Michelle Chong, CEO and co-founder of independent bakery Honey Bun, encouraged small businesses to adhere to best practices and implement good corporate governance at the opening of the three-week Economic Growth and Sustainability Summit at University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.
Corporate governance was among the five steps that Mrs. Chong says have led to her entrepreneurial success. The bakery boss said that her achievements relied heavily on “Doing the right thing, [following corporate governance and best practices]”.
At the summit, put on by College of Business and Management (COBAM) at UTech, Mrs. Chong also presented — mentorship, planning, execution, and investing in people — as the other steps to business success.
“Identify a mentor; put meticulous plans in place for your business; make sure to execute these plans, fix and learn from mistakes; and find and motivate people to work towards objectives and not just tasks,” Mrs. Chong said.
For 34 years, Mrs Chong has directed the day-to-day operations of Honey Bun, a company she started with her husband Herbert Chong. Honey Bun has received numerous awards for best practices including the the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) 2014 PSOJ Award for Best Corporate Governance as well as the JSE 2014 Award for Corporate Disclosure and Investor Relations (for its third year in a row). The bakery which started in 1982 as a store front pastry shop has grown considerably during that time, being listed on in 2011, and now exporting to mainstream markets in the UK and Canada.
The summit, held under the theme ’Powering Economic Growth and Sustainability through Investment, Innovation, Productivity, and the Law’, was part of the COBAM’s thrust to produce graduates who contribute, even while at school, to nation growth.
Also speaking on the panel were: Christopher Williams, president and CEO of Proven Investment Limited Devon Barrett, general manager of Victoria Mutual Wealth Management Limited spoke on investment; COBAM senior lecturer Sharon Nelson spoke on innovation and education; and former commissioner of police Owen Ellington spoke on the impact of law to economic growth.
Keynote speaker Dr Juan Pedro Schmid, country economist for the past five years at Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), told the audience that lives show greater improvement when the economy is growing.
Dr. Schmid posited: “Continuous small innovations [made through small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs] are important to growth as they can accumulate and have a huge impact on the economy.”