03, 2020 at 3:32 pm (Updated December 03, 2020 at 6:55 pm)

Event-packed Entrepreneurship Week

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