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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The HEART Trust/NTA is on track to launch its Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Support Programme in March, which will provide grant funding of up to $3 million to entrepreneurs enrolled in its Smart Track Programme.
  • The Smart Track Programme, which includes specially designed and customised courses for entrepreneurs, allows them to pursue Level Three National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQJ) certification.
  • Through that programme, entrepreneurs can choose to be certified in a complete course or specific modules.

The HEART Trust/NTA is on track to launch its Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Support Programme in March, which will provide grant funding of up to $3 million to entrepreneurs enrolled in its Smart Track Programme.

The Smart Track Programme, which includes specially designed and customised courses for entrepreneurs, allows them to pursue Level Three National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQJ) certification. Through that programme, entrepreneurs can choose to be certified in a complete course or specific modules.

Director of Marketing and Communications at HEART Trust/NTA, Natalie Fearon, in an interview with JIS News, said that through the courses, the agency recognised the entrepreneurs’ need for financial assistance.

“Therefore, we have put aside a pool of funds which will allow entrepreneurs to access up to $3 million to build the capacity of their businesses,” she said.

Ten entrepreneurs have already been selected for this support, while another 10 involved in the Jamaica Promotions Corporation’s (JAMPRO) EXPORT Max Programme will receive technical support.

Mrs. Fearon further noted that for persons to be qualified, they must show that their enterprise will be able to provide additional employment.

She said that the HEART Trust/NTA also recognised that some trainees leave the institution with well-researched business ideas, which could be successful if implemented.

As a result, a mechanism was developed to give grants of up to $100,000 to more than 100 trainees in the NVQJ Level Three certification course.

“This will allow them to start or build businesses. Additionally, the entrepreneurs have access to other support, such as the Smart Track training, business development advice and other services,” Mrs. Fearon noted.

She said this is in line with HEART Trust/NTA’s mandate to provide opportunities for training and employment.