MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy to be Made More Effective

Photo: Michael Sloley Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Stephen Wedderburn (right), in discussion with Executive Director of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, Lilyclaire Bellamy (centre); and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Valerie Veira, on the first of a three-day workshop, at the JBDC resource centre on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston, on June 13.

Story Highlights

  • A review of the Micro, Small and Medium-size Enterprise (MSME) and Entrepreneurship Policy is being completed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, with a view to making it more effective.
  • Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Stephen Wedderburn, said parts of the Policy under revision include: an alignment of the definition of MSMEs to match international standards; and the Security Interest in Personal Property (SIPP) Act.
  • “We are also looking at a key part of the Policy dealing with the SIPP Act, which allows the use of non-traditional collateral in order for financial institutions to take up this avenue more actively, so that MSMEs can use non-traditional assets to get financing,” he added.

A review of the Micro, Small and Medium-size Enterprise (MSME) and Entrepreneurship Policy is being completed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, with a view to making it more effective.

First adopted by Parliament in 2013, the Policy serves as a comprehensive framework for the implementation of strategies to support the growth and development of the MSME sector.

Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Stephen Wedderburn, said parts of the Policy under revision include: an alignment of the definition of MSMEs to match international standards; and the Security Interest in Personal Property (SIPP) Act.

“Part of it is to ensure that the definitions are aligned internationally, because the Bank of Jamaica has a definition, which is different from the Ministry’s definition,” he said.

Mr. Wedderburn was speaking to JIS News on the first of a three-day workshop on: ‘The Effective Management of Intellectual Property Assets for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’, at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) resource centre, on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston, on June 13.

“We are also looking at a key part of the Policy dealing with the SIPP Act, which allows the use of non-traditional collateral in order for financial institutions to take up this avenue more actively, so that MSMEs can use non-traditional assets to get financing,” he added.

Mr. Wedderburn also urged owners of creative works, innovators and inventors to protect their intellectual property.

He noted that too often these people display works at trade shows locally and internationally, which result in them being pirated by others.

“It really is not that expensive to register your product and have it protected. The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) is working with them to show them how to do it. I encourage business operators if they come up with a product, check with JIPO,” he urged.

For her part, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the JBDC, Valerie Veira, noted that the workshop is necessary because more industry collaboration is needed. She also noted that it is important to protect individual’s intellectual property to prevent its exploitation and abuse.

Meanwhile, JIPO Executive Director, Lilyclaire Bellamy, invited the participants to ask questions of the speakers at the workshop and to ensure that their intellectual property is protected.

Counsellor of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Entrepreneurship Support Division at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Anil Sinha, said his agency has organised workshops to improve intellectual property management around the world.

Over the three days, participants in the workshop are expected to learn about strategies for small and medium-sized enterprises sustainability and growth, and the importance of trademarks in establishing a distinct identity in the marketplace.

Speakers will include: Mr. Sinha; Board Director of the JBDC, Dr. William Lawrence, and CEO and Founder of SMAKS Luxury Group in Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Kiran Shiva Akal.

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