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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The first in a series of business opportunity workshops, targeting residents of 30 communities in and around the Blue and John Crow Mountains World Heritage site in Portland, will be held on Wednesday, May 11 at Devon House in Kingston, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
  • The workshops are being staged by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and aim to assist the residents to tap into the business and income generation potential of the site, which has been inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List.
  • The Ministry is collaborating with the Jamaica Conservation Development Trust, (JCDT), which manages the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, and Devon House Development Company to host the workshops over the next 24 months.

The first in a series of business opportunity workshops, targeting residents of 30 communities in and around the Blue and John Crow Mountains World Heritage site in Portland, will be held on Wednesday, May 11 at Devon House in Kingston, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The workshops are being staged by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and aim to assist the residents to tap into the business and income generation potential of the site, which has been inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List.

The Ministry is collaborating with the Jamaica Conservation Development Trust, (JCDT), which manages the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, and Devon House Development Company to host the workshops over the next 24 months.

Sessions will be conducted by representatives of several public and private sector agencies and entities.

They include: the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC); Ministry of Tourism; Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo); Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC); Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA); HEART Trust/NTA; Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF); Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO); Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ); the Small and Medium Enterprises Unit in Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; and First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union (FHCCU).

Principal Director of Culture in the Creative Industries and Policy Division of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Dr. Janice Lindsay, told JIS News that the initiative aims to unearth unique business opportunities in several areas.

These include: agriculture, craft, commodities, gastronomy (indigenous food preparation), and tourist attractions.

Additionally, Dr. Lindsay said the workshops will feature presentations by the operators of several successful business ventures “that are model examples of what can take place when entrepreneurship happens in our local communities.”

One such, she told JIS News, is the Bowden Pen Farmers Association, which operates the Ambassabeth Cottages in the upper Rio Grande Valley of Portland.

The cottages, which are designed out of bamboo, are a popular spot for hikers, tourists and other visitors to the area.

“They are going to be presenting what their experience has been (and how) they have been able to merge agriculture with tourism and (transform) that (combination) into a viable business,” Dr. Lindsay said.

She is encouraging the residents to take advantage of the opportunities that the workshops will provide.

“If you (have) an idea but you simply need guidance as to the first step to help create that business framework that is going to be essential for you, we are suggesting that you come to the workshop,” the Director said.

Dr. Lindsay advised that the workshops are being held free of cost to the residents, adding that transportation will be provided for persons needing this service.

Interested persons are asked to contact the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport at 927-4247, or email: awhite@mcges.gov.jm.