Digital Entrepreneurship to take Centre stage at 7th Annual Joan Duncan Memorial Lecture

The focus on the opportunities provided by digital entrepreneurship for economic development, will take centre stage at the 7th annual Joan Duncan Memorial Lecture, which is being broadcast live on TVJ on Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.  

The annual Joan Duncan Memorial Lecture is hosted by the Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership (JDSEEL), University of Technology, Jamaica, in partnership with the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation. The memorial lecture honors the vision, mission and passion of the late corporate leader and JMMB co-founder, Joan Duncan.

Leading this discussion on the topic “Digital Entrepreneurship, Breaking Boundaries” will be digital marketing experts and entrepreneurs: Tyrone Wilson, Founder, President and CEO of iCreate; and Stacy Kirk, CEO, Quality Works Consulting Group, California, USA.  They will share with the audience their perspectives on the role of technology (a data – driven approach), creativity and innovation in entrepreneurship, in the digital landscape. Both entrepreneurs incubated their respective businesses at UTech Jamaica’s Technology Innovation Centre (TIC), which is part of the JDSEEL.

Wilson is well-known as a dynamic and savvy entrepreneur. He is the President and CEO of eMedia Interactive Group, a digital media and advertising business, and the founder and president of iCreate Institute, which delivers courses, in partnership with the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC), in animation, video production, digital photography and digital marketing. Wilson is the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship, and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica’s 50 Under 50 Business Leaders Shaping Jamaica’s Future, and brings a youthful voice to the discussion of digital entrepreneurship.

Kirk heads QualityWorks Consulting Group, an international quality-driven software consulting firm, based in Los Angeles, California, with offices in Kingston, Jamaica, which delivers progressive web, mobile and enterprise applications. She has worked with such notable international clients as AT&T, FedEx, Fandango and NBC Universal, as well as local giants, including Digicel. The Stanford-graduate leverages over 20 years of experience in revolutionizing how web and mobile apps are built and delivered, and leads a growing team of brilliant innovators, representing diverse backgrounds, including a significant number of women of colour. As an African-American woman in technology, Kirk’s passion for advancing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education has seen her take the role of First Lego League Robotics coach, advisor and sponsor in many youth-focused STEAM non-profit organisations that are dedicated to empowering the next generation of women leaders in tech.

Chairman, JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation, Patricia Duncan-Sutherland notes that the theme for this year’s lecture is extremely relevant, as businesses are increasingly called to embrace digital solutions and tap into their pioneering spirit, in a bid to better serve their client-base and thrive in this ‘new normal environment’,  as a result of the pandemic. Adding, “This unprecedented time, calls for leaders to have a strong vision, be possibility thinkers, and solution-oriented in their approach, as well as s demonstrate courage in taking their businesses forward, even as they positively impact their communities. As such, as this lecture takes a new shape, in keeping with the times, we hope to use this medium to empower and encourage entrepreneurs to break boundaries and to see the possibilities for growth, in times of adversity.”

Acting President, UTech, Jamaica, Professor Colin Gyles who will also participate in the televised broadcast, stated that this year’s lecture is particularly timely and topical, given the increasing significance of digital entrepreneurship as a strong global business tool, necessitated by the pandemic and   restrictions in doing business in the traditional physical space.”  He added that “UTech, Jamaica, continues to be a leader in the tertiary landscape in preparing our graduates in the “disciplines of business, entrepreneurship and technology solutions.”.

The public is invited to tune in to the live broadcast on TVJ, One Spot Media app or via live link streams on JMMB Group and UTech, Jamaica’s social media platforms.

Background on Joan Duncan

Joan Duncan is seen as the pioneer of the money market business in Jamaica, having co-founded the Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) Limited in 1992 with Dr. Noel Lyon. The company was formed after the late Joan Duncan was unable to convince the established financial houses to enter the money market. As a result, she braved all difficulties and entered the market through a joint venture with National Development Bank, Mutual Security Bank, Jamaica Producers Limited, Jamaica Venture Fund and Antrim Ltd.  

This tenacity and drive has been a legacy left by Joan Duncan (who transitioned at the age of 58), to start a company where any Jamaican could walk in off the street, take a few hundred dollars out of his or her pocket and invest it. Her dream also encompassed the creation of a different kind of work place from the traditional organizations she had encountered in the Jamaican business world. Instead, she built a company based on the Vision of Love, where employees would work in a fun-loving atmosphere, with a commitment to innovation and creativity, integrity and responsibility and each member of the team has the opportunity to learn and grow.

The company has become one of the leading financial groups in the Caribbean, boasting over 350,000 clients and J$7.07 billion (as at March 2020) in net profit.  One of Duncan's most notable achievements was being honoured posthumously, in 2011, through the official renaming of the University’s School of Entrepreneurship - The Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership, (JDSEEL).

The Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership (JDSEEL)

The JDSEEL, UTech, Jamaica is the first school of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean to offer a specialized B.Sc. degree in Entrepreneurship. The school officially started in February, 2010, and graduated its first cohort in November, 2014. It is also the first school of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean to have an active business entrepreneurship incubator centre – The Technology Innovation Centre (TIC) - for start-up businesses. The TIC has  clients enrolled in various programmes and has recently been certified by Growth Wheel – one of the world’s leading incubation management programmes.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299