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The Truth About iSAN


“iSAN… what’s that?”….that was my initial reaction when I was first introduced to

that name. I was being given a general introduction for my internship at St. Elizabeth

Sloane & Company; when I first encountered the Jamaica Rural Youth

Foundation (JRYF) and more specifically iSAN. iSAN, as it was explained to me, stood

for iSPUR Accelerator Network and in a nutshell, was supposed to be an initiative that

gave rural youth the opportunity to foster and grow the spirit of entrepreneurship. With

this understanding, I thought to myself “Oh, here we go again, another one of those

programs” and I wasn’t very excited about it but of course I kept it to myself. Could you

just imagine an intern having the gall to tell her superiors that their initiative was a

dime a dozen? Yeah, that was not going to be me. Although, it was truly how I felt

because too many times I witnessed companies and organizations come up with these

elaborate plans to help youth with entrepreneurship and business but fail to have an

actual impact and be useful in the peoples’ lives. I was still going to do my best and be

as open-minded as possible, even though the program didn’t interest me that much. I’m

glad I did because my perspective has truly changed. 


iSAN isn’t just about the idea of entrepreneurship but it’s a practical, hands-on initiative that is geared towards connecting unattached rural youth in Jamaica with the necessary resources, expertise and guidance to create and grow their businesses or establish their business idea. The focus of iSAN which really gets me excited and so passionate is the fact that they are

going to connect youth with actual professionals and business owners whose wealth of

knowledge can’t be found in any textbook or be taught in a classroom.


The beauty about iSAN for me is, it’s not just talk or theory, it’s in the groundwork that

is using business competitions, training seminars and grants to activate and cultivate

in these youth a spirit of “getting up and doing the work”. When I speak about iSAN,

what really gets me excited is when I think about the difference the program will make

by investing in youth-owned businesses with sustainable growth potential. It gets me so

excited, it makes me happy, it makes me hopeful for tomorrow. A tomorrow where every

young person who has an interest in business and entrepreneurship, especially the rural

youth who are so often ignored when these opportunities come about, can rest

assured that there is an avenue for them to pursue their interest and real-life chances

for them to actualize their dreams. It’s safe to say that my initial response to iSAN was

wrong, and not only am I a believer in the vision of the program but I would also like to

think that in whatever way I can, I can contribute and make a difference.



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