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'I want to make an impact for God in my field of influence'

An award-winning Christian businesswoman from Thornton Heath is the driving force behind the first Women on the Frontline Empowerment Summit in Jamaica this June ...

An award-winning Christian businesswoman is spearheading efforts to encourage British and Caribbean female entrepreneurs to do business with each other by hosting the first ever Women on the Frontline (WOTFL) Empowerment Summit in Jamaica 2016 from 14-20 June.

Claudine Reid MBE, who is Managing Director of social enterprise PJ Community Services, and serves as a Sunday School teacher and a leadership team member at her church Grace Tabernacle in Thornton Heath, will be hosting WOTFL, which has been organised to coincide with Caribbean Fashion Week.
During the seven-day summit, delegates will get opportunities to:

* attend, network and do business at Caribbean Fashion Week
* Meet fellow Jamaican business to discuss social entrepreneurship
* Attend a special networking reception at the British High Commission to meet key figures in Jamaica's business community
* Explore business partnerships with Jamaican entrepreneurs
* Work on a project that will have a positive impact on the local community
* Participate and judge a Dragons Den-style competition for young people

Claudine, who has been a Christian since her teens, believes it’s important to use her business skills to make a positive difference.   

She explained, “When I look at the role of Christians in society, I believe their impact should be more than going to church on Sunday. I want my impact to be more than going to church. I want to make an impact in my respective field of influence which is business by inspiring and motivating, and when people ask about the source of my passion I can tell them about my faith.”

One way in which Claudine has attempted to make an impact is through the Women on the Frontline network, which she founded in 2012 to empower and equip women with the skills needed to make headway in their chosen career and business paths.

Mrs Reid stated, “Whilst organising WOTFL networking events, women often shared they would welcome opportunities to build relationships with women in other countries so I organised events in Spain and Holland. When I found out that Caribbean Fashion week was being held in Jamaica this year, I thought it would be a great to organise an initiative that enable British women to meet with Caribbean entrepreneurs.”

She has high hopes for the summit with regards to impacting the lives of those who attend. 

“I’m hoping that people will take God out of the box. People don’t have to be a Christian to attend the summit, but I am hoping they’ll be able to see the way that God can use us to fulfil our life purpose and His mandate for us and the people we encounter, through the spheres of influence that we occupy."
Mrs Reid aims to take a delegation of up to 50 people to the WOTFL. She stated, “This summit has the backing of Caribbean Fashion week and the British High Commission in Jamaica. I expect women who attend the summit to gain real tangible benefits and leave Jamaica with great business contacts.”

The WOTFL Summit in June will be the third international networking event Mrs Reid has organised. In 2014 she organised a WOTFL networking event in Spain, last year she held one in Holland, this year Jamaica and in 2017 Mrs Reid aims to take a delegation of businesswomen to Ghana.

She said, “I have organised WOTFL events abroad to give women the opportunity to broaden their networks and build mutually beneficial business relationships with women abroad. It’s my hope that the first ever WOTFL summit in Jamaica will achieve these aims, and herald the start of some great business partnerships and exchanges of skills.”

She added, “It's my prayer that the Christian women who attend the Summit will see their role as believers being more than just what happens on a Sunday in church.

"My prayer is that they will see that God wants them to use their gift to influence their community, society and government. Being influential in this way is not for everyone, but for those women courageous enough to step out onto the frontline."

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