Born into a family with their own business, it is not surprising that Melanie Wynter has a passion for entrepreneurship and from a young age.
She recalls picking tamarind as early as two years old, sweetening and selling them to her aunt’s customers! By age six, she was a full participant in her parents’ business, earning a key role in it by the time she was 12.
“Business has been my life, so much so that when I started university it was boring to me as I thought I already knew it all,” she shared with a smile.
Today, through her company iSpur, Wynter engages in business development as she assists entrepreneurs navigate success using technology, sales and marketing to grow their businesses.
Wynter, who studied Ship Navigation in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada has been involved in leadership activities for as long as she can remember.
With a wealth of experience under her belt, which includes revamping hospitality development for Royal Jamaica Yatch Club and head of business development for another company, she is where she wants to be now as an independent business development consultant giving advice that helps organisations sustain growth.
“A client comes into our office and usually the issue is their business has a flat growth, no growth or they are at risk in the industry that they’re operating in. I listen and prescribe a solution, through a proposal as to how they can grow their company,” she said.
Last year after a conducting a situational analysis for a company, we recognized the business was in trouble. As a result, we designed the growth strategy around bringing the company into another market. After just 16 months iSpur has grown that company’s revenue to a monthly average of Ja$1.5 million,” she shared.
With many businesses experiencing challenges, Wynter said her goal is to share her know-how and business savviness to help develop Jamaica’s medium enterprises- the corner stone of sustainable growth for any nation.
Although Wynter’s job is to turn businesses around for the better, she has not escaped challenges of her own. She said her biggest issue is finding the right team that not only understands their duties but fits her company’s culture.
“Our culture is that of growth, our operation is designed to nurture employee’s passion and growth. So for me, it is important to find the right team mates that will grow with us as we assist them grow personally, professionally and mentally,” she told dobusinessjamaica.com.
Looking outside of her company, Wynter encourages the government to continue to create an ecosystem that allows for the success of entrepreneurs. “By creating an ecosystem I refer to encourage affluent business owners to become angel investors. Providing these investors incentives that will make them want to give time and capital to budding entrepreneurs,” she said.
Wynter also suggested that the Youth Information/Innovative Centres islandwide should be used as incubators and provide the type of business services that entrepreneurs need to go to market successfully.
“Not a mere business plan, but revenue models, implementation of the plan and monitoring support,” she said.
Reaching out to those who want to venture into being their own boss, she said it is not for the fearful or timid. And if brave, then they must remember that “they should understand their business, learn all about their target audience and then- just go!”
Looking ahead, Wynter said her long term plan is to be a nation builder, the one no one knows, but quietly impacting hundreds of thousands of lives through long term employment and “creating that ecosystem I hoped for as a budding entrepreneur.”
To all entrepreneurs: this is Wynter’s story… it’s time to write your own!