JIS News

Ten women business owners will receive financial and business development support to scale up their business operations under the Women in Entrepreneurship Support (WES) Project Phase II.

Under the project, participants will have access to a suite of business development services, including training, with the aim of building capacity, attracting investment opportunities, and increasing market share and revenue of small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs).

It also seeks to facilitate the integration of these SMEs into the national, regional and global value chains.

Speaking at the virtual launch on Thursday (August 26), Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange said the Government is seeking to ensure that women are provided with the requisite technical and financial support to become successful entrepreneurs.

“The WES project was developed to empower female entrepreneurs, so that they have economically viable and sustainable businesses,” she said.

Meanwhile Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, said, “Phase II will focus on building on the gains of the previous phase by providing technical assistance and financial support to 20 women entrepreneurs per annum for the next five years”.

UN Women Multi-Country Office Representative, Tonni-Ann Brodber, said the initiative is supported by the UN Women EnGenDER project.

“We know that the economic empowerment is interrelated with reducing inequality, increasing security and safety,” she added.

Approximately $1.14 million is being provided by United Nations (UN) Women. Each participant will receive $100,000 towards business development activities.

Training and technical support is being provided by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).

The WES Project aims to provide capacity building, technical assistance and financial support to women-owned SMEs by boosting their ability to scale their operations and become formal businesses. The project targets young female entrepreneurs as well as those in rural areas.

It is being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport through the Bureau of Gender Affairs.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministries in 2017. The project, which commenced in 2018, saw four women business owners receiving   financial and technical support.

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