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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has said that a practical approach combined with proper work ethics are vital to boosting the development of the Micro, Small and Medium, Enterprises (MSMEs).
“The fundamental factors that have been, in my opinion, largely ignored over these many years, (is that) there is not enough attention (being) paid to.training at a practical level…I fear that the training that we receive, is more towards the theoretical aspect of business than the practical application that comes through hands on experience,” he said.
Mr. Samuda was speaking at the launch of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Bachelor of Science (BSC) Management Studies (Entrepreneurship) Degree, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between UWI and the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC) at the institution’s Mona campus in Kingston on September 25.
He further underscored that partnerships are vital for the development of the sector and encouraged collaborative efforts from varying avenues within the society.
Mr. Samuda lauded the partnership that has been created between the UWI and the JBDC, adding that it “is the kind of thing that I think that this cross fertilisation will do to improve the way in which the programme progresses.”
He commended the linkage that has been established between the UWI and the JBDC, adding that “it is my fervent hope that those who will be training people will adopt a new and creative approach.”
He urged the lecturers to “think outside of the box, do not deal with this classroom thing, go out into the field and be practical, because it is that practical application that operates at the level of the small business person.”
He added that the vision for entrepreneurship within the country can only be achieved through partnership, noting that providing access and training will only prove beneficial to the society, which will ultimately contribute to sustaining the economy.
Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor at the UWI, Professor Gordon Shirley, in his remarks, noted that entrepreneurship is a very critical area as it relates to the development of the economy and the creation of jobs.
He added that the programme will impact immensely on the development of the small business sector, and would ultimately benefit all the parties involved.
Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira, in her remarks said that “academic and field experience is merging, which are deemed successful for the sector,” adding that this move is significant to the Jamaican entrepreneur.
The Bachelor of Science in Management Studies (Entrepreneurship) is the newest addition to the courses being offered in the Department of Management Studies. The programme is designed to produce graduates with the requisite entrepreneurial training and tools with the capacity to create jobs for themselves and others, while contributing to economic growth and development.
It is hoped that the programme will enhance the competence of graduates to drive innovation and change, through employment and developing appropriate strategies; and enable graduates to join existing operations and contribute to their advancement and sustainability by utilising entrepreneurial best practices.