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Countdown to I Love JA Day: Women making GirlBoss moves

ON THE MOVE: Emeca Beckford, founder of Temps in the City , with a promotional London taxi

IN CELEBRATION of Jamaica's collective achievements throughout its 55 years of independence, we must not forget give props to those those individuals who have forged an international path of success in their own right; as well as looking forward to opportunities such as north London's I Love Jamaica Day on July 30th, to get together and celebrate.

The following four businesswomen who are going-strong in their respective industries represent some of the most coveted qualities typical to many Jamaicans including a strong work ethic, determination and a flair for expressing authenticity:


Trelawny-born mother-of-two, Emeca Beckford, 36, is behind online recruitment brand Temps in the City.
Having been in the UK since 2000, Beckford struggled with maintaining work/life balance and wanted to assist millions of other Londoners who find themselves in the same boat.

Beckford says:

“I came up with the idea of Temps in the City after becoming frustrated with juggling work commitments and family life. My plan was simple - to revolutionise the way the job market is seen.

“As a new entrepreneur, I am very proud to have accomplished this milestone which will no doubt elevate another Jamaican in the UK.”

For more information, visit


CAPTAIN OF HER DESTINY: Portia Grant, who began Portia’s Partnership Savings Club in 2005 (image credit: Portia Grant)

UK-based Jamaican Portia Grant formed Portia’s Partnership Savings Club in May 2005 in order to offer help people from a spectrum of incomes to save more money.

A ‘partner’, or ‘pardna’ is a partnership among individual family members, friends and those who share circles of trust; which allows everyone to save money together.

Grant explains:

“It is a rotating savings and credit association (ROSCA)…As a registered company in the United Kingdom, we aim to deliver a ‘Pardna Service’ with a difference.

“The Club has grown to the point where many different ‘partners’/’pardnas’ were running at the same time and over 500 members had joined from good recommendations from others. The huge success and referral from club members meant that we can now begin to offer much more services.”

For more information, visit


ALL SMILES: Award-winning foodie Avis-Sue ‘The Kingstonian’ Lawrence at the #BoltMillsLondon charity auction and dinner last month (image credit: Rod Leon)

Multiple award-winning caterer and food manufacturer Avis-Sue ‘The Kingstonian’ Lawrence credits the culinary skills she picked-up from her family as a child in Jamaica with her success so far.

The Londoner came-up trumps at 2014’s Great Taste Awards, a prestigious annual ceremony run by the Guild of Fine Food and has continued to climb an upward trajectory ever since.

Working hard to please a range of household-name corporates and private customers, Lawrence has been making her mark on the Caribbean food scene for years. Her Ol’ Pirate’s Daughter rum brand, which scored the top 3-star accolade at the 2014 awards is a popular accompaniment to her tasty recipes.

For more information, visit: or search ‘The Kingstonian’ on Facebook


SWEET SUCCESS: Patria-Kaye Aarons, founder of the Caribbean Sweetie confectionary brand

A former GraceKennedy Sponsorship and Communications Manager, entrepreneur Patria-Kay Aarons ditched the corporate world to found global going concern, Caribbean Sweetie in 2014.

“Sweetie is built on three principles,” she explains.

“Jamaica first, product excellence and happy staff – because miserable people will make bad candy!”

With her fruity hard-boiled candy proving popular at home, Aarons decided to start shipping her sweet treats to the UK so that Jamaicans overseas could enjoy a “taste of home.”

“People seem to like the fact that through Sweetie, they can get the taste of home that they miss”, Aarons continues.

“I’m driven by a dream. About three million Jamaicans live on the island and another nine million Jamaicans live outside of it. We want to provide them all with the tastes of home.

“I’m driven by the possibility of bringing a little piece of paradise to an under-served Caribbean people."

For more information, visit

I Love Jamaica Day takes place on Sunday July 30, from 12 noon-6pm at Capital City Academy, Doyle Gardens, Willesden, London NW10 3ST. Adult tickets cost £7 and children’s (between 5-12 years old) tickets are £3 - under 5s are free. free. To secure tickets, click here. For further information call 020 7708 6614 or email: Please note that on-site parking will be available and I Love Jamaica Day is an alcohol-free event.

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