Caribbean Food Company Executive feels young people should abandon the “get a job” mind-set and let their natural business skills flourish

Delivering the first in a series of lectures at the Commission, which signalled the start of Jamaica 50 celebrations in the UK, Senator Douglas Orane urged Jamaicans in the Diaspora to ditch the ‘get a job’ mentality and let their natural business skills flourish.

In his recent address entitled Unleashing the Entrepreneurial Spirit: The Jamaican Experience, Orane said Jamaica had several examples of successful entrepreneurship, with nearly half of the labour force in Jamaica being self-employed.

Written by Trudy Simpson | 27/05/2012 | 09:15 AM

(From left) Douglas Orane with High Commission attaché Kerry Dixon, Acting High Commissioner Joan Edwards, and Ryan Mack, head of Grace Foods UK

The chairman of Grace Kennedy Ltd, spoke to compatriots at the Jamaican High Commission in London, he said he feels too many Caribbean people are dooming their children to dissatisfactory lives because they stress getting a job rather than entrepreneurship.

The audience, which consisted of a wide cross section of the Jamaican UK community, were reminded of the strength of Grace Kennedy subsidiary Grace Foods UK, which is behind popular food and sauce brands such as Grace, Encona, health drink Nurishment and Dunn’s River products.

Mr Orane said his study of the three main areas of Jamaican migration – the US, Canada and the UK – showed that while migrants took their entrepreneurial skills with them, these skills have manifested in different ways depending on the country in which people have settled.

He quoted UK-based entrepreneur Junior Douglas of Dees Imports, who said of his upbringing, ‘The worst thing my father did to me was to send me to university to study political science, and then he told me to go and look a job with the government. It is a good thing that after I left university, I realised that if I had followed through on that, I would have regretted it. I went into business instead.’

Orane, who spent nearly five years in the UK in the 1960s and attended a Scottish university, said he learned two valuable lessons early that helped him to succeed.

The first was to get to know those who are successful and learn “business etiquette”; the second was that “all successful people, without exception, have taken personal responsibility for the outcome of their lives. Blaming others for our failures is ceding our own power to others, thus draining our batteries, and is ultimately self-defeating.”

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