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Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 2:30pm

Mercy’s course on International Business Management, recently revamped to reflect the current business landscape, recently concluded with student capstone projects that zeroed in on what may be the next global trade and investment hub — the island of Jamaica.

The course was developed by Dr. Frank Lawrence, a faculty member in the School of Business. “Jamaica has had its share of economic problems, but it’s rapidly emerging as a potential player in global trade,” he remarked.

The class of 26 students, working in teams of three to five, chose projects that focused on business opportunities in Jamaica that have the potential to deliver social benefit while making a profit. Their final proposals included pitches for flavored rum, nutraceuticals and CBD-enhanced products. Other teams presented solar and municipal waste solutions.

Lawrence invited Christopher Benjamin, Jamaica’s Vice Consul and a representative of JAMPRO, a trade and investment arm of the Jamaican government, to visit the class for an initial briefing and later to critique their final presentations. The Vice Consul praised the students’ work, declaring that all concepts showed promise for further development.

According to Lawrence, both he and Benjamin “threw hard questions at the students such as: interesting idea, but why do I need you? It got them thinking like entrepreneurs. The students brought a lot of creativity and commitment to the task,” he said, adding that Benjamin offered to return to Mercy when the class is offered again.