JIS News

State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Senator Deika Morrison, has reiterated the government’s commitment to the growth and development of entrepreneurship in Jamaica, particularly the small and medium enterprise sector.
She pointed out that the National Insurance Fund would be investing $1 billion over the next three years in the micro enterprise sector, as announced by Prime Minister P. J. Patterson last week.
Making her contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate yesterday (February 4), Miss Morrison emphasised that the government has continued to play a role, “in terms of creating an enabling environment, providing policy prescriptions, and providing financing as well as critical business development support”.
She pointed out that evidence of the government’s support to the micro and medium business sector could be seen by the substantial increase registered in 2005 in the disbursed funds and number of loans under four programmes – Micro Investment Development Agency (MIDA), the Government of Jamaica (GOJ)/ European Union Credit Scheme, the GOJ/ Government of Netherlands Microfin Credit Project, and the Self Start Fund.
For the two-year period spanning both 2004 and 2005, under the GOJ/ European Union Credit Scheme, the GOJ/Government of Netherlands Microfin Credit Project, and the Self Start Fund, Senator Morrison said some $639 million was disbursed representing 7,600 loans, which resulted in 10,469 jobs being sustained. She highlighted the fact that since its inception, MIDA has delivered credit totalling $1.548 billion to the micro-enterprise sector, which has financed 21,163 businesses and generated gross employment for more than 35,000 persons.
Noting that thousands of enterprises have been funded and thousands of jobs added each year, the State Minister said, “great emphasis is placed on start-up businesses with $596.39 million of the total amount of credit delivered, representing 9,878 businesses or 46.7 per cent of the total businesses funded”.
According to the Senator, data from the Employed Labour Force reveal that in 2004, there were 360,700 persons classified as working with small and micro enterprises.