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KINGSTON — The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce launched its central online database for the Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSME) sector, the Jamaica Business Information System (JBIS), during a ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston , on Friday (June 24),.

The database, formally launched by State Minister, Hon. Michael Stern, is a shared facility which enables business support organizations (BSOs), working with these entities, to collaborate with them in achieving positive outcomes for their operations.

A shared facility, the database which was developed by the United Kingdom-based technology firm, Hanlon Software Solutions, will enable the creation and uploading of detailed profiles and business information on all MSMEs registering on the site. The data will allow for: the entities to be matched with development opportunities arising; the provision of information on the strengths and weaknesses of stakeholders; and identifying areas where assistance is required and can be delivered.

The initiative, funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat, commenced in July 2010 as a pilot project involving 10 BSOs, which were selected to provide preliminary data for the system. Implementation of the project is based on the Ministry’s view that, its ability to assist in the growth of the MSMEs is contingent on its understanding the various industries and sectors; capturing business need; and providing timely assistance in collaboration with partners, such as the BSOs.

In his address, Mr. Stern said four of the 10 BSOs involved in the pilot, the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) and the Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ), have been incorporated into the system, and expressed the hope that the others will follow suit.

Noting that the JBIS will facilitate the Ministry with timely information to make the correct decisions, as well as disseminate accurate information pertaining to MSMEs, Mr.  Stern said they will continue to interface with the BSOs to ensure that, at all times, there is a clear understanding of the needs of the MSMEs, to facilitate timely interventions.

 

By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporter