Guyanese entrepreneur wins prestigious regional award
Guyanese entrepreneur, Harold Bulkan, last Friday copped the Pioneers of Prosperity programme’s top award for the Caribbean region from a field of ten finalists, including two Jamaicans.
The three-year-old programme, which is sponsored by the multilateral investment fund of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the John Templeton Foundation and the Social Equity Venture Fund, saw Bulkan walking away with a US$100,000 prize as well as the satisfaction of international approval of his Bulkan Timber Works Company.
The two runners-up, Sandra Samuels of Jamaica’s Totally Male Club Spa and Salon and Olivier Barrau of Haiti’s Alternative Insurance Company, netted US$75,000 each, while the other seven finalists, including Silburn Clarke, CEO of the Spatial Innovision company, got US$40,000 each.
According to an outline of the award programme’s vision, the funds are to be used to “invest in technical infrastructure and training for their companies, and connect them to networks of technical expertise, potential investors, and other cutting-edge entrepreneurs on the local, regional and global level”.
The programme, the awards ceremony of which was staged at the Half Moon resort under the patronage of Prime Minister Bruce Golding, seeks to identify and honour small and medium-sized businesses which meet specific criteria including the provision of a unique product which garners above-average returns, enables the business to pay its taxes as well as above-average wages.
According to Michael Fairbanks, founder and chairman emeritus of the OTF group, which conceptualised the awards, the competition, which was extended to the Caribbean region for the first time this year, attracted 580 applications, 150 of which came from Jamaica.