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The small business incubator programme is closer to being a reality, with the recent approval by Cabinet of $120 million to fund the pilot phase of the programme.
“We are going to start small business incubators across the island,” said Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, in her contribution to the 2007/08 Budget Debate in the House of Representative yesterday (May 1).
She explained that under the initiative, “small business people will have access to pooled resources. These resources will include marketing and promotion, design, training and technical assistance.”
In the meantime, the Prime Minister commended the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC), for its continued role in guiding the development of small and young entrepreneurs. “Many small business people can testify that this state agency has helped them realize their dreams of developing their God given talents,” she stated.
The country’s small business sector, she said, is universally recognised as the sector with the greatest capacity, citing the recording industry as a good example of a sector that has made a positive impact on job creation.
“For every song that is produced, the process involves scores of job opportunities from producer, performer, songwriter, sound engineers to technicians and marketing personnel, among others. In addition, the owners of the various rights to the music continue to earn royalties every time it is played or performed,” she pointed out.
Turning to job creation, the Prime Minister told the House that unemployment is at its lowest level in decades, with thousands of jobs created in the construction industry. “Jobs have been created in the highway and road construction projects. Even the toll plazas have created jobs on a 24-hour basis,” she stated.
She noted that many Jamaicans have also gained employment from the expansion and refurbishing of the island’s two major airports and the growth of information technology, including call centres. “New jobs have been created by significant expansion and new investments of many private sector firms,” the Prime Minister added.

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