Prayer and hard work, says Sade
Education: University College, London; Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners; Hugh Wooding Law School; University of the West Indies, Cave Hill; Queen’s College.
Qualifications: Master of Law (pursuing); Society of Trust and Estate Practitioner (STEP) professional designation; diploma in international trust management (with distinction); certificate in international trust management; Bachelor of Law.
Occupation: attorney-at-law, entrepreneur and Caribbean enthusiast.
If you were sitting in an audience listening to the MC introducing you, what would he say?
Sade Jemmott is an attorney-at-law specializing in international business at one of the region’s leading law firms –– Lex Caribbean. Actively balancing her profession with a passion for national and regional contribution, Sade not only has years of experience in entrepreneurship, event coordination, web content production and mass communication, but is also a regional youth advocate having served as CARICOM Youth Ambassador for Barbados, vice dean of regional initiatives in the CYA Corps and Global Shaper in the Bridgetown Hub.
She is also a director of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation and an active member of the Barbados International Business Association.
What keeps you motivated, and what are you passionate about?
A desire for self-improvement and discovery, no matter how small. At Queen’s College we were told every day: to whom much is given, much is expected. I am driven by that. I have been blessed beyond measure; so it is my responsibility to pay that forward. And that makes me passionate about life and the impact I can make.
Do you have a philosophy, a mantra or a conviction your life is governed by?
I probably jumped the gun on this question with my last response; but it bears repeating. To whom much is given, much is expected. I am also a firm believer in the law of attraction.
Thoughts become things; so I try as far as possible to keep my headspace positive and focused in order to achieve whatever I put my mind to. I work hard for whatever I want. I speak it into being –– I ask, believe and receive.
What influenced your decision to stay at Queen’s College and do CAPE, rather than transition to the Barbados Community College?
Queen’s College is an institution of excellence I definitely wasn’t teacher’s pet, and I had my fair share of run-ins with administration, but, even then, I think I recognized somewhere in the back of my head that I wasn’t just going to school; I was building the foundation for my future. And QC is where I wanted to do that.
Having left secondary school, you went on to UWI, Cave Hill, to pursue undergraduate studies in law. Why this field?
From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a lawyer. I cannot tell you why in specific words. I just came out knowing that that was the field for me.
You lived for two years in Trinidad while attending law school. Was that your first time living outside of Barbados? And, if yes, what was the experience like for you?
Yes, that was my first time living outside of Barbados. It is different from Barbados, but lovely in its own way.
I loved the food, the culture, the people.
I had a wonderful experience, and I am glad we still have shared regional institutions like UWI and Hugh Wooding. They do a lot for the regional integration movement.
Over the past four years, you have worked at Lex Caribbean in the area of corporate law. Would you share with us what your job entails?
My role at Lex Caribbean basically entails providing general legal services to a clientele of international corporate and financial institutions, as part of a small team responsible for the firm’s entire international business practice. Those services include advising in relation to various aspects of trust, estate, corporate, commercial, employment and immigration law in the context of multi-jurisdictional transactions.
We also offer sound legal support and general business facilitation to local entrepreneurs through the firm’s specially developed Entrepreneurial Business Unit, which has developed into a kind of pet project for me. I am also actively engaged in, and in some cases spearhead, marketing and business development initiatives of the firm.
If you were offered a ticket to anywhere
in the world, where would you go and why?
As I am currently in Britain, I would have to say home! Straight back to the 246 for some sunshine and quality time with my loved ones.
Outside of that, I would pick Jamaica. That island is just so culturally rich! I have always wanted the opportunity
to immerse myself in it for more than a few days.
If you had the ability to solve one global issue, what would it be?
Without a doubt, it would be poverty, because I believe that in a world where we have enough for everyone, unequal distribution should not be the reason people starve or feel forced to do undesirable things in the name of survival.
Admittedly, poverty is in some cases learnt behaviour and that too would have to be addressed through education and empowerment, not necessarily books and graphs, but breaking social and cultural norms that teach certain behaviours which keep the cycle of poverty going for some of us.
If you could go back in time, from the day you entered secondary school, what one piece of advice would you give yourself?
Enjoy every moment of your childhood and adolescence because once you are a full-fledged adult, there is absolutely no going back. So take time to do things now.
You served as the CARICOM Youth Ambassador for Barbados for two years. What exactly was your role as a youth ambassador?
Being CARICOM Youth Ambassador for Barbados was an incredible experience, despite the budgetary constraints of the programme. My role was essentially to serve as a link between the issues and priorities of CARICOM and young people in Barbados. My male counterpart Mosiah Hoyte and I were focused on deepening the Caribbean integration and development process through advocacy and peer education initiatives, including contributions to increased youth knowledge and awareness of CARICOM issues and priorities; coordinating efforts to raise the profile of young people at the national and regional levels; and assisting in integrating the views and perspectives of young people from across the region into national, regional and international policy and programmes.
In September, 2014, you became the vice dean of regional initiatives, working with the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana. What was your role as vice dean?
That was another blessing on my journey, and for it I would be eternally grateful to my fellow CYAs who selected me, as well as the secretariat who supported my tenure.
My role as vice dean of regional initiatives entailed promoting awareness of and action on the CARICOM Youth Development Goals (CYDGs) and the CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan (CYDAP). In doing so, I was responsible, along with my committee, for planning, coordinating and/or recommending projects, activities and regional initiatives to the members of the corps to contribute to the achievement of the vision and mission of the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors Programme.
You mentioned the CARICOM Youth Development Goals. Would you share with us some of those goals and whether any have been achieved?
The CARICOM Youth Development Goals (CYDGs) are:
1. Education And Economic Empowerment –– building adolescent and youth capacity for sustainable livelihoods through quality and relevant education and economic empowerment;
2. Protection, Safety And Security –– enabling the creation of protective environments to foster resilience and ensure adolescent and youth safety and security;
3. Health And Well-being –– improving the health and holistic well-being of youth;
4. Culture, Identity And Citizenship –– enhancing the development and appreciation of Caribbean culture and identity and commitment to national development and regional integration;
5. Integrated And Coordinated Policy And Institutional Framework –– creating the policy and institutional environment to support mainstreamed adolescent and youth development at the national and regional levels; and
6. Participation, Governance And Partnerships –– ensuring and enhancing adolescent and youth participation at all levels of decision making, nationally and regionally.
The CYDGs are akin to the Millennium Development Goals, or some other set of benchmarks identified as ideals to work towards. They are a means to an end; not ends in and of themselves. So, in my view, it is difficult to say definitively this or that has been achieved, and check it off the list.
Will we, for example, ever feel truly satisfied in terms of education and economic empowerment? Or with the goalpost move farther along the path to progress as we get closer to the last benchmark? I think it is the latter, as it should be, so we keep striving for more, better, never becoming complacent.
Tell us about Island Fusion.
Island Fusion is the outlet through which I fulfil another side of my personality. I have always had a passion for culture and truly enjoy event coordination and entrepreneurship; so that makes Island Fusion very special to me. We turned six this year!
It feels like just yesterday that we burst onto the Foreday Morning jam scene, creating a stir. Our main product is providing a premium, safe and secure night parade to our members as part of the cultural festival Crop Over, but we are looking at diversifying.
You are the director of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation. What can you tell us about this initiative?
In a nutshell, the goal of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation is to support the development of the country’s entrepreneurial environment and to make Barbados “the Entrepreneur’s Island” by 2020. The BEF is more or less intended to serve as a thought-leader and a catalyst for bringing about a positive change in the economy through the promotion and development of entrepreneurship in the island.
As there are already multiple entities in Barbados, which seek to meet the needs of entrepreneurs, we seek to work collaboratively with them to more effectively manage our island’s limited resources.
I served as co-champion of the Mentorship Pillar throughout my time on the board, which involved building relationships with young entrepreneurs to meaningfully connect them to the organization in ways that would benefit them.
One project which I lead that seeks to do that is the series of themed mentorship-focused mix and mingles that select a common challenge faced by entrepreneurs and use it as the sole talking point at a social event which brings established and aspiring entrepreneurs together in the same room.
You did training in essential trademark law and branding for business. What advice would you give to Barbadians as it relates to protecting their logos or other trademarks? If your trademark is protected in Barbados, is it automatically protected internationally?
Even before I get to the question of protection, I think if I am going to give advice in this area, it would have to start with a caution as a relates to creating “logos and other trademarks”. It should be the very best representation of you and your product.
Take time to develop something of quality that is distinctively your own; then protect that, if necessary.
I say if necessary because every hustle is not a serious undertaking and as such a basic cost-benefit analysis can be useful in deciding if to go through the formalities. Assuming you do, it is important to note that protection in Barbados does not provide automatic international protection.
What are some of the habits that you have developed which have contributed to your success and work attitude?
I pray, and I understand that no one owes me anything. So I work hard towards whatever I decide I want. Prayer and diligence are the habits that have contributed to any success I have achieved.
What do you love most about yourself?
I have a forgiving heart. Trust me, I have really been tested on this, but I always get there eventually. My tongue can be sharp, but I do not hold grudges. Once I have spoken my mind, I tend to keep it moving.
Are there any persons you would love
to highlight and say thank you for contributing to your development and success?
This list is truly infinite and I would hate for anyone to feel slighted if I failed to mention them by name. So I will take this opportunity to simply highlight my family, friends, teachers, mentors, colleagues and in general anyone whose own journey influenced or impacted my own, whether or not they knew they were doing so at the time.
My development and success are both still works in progress; so I imagine this list will only get longer. But many, many thanks all the same!
Between my support system and the Almighty, I have never felt like there was anything I wanted that was out
of my reach; so I have to give thanks for that too!
(If you are a young Barbadian professional,or know of any worthy of being highlighted for their amazing contribution, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org)