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  • State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, says a Green Paper on the draft Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) and Entrepreneurial Policy could be tabled in Parliament as early as April.
  • Speaking at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Department of Management Studies’ research symposium, entitled: ‘Managing Small Firms that have Gone Public', held at the UWI, on March 29, Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said the administration is currently in the final stage of consultations with MSME stakeholders on the draft policy, and that details of the policy will be disclosed, once it has been tabled.
  • The State Minister said the Government is cognizant that small businesses are pivotal to the success of the economy. She added that the administration is committed to crafting and implementing policies that foster the growth and development of these entities, while assuring that these firms “have been accorded a high priority on the national agenda."

State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, says a Green Paper on the draft Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) and Entrepreneurial Policy could be tabled in Parliament as early as April.

Speaking at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Department of Management Studies’ research symposium, entitled: ‘Managing Small Firms that have Gone Public’, held at the UWI, on March 29, Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said the administration is currently in the final stage of consultations with MSME stakeholders on the draft policy, and that details of the policy will be disclosed, once it has been tabled.

The State Minister said the Government is cognizant that small businesses are pivotal to the success of the economy. She added that the administration is committed to crafting and implementing policies that foster the growth and development of these entities, while assuring that these firms “have been accorded a high priority on the national agenda.”

Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams noted that the country’s National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica, has as one of its key outcomes, improving opportunities for MSMEs.

“Under Vision 2030, the goal is to enhance the role played by small firms in building the economy, developing their capabilities and improving the channels through which they participate in economic activities,” she said.

Vision 2030 Jamaica is the country’s first long-term national development plan, which aims at enabling Jamaica to achieve developed country status by 2030.  It is based on a comprehensive vision: “Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.”

The State Minister noted that the country’s MSMEs have experienced various challenges, which have impacted their operations. These, she said, include: access to finance and the ability to use property as collateral; expensive and time consuming regulatory requirements, such as licensing and registration; and tax structures that “distort incentives and discriminate against small firms.”

Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said specific measures tailored to meet the needs of the sector, have been outlined under Vision 2030. These include: steps to widen the channels through which MSMEs can access financing; developing MSMEs’ technical and organisational capacity; strengthening the capacity of industry organisations representing MSMEs; providing ongoing training programmes to build human capital in MSMEs; developing economic linkages to other MSMEs and to the formal sector; and implementing programmes that will encourage more MSMEs to enter the formal sector, over time.

The State Minister said consistent with Vision 2030 Jamaica, the Industry, Investment and Commerce Ministry’s vision for MSMEs is for a highly entrepreneurial sector that fuels economic transformation through innovation, creativity and high performance.

In this regard, she pointed out that the Ministry has taken on the roles of promoter, facilitator and regulator, in order to directly intervene in MSME development; provide an enabling environment for the establishment and conducting of business; and craft and implement laws and regulations related to MSMEs.

“Development of a national Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Policy is, therefore, a key strategy move by the government to address the challenges faced by MSMEs. The Government will continue working to improve the environment for small businesses,” Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams emphasised.

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