Where a seed is planted is where its harvest should be reaped. Very few people understand this concept. As a result, numerous educated youth leave their roots in search of what they deem to be “better” opportunities. Kimroy Bailey has chosen to challenge this brain drain by investing in the deep rural community of Litchfield in which he was raised. Charming, passionate, and self-motivated, Kimroy has used his engineering degree to create an innovative concept that can change Jamaica’s economic landscape. His business, the Kimroy Bailey Foundation, strives to utilize renewable energy to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. This admirable young man can be described in three dimensions: his early years, his business, and his impact.
Kimroy understands how to appreciate the simplicity of life. Growing up in a rural community meant that he didn’t have the luxuries that many people enjoy. There were days he didn’t know where his next meal was coming from, but he never allowed his circumstances to make him bitter. Instead, the pristine environment of his community gave him a passion for the environment. Also, the people he grew up with birthed within him a desire to make a difference in the lives of those around him.
The Kimroy Bailey Foundation
As a young boy, Kimroy grew up to admire a JPS employee called Mass John. In the early days Kimroy’s community had frequent power outages for prolonged periods. As a result, Mass John would visit the community regularly to troubleshoot the issues that caused the disconnection. Community members would gather around and watch Mass John climb the light post, work his magic, and make light reappear. Mass John was their hero. However, Kimroy, being the witty and creative person he is, viewed Mass John as more than a hero; he viewed him as the representation of a challenge that needed to be solved. As the years progressed, Kimroy began to wonder “How can we harness the power of nature to provide energy in a renewable and eco-friendly and sustainable way”?
Kimroy sought to answer this question in his final years as an engineering student at the University of Technology (UTECH). For his research paper, he presented a thesis that reflected the potential of using tropical wind storms to generate electricity. His research was nominated by the world’s largest professional body, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in their Global Research Competition 2012 . Against countries such as India, New Zealand, America, UK and Australia; Jamaica was placed second globally competition and gave Kimroy the fuel to pursue a solution to Jamaica’s energy crisis. So, in December 2012 the Kimroy Bailey Foundation was formed. The Foundation’s community center will soon be fully powered by a wind turbine and currently provides internet access, training on renewable energy, and printing services to people in the community.
Kimroy’s life has been an inspiration to several people. Over 8,000 people have become fans on his website http://kimroybailey.com/ and he has received several emails from people who are encouraged by his work. Furthermore, he has been able to set up the Kimroy Bailey Robotics Project in which he has employed three local people.
Experience teaches wisdom and Kimroy has a lot of tips to offer to young people who are considering entrepreneurship in Jamaica. These tips are listed below.
- Make a decision, make a mistake, then apologize. Believe in your dream and make a decision to follow through with it regardless of what everyone around you says. Yes, you will make mistakes but don’t allow this fact to sway you from moving forward. Go for it!
- There is a breaking point where your goals have to become your priority. You will have to make several sacrifices, but they will all be worth it in the end.
- Prepare NOT to be paid. The financial struggles of a young entrepreneur are very real and there will be times when you are beyond broke. However, learn from your mistakes and put in the work necessary to make your business grow.
- Wrap your mind around God. Make Him the heart beat and centre of everything you do. Once you allow Him to be the focal point of your life, He will give you direction.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people. You need people around you who will encourage and support you.
- Be strategic. Yes, it may seem more practical to do all of the work for your business alone in the initial phases since you have limited funds. However, you will end up either never reaching your goal or reaching it after several years. Also, you will be very stressed and ineffective. Start with someone you can share your ideas with and who is willing to assist you on a part time basis. It may cost you a little bit more than you want to spend at the moment, but it will be worth it in the end.
Kimroy is determined to make a difference in not only is country, but also in the rural community in which he was raised. His story encourages us not to give up on our dreams and use our dreams to make a positive impact. What can you do today to make a difference in the lives of others?