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    Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Michael Stern, has said that the Government has been and would continue to implement initiatives and policies to drive the development of entrepreneurship in Jamaica.
    “Our mission is to create a nation of creative and innovative entrepreneurs, who can contribute more effectively to job and wealth creation,” Mr. Stern stated, as he addressed the HEART Trust/NTA’s National Entrepreneurial Conference yesterday (March 5), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
    He informed that the Ministry has been spearheading the full roll-out of incubators and entrepreneurial production centres, to provide physical accommodation and a range of support services to start-up businesses, in order to increase their chance of success, and reduce business failure.
    Additionally, several agencies, particularly Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), have been fostering the continued development of businesses in Jamaica, by providing technical assistance and facilitating training in management, record-keeping and marketing.
    The agency has established business information centres across the island, as a means of strengthening the access of small entrepreneurs to technical, business, marketing and financial services.The JBDC also has in place, a network of Business Service Providers (BSPs), to assist with business training, research, business plan writing, marketing and business consultancy.
    As it relates to financing, Mr. Stern stated that the Ministry would “continue its efforts to improve and expand the facilities through which our entrepreneurs can obtain financing, strengthen their capacity, develop new products and services and move to a path of sustained growth and profitability.”
    He reminded that about $4 billion was available for on-lending to the micro, small and medium enterprise sector (MSME) through several public and private financial institutions.
    Mr. Stern asserted that the Government would continue to steer its policies and interventions effectively, sensibly, and in a timely manner, “so that our entrepreneurs can grow and prosper.”
    The two-day conference, which concludes Friday(March 6), is being held under the theme: ‘Honouring Entrepreneurs: The Backbone of a Nation’s Economy.’

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