21 Jun AGRICULTURE: AN INWARD-LOOKING PERSPECTIVE – KERRON MODESTE
For Kerron Modeste the thought of becoming an entrepreneur began in 2015, when someone trespassed on his grandfather’s land which was filled with lots of orange trees! “I asked my grandfather if I can sell the oranges and he agreed” said an elated Kerron! “I started taking orders and sold them at work.” This was the unfolding of his entrepreneurial dream that has today evolved into “Modeste Home Growers Limited.”
Since childhood the notion of starting his own business was sitting strongly in Kerron’s mind; his philosophy was “If I can do it with one fruit I can increase supply; I eventually left my full-time job one month later and started selling bananas.” The entrepreneurial shift started to happen the following month when Kerron utilized cash from sales and continued the purchase of produce on constant rotation.
The Evolution of Kerron’s Journey
Kerron’s entrepreneurial curiosity became amplified “I wanted to do both wholesale and retail so I started a small Grow Box; at the same time I increased my networking with the farmers who I was purchasing from and eventually received discounted prices.” Being uniquely positioned within the ecosystem was at the forefront of Kerron’s entrepreneurial agenda “my goal was to create branded products with customized labels which transitioned into fruit bowls along with market produce; all of this happened in 2016.”
By 2017, the goalpost of success shifted for Kerron as he became a Carnival supplier both J’ourvert and traditional Mas bands. “The year 2017 offered more success as I was nominated for a Regional Youth Award.” Growth and success meant constantly pushing towards becoming his best as Kerron continued working with farmers.
“I’ve purchased seedlings and began planting various crops. I currently have paw paw, plantain, lettuce, cucumbers, bodi which would soon be increased” boasted Kerron. Employment creation is also part of Kerron’s trajectory “I’ve hired a full-time driver and a part-time packer which is still a learning experience.”
Reminiscing on the Shell LiveWIRE Experience:
A graduate of the 2018 Alumni, Kerron described the experience as eye-opening.
“I received a lot of information and learnings related to other business sectors and that added tremendous value to both me and my business; winning the Demo and Pitch Competition was also a huge success.”
At the time of enrollment into the programme, he was in the process of increasing staff and so the Master Class on Human Resource Management was extremely timely and helpful.
Kerron has a colossal appetite for growth and innovation “My medium to long-term plan is to brand every item produced by Modeste Home Growers through customized packaging. I’ve also started connecting with Caribbean stakeholders to broaden my product offering.”
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Shell LiveWIRE is Shell’s global flagship social investment Enterprise Development programme, with a vision to strengthen local economies by promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and meaningful employment. Since inception in Scotland in 1982, the programme is facilitated in over 15 countries and supports thousands of entrepreneurs willing to transition their bright ideas into sustainable businesses. Download the Shell LiveWIRE Deal Book.