Gov’t Committed to Boosting Technology Sector

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson (right) in discussion with founder of the United States Company, Venture Hive, Susan Amat (second left) during a special forum at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) in Kingston on September 10. The forum was entitled ‘Stimulating Growth, Enabling Entrepreneurship and Innovation’. Others (from left) are: Business Incubation Specialist, infoDev, World Bank, Sophia Muradyan; infoDev Regional Facilitator in Africa, Steve Giddings.

Story Highlights

  • Government has reiterated its commitment to providing assistance to entrepreneurs
  • Actively encouraging and promoting entrepreneurship within the technology sector
  • DBJ is to launch a venture capital fund within the first half of the 2014/2015 fiscal year

The Government has reiterated its commitment to providing assistance to entrepreneurs, particularly in the technology sector, in order to stimulate economic growth.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson gave the assurance during a special forum at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) in Kingston on Wednesday, September 10.

“We have been actively encouraging and promoting entrepreneurship within the technology sector and an important component of facilitating entrepreneurship is ensuring that those individuals who have ideas or who have products and solutions that they are given the necessary guidance, direction to convert those ideas into sustainable businesses,” he said.

“We are committed to ensuring that we have a facility to support our entrepreneurs by providing the enabling environment that gives them the mentorship and the guidance,” he added.

He noted that venture capital is another critical component to facilitating entrepreneurship, especially as it relates to financing those ideas.

“We all know the challenges that currently exist in our environment which is heavily bank dominated and where young entrepreneurs who don’t have collateral have a tremendous opportunity to finance those ideas,” he said.

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is to launch a venture capital fund within the first half of the 2014/2015 fiscal year. This initiative forms part of the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme (JVCP), which is being implemented over three years in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The JVCP is a Government of Jamaica initiative, aimed at developing the environment to mobilise long-term equity funding to enable greater access to alternative financing sources for high potential, Small and Medium Size (SME) enterprises, and entrepreneurs.

Highlighting the significance of the forum, Mr. Robinson said through the presentations which were made, individuals may adapt business models most suitable to their businesses.

“I think everybody here will tell you that you can’t simply take a model from any one country and expect it to be successful here because of the unique peculiarities that are common among Jamaicans, but we certainly can learn,” he said.

Presentations were made by local and international representatives on incubation and entrepreneurship.

Some of the presenters included: founder of the United States Company, Venture Hive, Susan Amat; former Chairperson, South Africa Business Incubation Technology Association, Charles Wyeth; Business Incubation Specialist, infoDev, World Bank, Sophia Muradyan, among others.

The forum was entitled ‘Stimulating Growth, Enabling Entrepreneurship and Innovation’.

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