Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on an interview with Tyrone Wilson, Founder of iCreate Group, located in Kingston, Jamaica.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
iCreate Group Limited is a Digital and Creative Conglomerate based in Kingston, Jamaica. iCreate aim is to fuel the digital and creative economies across Jamaica, the Wider Caribbean, and Latin America. The company is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange with subsidiaries such as Digital Outdoor Billboard Advertising Company, Visual Vibe Limited, Digital, and Creative Skills Training - iCreate Institute, Creative Agency - Vertical Creative Limited, and e-Commerce company, Get Paid Limited. We cater to small businesses who are looking to take their businesses online through e-commerce services, advertising services and provide advertising reach through our digital billboards.
Tell us about yourself
I am the Founder, President & CEO of iCreate Limited, which is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange - Junior Market. My company is a Digital and Creative Group of Companies with divisions in Advertising, Training, Media, Entertainment, and Commercial Real Estate.
My passion for entrepreneurship and innovation has fueled the strategic growth and success of my company. My vision is to develop the region's creative economy and make the Caribbean & Latin America a powerhouse in the digital & creative world. Currently, I serve as a Director of One on One Educational Services, Chairman of GetPaid Limited, an e-commerce company, Founder & Chairman of Investment Holding Company, Kintyre Holdings Limited & Executive Chairman of Real Estate Company, and Parallel Real Estate Ventures Limited.
I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Banking & Finance from the University of the West Indies, Mona. As a proud graduate of Jamaica College, I have received many awards and accolades, including Jamaica's Prime Minister's Youth Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship, the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica 50 under 50 Business Leaders Award, and the Caribbean Journal's Entrepreneur of the Year among other noteworthy achievements.
The parent company of iCreate was eMedia Interactive Group Limited, which I started in 2008 with an early seed investment of US$10,000. Today, my iCreate Group, which acquired eMedia's assets, is now valued at over US$10M.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is iCreate Institute, a division of iCreate Group. iCreate, to date, has trained over 10,000 Jamaicans in various digital and creative fields. iCreate Institute has also broadened its footprint in the wider Caribbean, training individuals in Barbados, the Cayman Islands, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is cash flow. Cash is not easy to come by in Jamaica, and there aren't many sources of patient capital. Most businesses have to generate their cash flows internally, but when you're a fast-growing, ambitious company like iCreate, it is difficult to hold on to cash.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Persistence and resilience are key. It sounds cliche, but persistence and being resilient are important in order to stay focused on your goal.
- Start early - get a mentor, and don't be afraid to take risks on new ambitious ideas.
- Do it the right way. Get your governance structures etc., in place and learn how to build them.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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