Executive Chairman of Cool Group of companies, Joe Issa, congratulates Jamaican businesswoman Valrie Grant for copping the 2015 Commonwealth Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Grant beat three other finalists in the competition, which was organized by the Commonwealth Business-women’s Network (CBW), “an accredited body that focuses on women’s economic empowerment and is recognized by 53 countries across five continents,” a Jamaica Gleaner article said.
According to it, the announcement was made during the first Commonwealth Women’s Forum held in tandem with the Commonwealth Business Forum in Malta.
Issa, a multi-award winner, including ‘Young Hotelier of the World’ and several other international and local business awards by the island’s chambers of commerce and the Jamaica Observer says, “I am very impressed with the young lady’s innovation, tenacity, and just plain good-nature.”
Grant’s success, passion and international flair also resonate with Issa, who has developed and nurtured a Cool brand of over 50 companies that are being leveraged internationally, with the view to transforming them into a global corporation.
In announcing the winner, CBW executive director Arif Zaman is quoted as saying, “Grant impressed the judging panel for several reasons, including the fact that she owns and operates her business successfully internationally in a male-dominated field,” and “supports other female entrepreneurs, helping them to see how they, too, can strive to be better,” noting that “she is always striving to innovate, and she is truly passionate about what she does.”
“Ms Grant is definitely a role model for our young entrepreneurs and a guiding light for those who are contemplating what to do after they graduate from tertiary education,” Issa says.
Noting that the other finalists were from Malta, South Africa and Tonga, the article informed that Grant “will now act as a brand ambassador for Commonwealth businesswomen until the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Vanuatu in November 2017 and will join the judging panel for the next award.”
Another trait which Issa says also resonates with him is Grant’s humility, as she credits the success of her businesses to her team, a quality which Issa has demonstrated throughout his nearly-four decades as a CEO and entrepreneur.
Issa is known for setting the standards for the success of his businesses and engaging his staff to follow them; and when they do, he credits the employees for a job well done, a quality which has made him one of the country’s most popular businessmen and one of Jamaica’s most recognizable faces, according to the Jamaica Observer.
A geospatial analyst, Grant is managing director of GeoTechVision Enterprises Ltd (Jamaica) and GeoTechVision Guyana Inc (Guyana), “companies which have been assisting businesses, agencies and government ministries in 15 Caribbean countries with geographic information systems and global positioning systems products and solutions.”
According to The Gleaner article, “The entrepreneur also holds a Masters degree in Geographic Information Systems and Environment from the Manchester Metropolitan University.
She is also a member of the board of directors for URISA Inte