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Undergraduate Hyperion Council Hosts Seminar on Caribbean Business

October 28, 2008
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The School’s Hyperion Council hosted the Hon. Karl Samuda, Jamaica’s minister of industry, commerce and
 Hon. Karl Samuda and panelists

Hon. Karl Samuda addresses guests at the
seminar hosted by the Hyperion Council. 

investment for its first business expo and seminar Oct. 28, 2008. The events capstoned the council’s year-long initiative to raise awareness and resources for its entrepreneurship program among women in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. The seminar, “Increasing Global Market Access: Doing Business in the Caribbean,” was aimed at those interested in or already doing business in the CARICOM region (West Indies, Mexico, Venezuela and Columbia) and drew a number of senior government and business leaders from Jamaica and the local Miami area. The seminar capped a day of activities and performances from the Caribbean Students’ Association which also featured the “Caribbean Jamfest.” That event included and showcased some of the crafts made by the Crafts-Producers Association.

“This is a very important initiative and an exciting time bringing together the academic sector and the business community to address some of the challenges we are facing,” said Barbara Kahn, dean of the School of Business, who moderated the event.

The seminar featured presentations by a number of dignitaries and experts on business in the Caribbean including; former ambassador to Panama, Ambler Moss, Lascelles Chin, the CEO and chairman of Lasco Distributors Ltd.; Derrick Reckord, the vice president of Grace Foods (USA) Inc. and Rosalea Hamilton the vice president for development and chair of entrepreneurship and development at the University of Technology in Jamaica.

Samuda described the effects of the current global financial crisis on Jamaica and the importance of the private, micro and small business sectors, and he called on banks and entrepreneurs to be more socially responsible.

“Without the work to expand opportunities in the micro sector, we are not going to make it. The only real growth must come from that sector,” said Samuda.

The Hyperion Council is a highly dedicated student organization which focuses on developing projects to strengthen bonds between the local business and university communities. Each year, the council, initiates projects that link the university to at-risk communities and promotes important business concepts including market economics, entrepreneurship, personal and financial success, and business ethics to better themselves, their communities and their countries. One such project has been the UM Jamaica Project, which provides training to business women in The MSME Alliance in Jamaica to empower them to become more self-reliant and competitive.

Rosalea Hamilton, who also spoke at the seminar, said the businesses that benefit from the project’s training are foundational to the Jamaican economy.

“This is very important as a project because it empowers women, and that empowers families and men and the entire country of Jamaica,” said Hamilton.

More About Jamaica Project 2008
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