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One female entrepreneur will receive an EC $7,000 cash prize, an invaluable amount of experience via coaching from seven established women in business, and the opportunity to support another female entrepreneur or cause she deems worthy.

The NIA Mentor Award is an initiative of Marcella Andre, the CEO of Communications Consultancy Nia Comms, in collaboration with longtime colleague, friend, and communication specialist Jamilla Kirwan, a release said.

The NIA Mentor Award aims to empower, support, and provide financial and strategic assistance to female entrepreneurs. For many years, both women have imagined tangible ways of contributing to nation building and specifically of creating opportunities for women desirous of becoming entrepreneurs or who have started their entrepreneurship journey but lack adequate resources and guidance.

Having learned through much trial and error along their own career paths, Andre and Kirwan recognised the lack of dedicated mentorship opportunities for female entrepreneurs.

Andre and Kirwan attribute their personal strength, capabilities and competence in great part to women who knowingly or unknowingly have served as examples, and provided essential support and guidance along their individual journeys. Among them, Keva Margetson, Ingrid O’Marde, Roberta Williams, and Dame Bridget Harris.

Each year, the award will pay tribute to one woman whose service has made a difference. This year the award will honour Dame Bridget Harris.

The colleagues hope this award will motivate aspiring women to do the work required to realise the possibilities of which they dream, to research and learn about other women who have made great strides, and to imbue in them the desire to serve.

Each applicant will be expected to complete an application which will be assessed by a seven-member board. The pool of applicants will be narrowed to five who will participate in the deciding interview process.

Once chosen, the winner will be afforded one-on-one coaching and guidance with each board member and opportunities to connect with entrepreneurial peers and experienced resource persons. 

Embracing the value of contributing to another’s growth is one of the main tenets of the Nia Mentor Award. As part of their obligations, the winner will be required to match a $500 sponsored donation to a deserving female entrepreneur or a community cause. In so doing, the awardee learns to embrace the importance of giving back and being part of something meaningful to others. 

Interested applicants can apply using the link available on the Facebook page “The NIA MENTOR Award”.

The application process began on Friday, and ends on January 15, 2021. To ensure transparency during the process, all applicants will be given a number to remain anonymous to the assessment board.

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