N.C.B. Foundation Level Up Grant Programme makes Marketing Firm dream a reality
Nicole Woolery could not relax. True, this flight was one she had become accustomed to but
the journey home this time was different.
Today, rather than returning from her seasonal job overseas with an aim to rest and
recuperate until it was time to return, she was now among the unfortunate hundreds of
overseas Jamaican workers with no job and no assurance of finding one in an economy that
was constricting because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nicole thought about her work life up to this point. While she was good at her job overseas,
she also enjoyed working within the BPO sector and knew she was quite good at it.
“I have worked in the Call Centre industry for 12 years, learning the business inside-out and
perfecting the craft,” Nicole shares.
But she had big dreams, one which involves owning a marketing firm and empowering
people through employment. So when the opportunity to work overseas and earn more
presented itself, Nicole jumped at it, knowing this would help to secure the future she
“I was being paid US$1500 per month as a seasonal hotel employee. So I would leave
Jamaica in April and return in November, with more than enough savings to afford a decent
living for my family until I retuned to do another stint,” says Nicole.
She did this for three successful years, always returning to Jamaica for rest and
But COVID-19 would put a solid dent in Nicole’s seemingly secure job.
“When the pandemic hit, understandably all seasonal workers were asked to return home,
but this time, there were no preparations made for our return to work. No one knew when
the pandemic would cease so it was and still is a wait-and-see for us.”
However, the uncertainty of job resumption wasn’t her only problem on her return to the
“I knew that I had to secure a job soon after coming back home because my savings would
eventually dry up. Plus, while my husband is very supportive, I didn’t want to add to the
pressure he would now face with me not working. I started sending applications to call
centres in Jamaica because this is the skill I’m great at using,” Nicole shares.
No one could have expected what happened next.
“The call centres suddenly began to close their doors because of an outbreak within their
quarters. That’s when I truly began to worry,” she says.
Nicole needed a lifeline and fortunately, it wasn’t long before she found one or rather, it
“A friend of mine saw the advert for the N.C.B. Foundation Level Up Grant Programme and
sent it to me. Immediately, I was drawn to it for three reasons – I’ve always loved N.C.B and
have been banking with them since first form of high school; they were willing to pay full
fees for me to learn a new and in-demand skill and finally, I could choose to do training with
the Internet Income Jamaica Ltd. team, the number one training institution for online
freelancing in Jamaica. Everything seemed tailor-made for me,” says Nicole.
Nicole applied and was chosen to begin an intense and in-depth, multicourse programme
with Internet Income Jamaica Ltd (IIJ) Limited.
“I couldn’t keep this to myself. Even before my training was confirmed, I shared the flyer
with many persons in my community and encouraged them to sign up.”
Nicole wasted no time once training started, creating offers for phone calls, virtual
assistance, relationship advice, social media marketing and voice overs.
“As soon as I learnt a new strategy, I implemented it. I was hungry for success and the IIJ
team made everything easy to understand. At every step, we were poised for success,” says
Soon after, the strategies started bearing fruit.
“My first job was a phone call for $5. Although it was small, it was the petrol my business
needed. Jobs started pouring in after this.”
But they didn’t just pour in, they flooded her feed; job after job. Nicole realized quickly that
if she was to succeed, she needed help to fill the orders.
“I couldn’t manage everything by myself so I recruited some very hardworking persons in
the programme to work with me. Now, they have formed my go-to group and I’m constantly
assigning them work. It feels good to know that I am living my dream of providing jobs and
helping persons to continue some level of normalcy during this pandemic,” the budding CEO
Today, Nicole has completed approximately 80 orders, totaling more than US$7000. It’s
certainly been rewarding but it hasn’t been easy as Nicole attests.
“Operating an online freelancing business is a lot of work and takes great sacrifice. I get up
at 4:30 each morning and I’m usually up until very late. But the ability to watch your
business expand so quickly in such a short time is really a blessing and worth every minute I
put into it. I am now moving toward financial freedom,” Nicole declares.
Of her training, she says she could not have created and grown a successful online business
without the dedication of the Internet Income Jamaica team.
“If anyone is considering an online freelancing business and wants to be successful, then
Internet Income Jamaica Ltd. should be your first stop for training. You won’t be
disappointed as everything from day one is geared towards your success. The courses are
created in a step-by-step format so you can create as you go along. It’s like having them sit
with you and guide you as you become your own boss. I am eternally grateful for the
training made possible through the N.C.B. Foundation,” Nicole says.
The N.C.B. Level Up Grant Programme has facilitated training for over 1000 Jamaicans who
have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Participants were given the opportunity to choose one
of three top institutions for virtual lessons, including Internet Income Jamaica Limited.
Internet Income Jamaica Ltd. recently reported record-breaking numbers in the participants
who have successfully launched their online freelancing businesses.