Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I apply?
A: The application form for Cohort 6 is available on our web site starting September 22, 2013 and will remain open until November 19, 2013. There is a small application fee. As we are a non-profit organization, this fee helps us cover some of the operational costs related to the application and selection process. It also shows us that you are really keen on committing to a partnership. The fee is JA$500 and is non-refundable. Please don’t send cash or cheque. Instead, deposit the JA$500 fee directly to Scotiabank A/C 601176 held at Scotiabank Westgate Branch (#90605) and send us your proof of payment.
Q: What are the criteria for applicants?
A: We want the right personality and character. It isn’t all about the qualifications you have. You’ll clearly display the spirit of an entrepreneur - that unique viewpoint and perspective that goes beyond making money. You aren’t afraid of taking risks, you know the value of a strong business sense and you can pitch your business brilliantly! Finally, you look for solutions, not problems. An idea is great but it’s even better if you have done something with it or taking steps to do so. You should also be ethically and socially minded about how you operate your business, and the impact you can make in your community and the environment.
Q: The Branson Centre itself is located in Jamaica. Does that mean that it is only open to Jamaican entrepreneurs?
A: No! The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean, as our name implies, is a Caribbean-wide initiative. It just so happens that our physical space is located in Montego Bay, Jamaica. However, all entrepreneurs that are Caribbean nationals are welcome to apply, and we would love to have you! If you want to take part though, you have to be prepared to cover the costs of attending the 12-week training program in person in Montego Bay. If you can’t, don’t despair – the Branson Centre is taking steps to expand parts of its program into other Caribbean islands in 2014. Stay tuned…and if you want to convince us to get involved in your country drop us an email at email@example.com.
Q: What are the important dates and deadlines that I need to be aware of?
A: The application for Cohort 6 is available online from September 22, 2013 until November 19, 2013. If your application is successful, then you will be asked to participate in a phone interview during the week of November 25, 2013. If your phone interview is successful, then you will be invited to attend an Assessment Day in the Centre in Montego Bay during the week of December 2nd.
Q: How many positions do you expect to fill per application cycle?
A: There will be twenty (20) openings for aspiring entrepreneurs to participate in the practical training programme in each selection period. High potential entrepreneurs selected from these twenty participants will then be invited to enter the incubator after they complete the training program.
Q: How long does it take to complete the applications?
A: The application can take up to 1-2 hours hours to complete, and must be completed in one go. There is no start/stop option. Therefore, it is important that you set aside some dedicated time and ensure you have a strong Internet connection so that you do not lose what you have started
Q: What happens after I apply?
A: There are two stages. Stage 1 -- After reviewing all the applications to select those who look like a potential good partner for the Branson Centre, we will contact the shortlisted candidates to set up a phone interview. Stage 2 – The candidates that we shortlist after speaking with them on the phone are then invited to our Assessment Day. The stars of Assessment Day are then invited to participate in our Entrepreneur Development Program.
Q: When should I expect to know the outcome of my application?
A: By December 20, 2013, notifications will be sent to the e-mail address that you provide in your application.
Q: How much does it cost to participate in the programme?
A: 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 in attending training and other activities, including but not limited to, transportation and/or accommodation.
Q: How much time will I be expected to spend in Montego-Bay?
A: 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, in addition to a 2-day Orientation. For Cohort 6, this will run from the end of beginning of January 2014 until mid-April 2014. 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. By submitting an application packet, all potential applicants acknowledge and accept this arrangement.
Then what are you waiting for? We would love to hear from you! Please tell us about yourself and your business plan using the link below.
Q: What types of donations are accepted?
A: All types of donations are welcome, whether in cash, kind or time. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Who do I contact if I’m interested in hosting a fundraiser for the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship - Caribbean or donating proceeds from a fundraiser previously held?
A: This sounds great! Please contact us at email@example.com
Q: How can I volunteer my services as an experienced entrepreneur?
A: We would love to hear from you. We already work with some 200+ entrepreneurs globally who provide invaluable support to the Centre, so you are in good company. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how you’d like to help!
Q: How can I volunteer pro bono hours where my professional expertise can assist an entrepreneur in taking their business to the next level?
A: If you are a legal, accounting or marketing professional who is willing to donate a certain amount of pro bono hours, please email us at email@example.com
Q: I am not an entrepreneur, but I would still love to volunteer my time or resources in any way I can to this initiative. May I still get involved?
A: Yes! Volunteers are not restricted based on their achievements in entrepreneurial activities and there are a variety of ways in which you can lend a helping hand. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of how you would like to give your time.