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Jamaica’s entrepreneurs are being invited to take advantage of business opportunities that will be presented with the country’s staging of the Cricket World Cup in 2007.
Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC), Valerie Veira, said that the tournament offered a number of prospects for small businesses and urged persons to seize the many opportunities that would be available to them.
She was speaking at the opening of the JBDC’s annual business development conference yesterday (Nov.17) at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Bowling for Business’, which is intended to highlight the business prospects from the staging of the cricket tournament and to provide support for businesses as they “bounce back” from the effects of Hurricane Ivan.
Mrs. Viera informed that the three-day event would highlight three main areas: the Jamaica Entrepreneur Search (JES) project, which is designed to help and encourage tertiary students and graduates to set up their own businesses; World Cup Cricket 2007; and the baking industry.
Minister of Industry and Tourism, Aloun Ndombet Assamba in her remarks, invited entrepreneurs to take advantage of the businesses opportunities provided by the country’s staging of the Cricket World Cup, but warned that there were international standards regarding crowd control, which must be adhered to. “We have to operate within the rules,” she warned.
Meanwhile, she noted that the government was in full support of entrepreneurial initiatives for young people, with $50 million put aside for the JES programme, while $50 million was allocated to the HEART Trust/NTA’s Beyond Programme.
Much like the JSE, the Beyond Programme is aimed at assisting young people to start their own business. More than 2,000 young people have so far benefited from the initiative, with 125 students receiving grants to start their own business, while 677 have been employed through their connection with the programme.
She also congratulated the JBDC for its work to develop business in Jamaica and informed that the organization had earned over $100 million from the sales of local products through the Things Jamaica shops over a four-year period.
In her welcoming remarks, JBDC Chairman, Doreen Frankson said that the organisation has had an active year with negotiations being made for support programmes, which will commence in early 2005.
She also thanked the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office ( JIPO), Jamaica Bakers Association and Heart Trust/ NTA for their continuous support of the work of the JBDC.
Local poet Amina Blackwood Meeks and the Kingston Drummers gave performances to highlight the spirit of the conference.

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