Sharon Small, Marketing Manager, Scotiabank East and Judge (centre) with Amanda McKenzie (left) and business partner Connie Inniss of Grow It!.


Sharon Small, Marketing Manager, Scotiabank East and Judge (centre) with Amanda McKenzie (left) and business partner Connie Inniss of Grow It!.

Amanda McKenzie of Grow It! is ‘Bank on Me’ winner


After an intensive four month Business Bootcamp, five pitches, four major workshops and elimination challenges, six episodes and a final question and answer session, Amanda McKenzie of Grow It! was declared the winner of Bank on ME Season 3, in an exciting hour-long finale screened last night, during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016.
In celebration of Barbados’ 50th anniversary of independence, Season 3 was themed “2020 Vision” with a focus on some specific areas set by the Government of Barbados.  Training, special incentives and challenges were given in the areas of Cultural Industries, Agri-business, Innovation and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) (CAIRS). An exciting new feature of the show included the sponsors selecting one of the five pillars of the CAIRS Programme, with special prizes awarded in these categories to the contestants who best demonstrated how each pillar is successfully incorporated into their business.
McKenzie won $15 000 cash from Scotiabank along with a host of other prizes; while C and G Star Trading Ltd, Darone Brathwaite copped the Relish Epicurea ‘Agri-Business Award’; and Caribbean Transit Solutions, Khalil Bryan and Veronica Millington received the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) ‘Innovation Award’. Other winners on the night were Coconut Baby, Allison Burnham the G4S ‘Cultural Industries Award’; and Hermano Enterprises Inc Evelyn Austin won the coveted Courts ‘People’s Choice Award’ and the FUND Access ‘STEM Award’. 
Additionally, various competitions for the public were held throughout the show for prizes of electrical appliances donated by Courts Barbados.
The judging panel on the night, Ouida Murrell, Sharon Small, Richard Haynes and Eddy Abed was joined by special guest judge, Neysha Soodeen, CEO of Toute Bagai Publishing Co. Ltd. Of her experience, Soodeen said: “Being a guest judge on ‘Bank on Me’ was somewhat nostalgic. It took me back to the exciting days of being a start-up myself. The thrill of seeking investors or funding, or even getting a contract signed. The contestants I met were all dynamic, their businesses are all ones which I would be interested in investing in. What a great show for the region. I’m a supporter 110%.”
Sharon Small, Marketing Manager, Scotiabank East and a permanent judge remarked:  Amanda’s company Grow It! really exemplifies what Scotiabank and Blue Waters Productions have been working to achieve through Bank on Me. A key focus of the show is to educate and empower Barbadian entrepreneurs and give them the tools to help their businesses progress and grow. We have seen growth in Amanda and we heartily congratulate her on her win.”
She continued: “It’s important to note – she’s not the only winner. During the past three seasons, over 80 entrepreneurs have participated in Bank on Me and in so doing most have improved their businesses, provided support for economy and created employment for themselves and others.”
Alison Saunders, Executive Producer and Director of Bank on ME looking back on Season 3 said: “Blue Waters Productions is thrilled with the response from the public to the new one hour edition of the show. We highly value engagement at events, online engagement, participation in special competitions and the comments on the show and the recently televised Awards show and masterclass.We are pleased to learn of the contestants’ own appreciation of their development of this crop of entrepreneurs as a result of the experience.” 
Bank on ME is presented by Blue Waters Productions in association with Scotiabank with the support of Merville Lynch Productions Inc., SFa Communications Inc, Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), Fund Access,  National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE), Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES), Cave Hill School of Business (CHSB), Human Resource Development Strategy Unit (HRDS), Hilton Barbados Resort, Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF), Courts Barbados, Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Intermixz, Barbados Today, Central Bank, Relish Epicurea, Wine World, A3KD, and Irie Foods.

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