Parker Avery Strengthens Entrepreneur Opportunity Program in Jamaica

Robert Kaufman, CEO of the Parker Avery Group

Robert Kaufman, CEO

The consulting firm continues its goodwill program in partnership with RetailROI to support economic opportunities in Jamaica.

We hope other companies will want to get involved to expand the reach of this program to other areas of Jamaica and even around the world.”

– Robert Kaufman

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES, Oct. 26, 2022 / — Parker Avery Group, a leading retail and consumer goods consulting firm, recently completed the second iteration of an entrepreneur development program in the community of Clarendon, Jamaica.

Since early 2021, Parker Avery has been actively involved in supporting the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI), a charity founded by retail veterans dedicated to improving the lives of orphans and children around the world. Parker Avery’s Jamaican Entrepreneur Development Initiative (JEDI) Challenge is an extension of RetailROI that focuses on undergraduate and graduate students from Jamaica’s Clarendon College (a high school in Chapelton, Jamaica).

In partnership with the Fergus Simpson Foundation and the High School, the JEDI Challenge’s mission is to advance economic opportunity and revenue growth through the support of young Jamaican entrepreneurs. The Challenge is an eight-week course, delivered by Parker Avery consultants, covering essential elements of a business plan. Participation is free for students, but they must meet strict criteria and participants must invest time and focus to complete all course modules as well as rigorous weekly homework. Six candidates have been selected in each of the past two years.

The JEDI Challenge culminates with each participant (aka “JEDI”) giving a 45-minute presentation of their company to a panel of judges. As with the popular Shark Tank show, the panel of judges asks questions and then scores the companies based on a predefined scoring methodology that takes into account all elements of the business plans as well as the participation of the JEDIs throughout the course. This year the final presentations were conducted live at Clarendon College and streamed for remote judges. Two of Parker Avery’s advisors traveled to Jamaica to meet the JEDIs and preside over the finals. Parker Avery Group awarded tiered funding to the young companies based on the evaluation results and the company’s assessment.

“I was fortunate to be an instructor at the JEDI Challenge this year,” said Robert Kaufman, CEO of Parker Avery. “The tenacity of these students as they navigated floods, precarious internet connections and technologies, and other obstacles just to enter the program was remarkable. I was even more impressed by the quality of their final business plans and presentations, which the latter delivered under conditions that most Americans would consider less than ideal.”

This year’s JEDI Challenge entrant companies included a soap maker, a healthy confectionery company, a poultry farm, a jewelry maker, a customization shop, and a lip gloss company. Three of the participants had already started their business and wanted to expand their reach or improve their operations. The top honors went to the confectionery company and the poultry farm.

Parker Avery Group will be speaking about the JEDI Challenge at RetailROI’s Super Saturday event in conjunction with the company’s participation in the National Retail Federation’s Big Show next January in New York City.

“Now that we’re two years into the JEDI Challenge and have strengthened the program, we hope other companies will want to get involved to expand the reach of this program to other areas of Jamaica and even around the world,” said Kaufman.

About Parker Avery. Parker Avery Group helps retail and consumer products companies with strategy development, business process design, advanced analytics, change management and solution implementation. The company’s client list includes many of the world’s best-known retail and consumer brands. To learn more, please visit

About RetaiROI. RetailROI, Inc.’s goal is to raise awareness and provide real solutions for the more than 400 million at-risk children worldwide. To learn more, please visit

Tricia Gustin
The Parker-Avery Group
+1 770-882-2205
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