State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, said the Government will continue to forge partnerships with members of the Diaspora in an effort to increase investments, particularly in the development of small enterprises.
“For our Ministry, we’re looking at getting support not only from our local investors, but we’re also looking to the Jamaican Diaspora for support. We want persons abroad to come forward and help out our young people, who are taking the bold step of innovation in our country, and …for more small and medium-sized businesses to get started, and grow and flourish in this country,” she remarked.
She was addressing members of the business community at Wednesday’s (February 16) launch of the new television series: ‘The Innovators’ at the South Beach Café on Brompton Road in Kingston.
The series, which is a project of Future Services International Limited, aims to provide real assistance and advice to young entrepreneurs in their bid to establish and develop their own local business. The show will be aired on Television Jamaica on Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said the concept of the television show and its vision fits perfectly into the government’s national strategy for business development, employment and growth for the small and medium business sector.
“What we want to do is to see more young people and innovators coming forward to do what we need to do to put this country on the map. We need all the young people to think about the ideas that they have and the government is here to support you in that endeavour and to see how we can promote those ideas,” she stated.
She said a key focus of the government is to secure increased financing for small businesses. “We’re looking at development banks for financing, but we’re also looking at new ways to get credit. We’re looking at ways to improve the credit system so that it’s not just there for the bigger partners, and industries, but it’s there to support the small businesses as well,” she stated.
In her remarks, Director of Marketing and Communications, Heart Trust/NTA, one of the sponsors of ‘The Innovators’ Tiffany Johnson, noted that the institution is aware of the importance of small enterprises to the Jamaican economy, and as placed its attention on the development of entrepreneurship, particularly among young people, through effective training programmes.
She informed that the Entrepreneurship Skills Development Unit seeks to work closely with young business owners to develop their ideas and business plans, while incubator services are also provided.
“We will work with you to develop it and then we will give you low cost facilities, including all the equipment, start-up costs and all the technical services that you will need to build your clientele for about six months to a year,” she informed.
Managing Director, Future Service International and co-host of ‘The Innovators’, Yaneek Page, said the main objective of the show is to support people, who want to make more money through entrepreneurship. “It is giving them the tools and the resources that they need to move their businesses forward, to accelerate business success and to create wealth and jobs,” she explained.
She said the show will undoubtedly help owners of small enterprises to make more money and chart their way to a bright financial future. Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Live Entertainment Group, Gary Matalon is the other host.
‘The Innovators’ will involve real life before and after transformations of 12 existing/aspiring entrepreneurs, professionals, and others, who will receive advice from expert panelists on how to use their skills, talents, and business ideas to make more money and the essentials of running a successful enterprise.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter