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Alpha Wear JA Makes Winning Pitch for Branson Centre of Caribbean Entrepreneurship
The Alpha Boys School successfully highlighted that rather than being just a part of Jamaica’s creative history, it has the potential to continue making contributions toward Jamaica’s creative economy by copping first place in the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean’s Pitch to Rich competition.
Alpha Wear JA, the recently created clothing line, pitched alongside Touch by VJS and Vibes Cuisine. All three ventures had participated in the business incubator’s entrepreneurship training programme. They had been selected to make their pitch based on video submissions. The pitches were made before an audience of about 100 including Sir Richard Branson who established the centre which bears his name and is supported by Virgin Unite.
Alpha Wear, was devised to support the institutions’s sustainable efforts while simultaneously creating opportunities to empower some of the island’s most vulnerable while allowing people across the globe to connect with Jamaica's culture and be inspired the institution’s story. Alpha Wear JA also augments the skills learnt by the Alpha boys who screen print the shirts, having been trained by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation
As the winning pitch, Alpha Wear JA will be featured on the Virgin Unite website, augmenting the brand’s reach. All three entrepreneurs who participated in the pitch will be the first who are able to access the Centre’s new loan programme.
Alpha Wear JA was represented in the course (and therefore also at the Pitch) by its Special Projects coordinator, Joshua Chamberlain. Chamberlain had high praise for the Branson Centre.
“The Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship is a critical resource for business development, personal development and, in Alpha's case, the sustainability of Alpha Boys School," Chamberlain said.
He also noted that entrepreneurship was not new to Alpha Boys School, even thought the institution had not labelled their endeavours with that term.
"Alpha has a history of entrepreneurship without really calling it as such,”. Chamberlain continued. “The Branson Centre has helped Alpha staff and students to tap into their existing entrepreneurial values and interests. The response from Richard Branson and his colleagues, as well as the business owners I've met and worked with through the Branson Centre demonstrates, not only how important the Centre itself is, but has also provided reassurance that the school is on the right path."
Currently the line features two t-shirt designs by Michael Thompson (co-founder International Reggae Poster Contest). The line is intent on expansion to include tote bags and polo shirts. Alpha Wear JA is available in Jamaica at Alpha Boys School, BASE Kingston, National Gallery of Jamaica, Rockhouse Negril; New York City at Miss Lily's; and in Japan at Extra Classic as well as and on OkayPlayer.com.