Being young is a challenge
From providing business development services to lecturing, she is an entrepreneur, teacher and an author; a multi faceted persona rolled into one frame. Sekeywi Carruthers speaks with Amitabh Sharma on her venture, the opportunities, challenges and the road ahead.
1. What are the key drivers that made you choose to be an entrepreneur?
I realized that there was a demand for Business Development Services and felt that I was able to create a firm that could offer these types of services.
Being an entrepreneur always me to have greater control of my level of achievement than when working in organisations.
2. What are the opportunities and challenges as a businesswoman?
I am yet to realize an opportunity, business or otherwise, simply as a result of my being a woman. My youth posses more of a challenge. But generally the opportunity I have benefited from most is the availability of technology that reduces operations costs. The major challenge, apart from being underestimated because of my youth is access to financing. Interests rates and loan conditions are very high and demanding.
3. Do you think that the present business environment is conducive for small enterprises?
It is not where we would like it to be, but it is better than ever before. There has never been a time in Jamaica’s economic history when more money has been earmarked for and directed towards this sector. Also advances in technology and social networking systems have created a lot of opportunities for small enterprises.
4. What are your strengths, who do you attribute your growth to?
I am not afraid of failure. So I will try anything, I have reached to this stage as a result of a lot of trial and error. That combined with an attitude of determination and openness to learn.
5. Has age been a barrier – how have you overcome this factor?
Being young has always been and still is a barrier in my professional and business career. I overcome this by using all opportunities (however small) to show my capabilities.
6. You have a multi faceted role to play, how do you manage your time and energies?
By staying focused on the bigger picture and choosing what is important to me in life. I also keep both an electronic and manual diary that is checked and updated everyday.
7. Looking back, what have been your highs and lows and what have you learnt from them?
A high point in my life was when I launched my company; I learnt at that point that anything is possible once you put your mind to it. A simple lesson that can never be reiterated too much. Regarding the low points I cannot recall any low points per say re my business and professional career, my low points are more personal.
8. How do you see the road ahead, what are your goals and objectives?
I envision Sekeywi Carruthers & Associates growing to become one of the major firms that offer Business Development Services across the Caribbean Region. To contribute the development of an environment and policy that supports Business development.
9. Youngsters often complain that the jobs are less, what are your views?
I would love to be able to list a plethora of options for youth but unfortunately the choices are limited. It is a fact that there are fewer jobs out there especially for youth who would not have the requisite work experience.
The better options are to take whatever job you can get and be constantly improving your knowledge base and list of achievements so as to make your self be more competitive.
Secondly get involved the happenings of your society, one cannot expect to not give anything to society and get much from it. (You get from something, as much as you put in). Thirdly, Read the papers and other source of information everyday and keep your eyes wide open for opportunities not only in the form of jobs either.
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