“Elated, overwhelmed and excited” are the words Nissa Butler used to describe how she felt upon receiving the call confirming her as the winner of the Nia Mentor Award.
Butler, a full time entrepreneur and owner of “Butler Inscriptions” attracted the highest scores from all seven mentors through her demonstration of strategic planning, desire to contribute to community building, and evidence of research on this year’s Honouree, Dame Bridget Harris.
In addition to the $7000.00 dollars she will receive from the originators of this award, and the invaluable mentorship opportunity, Butler will receive seven books chosen by each mentor for its impact on their lives, stationary sponsored by Paperclips, and accessories sponsored by Shop Zoe Mercedes. An additional $500.00 dollars sponsored by CJC & Associates Inc must be matched by Butler and donated to a cause or entrepreneur she deems worthy. Butler says she looks forward to the opportunities and growth she will gain as a result of this award and adds she is “100% nervous”.
In assessing the applications, the mentors expressed surprise at the creativity and types of businesses evaluated. Before confirming the winner, all applicants were invited to a webinar where they received feedback on their applications and a short course on how to put a formal business plan together, presented by Stephanie Harris-Burke.
Among the advice given to the applicants was the importance of paying attention to details when applying for future opportunities.Communications Consultant, Mickel Brann said, “more attention should have been paid to the honouree.” She added, “part of the process was to encourage applicants to do their personal research and not much evidence of that was seen throughout. E. Ann Henry Q. C. advised “One of the most important things we must do is to give forward to others through an opportunity that you may otherwise not be able to benefit from.” A total of 93 women attempted the application and 59 were completed. Marcella Andre, and Jamilla Kirwan, the visionaries behind the award say they are pleased with how the first phase of the initiative unfolded and are now happy to get to work with Butler and the five other mentors. Both women say they will continue to play their small part in finding tangible ways to contribute to nation building, female empowerment, and to “paying it forward”. Speaking of her determination to continue to create avenues to help support women owned businesses, Andre said “no woman will be left behind” as an online community is currently being created to offer more support to a larger amount of women.
The Nia Mentor Award team is especially grateful for the support received from the following businesses who contributed in cash and kind to gifts for the Nia Mentor Award Winner, and the for the five Nia Mentors: Paperclips, CJC & Associates Inc, Devika Richards Beauty, Shop Zoe Mercedes, Challengers Enterprises, Accents by Shush, Wadadli Wicks, The CIU and Premier Beverages.
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