If you think the Ignite Bermuda programme is solely about assisting entrepreneurs achieve their business aims, think again.

Because the bringing together of entrepreneurs and non-profit organisations in the third cohort of the programme has resulted in the gift of two laptop computers for young students.

It means that two schoolchildren who previously did not have a laptop for remote learning and Zoom class meetings, will now have one.

Jane Burt, of Think Real Estate, participated in the third cohort of the Ignite Bermuda programme, which for the first time also included some participants from non-profit organisations.

Ms Burt connected with Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, managing director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, an organisation that matches adult mentors with children.

During the pandemic, many schools had to resort to remote learning, but this was a problem for youngsters who did not easily have access to a computer. When Ms Burt heard about the difficulties, she wanted Think Real Estate to assist.

Ms O’Connor-Paynter said: “We had schoolchildren who did not have laptops and so could not get into class Zoom meetings.

“Jane said she wanted to help. She wanted to give back. It was amazing, and a beautiful thing.”

Think Real Estate, a boutique real estate company that offers property sales, rentals, property management and services, has donated two new laptops to the non-profit to be given to young students who do not have a laptop.

Ms Burt said: “I’d just opened a new business at the time and they were an inspiration. It was a great introduction between non-profits and businesses.

“I wanted to get our business involved, and this was a great cause. It was good to get together with them.”

Ms O’Connor-Paynter, said that as the third cohort of Ignite’s accelerator programme had also included charities and non-profits, it had given them an opportunity to see how entrepreneurs think and operate.

When she went along she did not know what to expect. She said: “It was great to meet with them. At Ignite we are in a family, we all get to know each other. Where there is a need we try to assist. A lot of them wanted to give back.”

In addition, she said taking part had been beneficial on a personal level and as a leader of an organisation. She said: “It broadens your network. It helped me to focus on a lot of things, such as better managing my time and personal development and my style of management.”

Laura Lyons, manager at Ignite Bermuda, said the programme’s model is built around collaboration. She said: “They are able to learn from one another, and the magic is when they initiate the interaction.”

She said the link-up between Think Real Estate and Big Brothers Big Sisters was a great example of “need meeting philanthropic desire”.

Think Real Estate has a website at https://thinkreal.bm/ Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda has a website at https://www.bbbs.bm/, and Ignite Bermuda has a website at https://ignitebermuda.com/


The Royal Gazette