Press

There are so many different perspectives about what leadership should look like out there in the world. The truth is that the kind of leader you become should spring from your authentic self, a genuine care for others, and an interest in making an impact. My authentic self is vibrant, but also soft; kind, but also intense. I’m more consensus-driven than command-and-control. If that style is interesting to you and you would like to hear more about it, contact me at info@bransoncentre.co. You can also check out some articles written about me below.

Rethinking Success, Work & Life

*Originally published on www.carryonfriends.com on July 3, 2018*

Are you working to live or are you living to work? In this episode, Lisandra shares multiple insights on success, work and life – including how she had reached her limit of achieving for the sake of achieving. It was time for a break to figure out what she enjoyed and where could blossom and radiate.If you’re feeling exhausted, overwhelmed or unsure – Lisandra’s journey and story will be sure to inspire you.

Lisandra Rickards Looking for More

*Originally published on March 5, 2018 in the Jamaica Gleaner

Lisandra Rickards was in search of something more in her career, something that was not driven by dollars and cents, and soon enough she found her home at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.

Now chief executive officer (CEO) of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Rickards left her job in finance not quite sure of what she was going to do next.

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3 Minute Briefing: Lisandra Rickards (MBA 2010)

*Originally published on March 1, 2018 in the Harvard Business School Alumni Magazine.

I had a strong sense when I was at HBS that the skills I learned there would have a bigger impact back home in Jamaica than if I stayed in the United States. I didn’t want to just take a job. I wanted to have tangible outcomes to my endeavors.

Jamaica is the largest English-speaking country in the Caribbean, with a relatively high number of universities. Recently, we’ve seen government embrace a policy of fiscal responsibility, which wasn’t true when I was growing up in the 1990s. There’s been a real change in philosophy, which entrepreneurship can build on.

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Turner duo aiming for the stock market

Originally published on February 14, 2018 in The Jamaica Observer by Dennise Williams.

…Allison Turner (AT): We built a viable business plan while doing a three-month business course with Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Montego Bay. I struggle with dyslexia, and Lisandra Rickards (now CEO of Branson Centre) went the extra mile to help me study and train for pitch readiness. I remember the first practice pitch I did for her. I forgot to breathe, and I talked until I ran out of breath! I thought I would not be able to learn and pass the course, but when I realised how important my success would be to Jamaica and how many lives I would be changing for the better, I realised I had a social responsibility to do this right, so I worked even harder to learn.

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Branson Centre shifts focus to firms with proven business models

Originally published on February 7, 2018 in The Jamaica Observer by Dennise Williams.

The Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) sector is acknowledged as the future driver of growth in the local economy, and the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean has shifted its focus to support the medium-sized enterprise in the MSME sector of the business community.

The Branson team explained that with several incubators and programmes now available in Jamaica to assist entrepreneurs starting a business, the Branson Centre Caribbean has made it their mission to support the entrepreneurs looking to move on to that next stage of development. Continue reading “Branson Centre shifts focus to firms with proven business models”

The role of storytelling in propelling Jamaican entrepreneurs and their businesses

Originally published on January 18, 2018 Seedstars.com by Melissa von Frankenberg, founder of Masterwork.

Lisandra Rickards was one of the competition’s judges and is also the CEO of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean, an accelerator based in Kingston. She and her team have seen first hand how an entrepreneur with a strong personal and business story can move their idea or operations to the next level. “The only way to get investment in the Caribbean is to tell a good story. Investors need to understand the vision behind the product.”

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Four Caribbean leaders share their top insights

Originally published on June 16, 2017 on Virgin.com by  Jack Preston.

Have a watch to see what happened when Virgin Atlantic’s Andre Bello was joined on stage by Lisandra Rickards (Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean, CEO), Dr. Eudiene Barriteau (Principal at the University of West Indies), Dr. Juliet Skinner (Head of The Barbados Fertility Clinic) and Gervase Warner, Group CEO at Massy Holdings Ltd at the recent Business is an Adventure event in Barbados.

The quartet were on hand to discuss the challenges and opportunities of modern leadership, each with their own unique experiences to share. Below are some of the key takeaways from the talk. Why not have a watch and let us know below what really resonated with you.

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Five things we learnt from Business is an Adventure Barbados

Originally published on May 5, 2017 on Virgin.com by Jack Preston.

The latest addition of Virgin Atlantic’s live entrepreneur event series saw Richard Branson and the airline touch down in the Caribbean this week, with this time around the focus on leadership…

Here we look back at some of the key pieces of insight shared on the day, from our expert panel of leaders. If you weren’t able to attend the event in person, or would like to hear more from our speakers, check back to virgin.com next week when we’ll have the video highlights.
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Angel Investors Help Start-Ups Take Flight

Originally published on January 30, 2017 on Infodev.org by Jeremy Bauman and Aun Rahman.

For the past two years, a World Bank Group team has tested organized business angel investing as one solution to the funding and business development challenges that Caribbean entrepreneurs face.

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We can all play our part

Originally published on March 8, 2017 Virgin.com by  Rosanne Gray.

“I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by amazing women who are tackling unacceptable issues and working out solutions every day. Lisandra Rickards for example, heads up the Branson Centre Caribbean bringing her business sense to enable entrepreneurs to thrive. While Lauren and Kim leading Unite BVI’s passion has shaped my understanding of the local community’s needs. Anna Gowdridge is building the 100% Human network with The B Team which will engage 150 business leaders who are passionate about re-defining work, to help people and organisations thrive. And lastly, Essie North is re-imagining education at Big Change as they seek to set young people up to thrive in life, not just in the classroom.”

 

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Committing to a new year of entrepreneurial excellence

Originally published on January 18, 2017 on Virgin.com by Kinisha Correia.

With Lisandra Rickards stepping into the role of CEO last December, 2017 is poised to be a transformational one for the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean(BCoEC).

Lisandra is a petite ball of calm, determined energy, focused on impact, expansion and innovation. Her mission is purpose-driven. She’s a change-maker and a doer, adamant about playing a role in shifting the trajectory of the Caribbean’s economic development by empowering stellar young entrepreneurs, helping them harness and actualise their potential for greatness.

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5 Facts About Incoming CEO – Lisandra Rickards

*Originally published on December 20, 2016 on BransonCentre.co by Trudy-Ann Hylton

If you haven’t heard that Lisandra Rickards has been appointed as Chief Entrepreneurship Officer at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean, then you must be living under a rock. That’s right! Lisandra, often known as our resident pitch guru, takes over full-time as our CEO in 2017. Lisandra started with the Branson Centre in 2013 as an Entrepreneur Development Trainer, then transitioned to Entrepreneur Programme Manager. Shortly after, she was promoted to Entrepreneur Programme Director and was finally offered the role of CEO in September 2016. We sat down with Lisandra to learn a little more about her and what makes her tick.

Here are five fast facts about Lisandra:

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Lisandra Rickards’ sock it to ’em entrepreneurial spirit

Originally published on December 20, 2016 in the Jamaica Observer by Rachael Barrett.

Most Jamaicans are familiar with the entrepreneurship spirit as a staple of our society. We like to ‘tun our han mek fashion’, and from the streets of Kingston straight through to Montego Bay, locals know there is no shortage of enterprising folks vending ‘from a pin to an anchor’.

Encouraging this entrepreneurial spirit and offering training, mentorship and financing resources to boost business savviness is the spirit behind the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship— Caribbean (BCoEC). The partners who founded the centre are part of the large component of our best and brightest who have trained abroad and returned to help build and grow the local business environment.

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Forging Ahead: Q&A with Incoming CEO, Lisandra Rickards

*Originally published in the Branson Centre’s B:Inspired eZine Issue 12 by Kinisha Correia.

A vibrant and savvy leader, Lisandra Rickards has overseen the finance and training programmes at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean (BCoEC) over the past few years, working particularly closely with entrepreneurs as they develop their business plans and pitches in preparation for accessing funding. In December 2016, she’ll step into the role of CEO, ready to meet the challenges head on, while forging ahead to continued successes.

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Meet the winners of this years’ ‘Made of More’ Entrepreneurs Challenge

Originally published on October 1, 2015 on Virgin.com by Clare Kelly.

The Branson Centre Of Entrepreneurship Caribbean (BCoEC) And The Arthur Guinness Project Just Announced The Winners Of The ‘Made Of More’ Entrepreneurs Challenge. The Five Successful Entrepreneurs Securing A Total Of US$130,000 In Financing To Grow Their Businesses.

 The challenge wrapped up in Montego Bay, Jamaica, earlier this week, ending the two month business pitch competition.

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Can Jamaica ‘Hack’ Entrepreneurship For The Caribbean?

Originally published on April 30, 2015 on Forbes.com by Patrick McGinnis.

If Jamaica successfully hacks entrepreneurship for itself, it may also do so for its neighbors, many of which are in similar economic doldrums. As the largest nation in the English-speaking Caribbean, the country is well positioned to serve as a regional hub for ideas, capital, and talent. That idea is not lost on billionaire Richard Branson, who owns an island in the British Virgin Islands. The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship- Caribbean, based in Montego Bay, recently launched an online training platform in order to efficiently expand its program to other islands.

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Cocktails with Lisandra Rickards

*Originally published in the Jamaica Observer on March 3, 2013.

…You are currently in the process of writing your memoir and are a part of the planning committee for the upcoming Kingston Book Festival. As a transitioning corporate executive, what has the reception been from persons in the corporate world?

My background and skills have been honed for a corporate career, so to give that up to pursue a more creative path was very difficult internally. I don’t think I could have done it without the advice of my mentors in the corporate world, who have been exceptionally encouraging. They told me to just go for it.

After I made the decision, I came across a part-time role at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Montego Bay that was a great combination of my business background and my need for creativity. I help train our creative, entrepreneurial talent in Jamaica to excel in a competitive world. The part-time role also gives me free time to write my book, consult, and work on my own venture.

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