Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership
In 2011 as part of its drive to promote ethical standards in business, reduce corrupt practices in aspects of Jamaican life and foster socio-economic development, the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) forged a partnership with the JMMB Group for the expansion of the existing School of Entrepreneurship which has been re-branded the Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership (JDSEEL), as one of the schools in the College of Business and Management, UTech.
Named in memory of JMMB’s co-founder, the JDSEEL was launched at a special ceremony on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at the Technology Innovation Centre, UTech Papine campus.
UTech’s President, Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ in welcoming the partnership with the JMMB Group, notes that the School will be an important beacon in the teaching of business, entrepreneurship, ethics and leadership at the tertiary level. This he said, “will transform ethical principles in business leadership and boost the cadre of entrepreneurs with the capacity to spawn social and economic development.” In keeping with UTech’s reputation for preparing work-ready graduates equipped with practical, hands-on competencies, the School’s programmes will practically apply the disciplines of entrepreneurship, finance, values-based leadership and ethics. He noted that this kind of endorsement by a leading member of the Private Sector, “is the right kind of partnership to lead our country on the road to making it a place for us all to live, work and grow and raise our families in peace, love and prosperity.”
JMMB’s Group Executive Director of Culture and Human Development, Donna Duncan-Scott, emphasizes the importance of the inclusion of “ethics” as a critical component in the mandate of the School. She laments that Jamaica still ranks high at 87 on the 2010 World Corruption Index, noting that, “we would like to honour Joan Duncan’s memory and legacy by making an endowment to UTech, the proceeds of which will be used to build and sustain the School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership, expand her legacy and further her life’s work by engaging in activities that advance the principles for which she stood and lived true to, for the benefit of our country Jamaica.”
The eighty million dollars ($80 m) endowment fund will help to advance teaching and research in entrepreneurship, economic growth, moral considerations in business decision-making, human rights and globally conscious leaders. The activities of the endowment fund will include award of scholarships; intellectually rigorous and practical research and course development on leadership, ethics and the enhancement of economic growth; an annual public lecture on matters related to the disciplines that will advance Jamaica’s direction towards the values expounded in the National Vision 2030 Plan; short professional courses and seminars, conferences and publications that focus on ethics and leadership.
Joan Duncan, a supreme entrepreneur guided by high ethical standards, introduced and developed the Money Market concept in Jamaica in the early 1990’s in partnership with JMMB’s co-founder, Dr. Noel Lyons. Joan rose from humble beginnings – once a dressmaker; she did the hard work to get qualified in the area of finance and banking and developed the critical competencies to successfully start and grow a new business grounded in the core values of love, respect, compassion, honesty and integrity. Today, with its commitment to genuine client care, the JMMB Group is the third largest financial institution in Jamaica, offering holistic financial solutions to its extensive client base. With its headquarters in Jamaica, values-based leadership and the spirit of entrepreneurship have led the JMMB Group to successfully establish banking and brokerage operations in Trinidad & Tobago as well as the Dominican Republic. Like its principled co-founder, the JMMB team continues to “walk the talk”, living the values each day.
Keynote speaker at the launch, Hon. Audley Shaw, Minister of Finance and the Public Service congratulated the Duncan family, JMMB and UTech for the establishment of what he opined will become “a landmark Caribbean institution.” The Minister said the School represents a “timely investment in education, given our pro-growth focus and the imperative of ramping up productivity", adding that the JDSEEL will help entrepreneurs make the difference between “a hustle” and a “real business” in the formal economy. He further lauded the University for the focus on ethics, pointing out that “ethics makes good sense – it builds brand equity, goodwill, clientele and other business relationships; reduces staff turnover and associated costs."
The sentiment was echoed by Executive Director of the Financial Services Commission, Mr. Rohan Barnett who emphasised that ethical behaviour must form an important part of the operations of any organisation. He noted that too often we focus more on external, rather than internal factors such as ethics.
In her remarks, Head of the JDSEEL, Dr. Mauvalyn Bowen noted that, “at UTech we are building an eco-system that will enhance our ability to realize the entrepreneurial potential of our campus.” Dr. Bowen said the School will be “career-oriented” offering participants the opportunity to gain real-world experience through practical courses and outreach initiatives in the business community, non-government organisations and enterprises.