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The Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC), through its partnership with the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), disbursed approximately $3.5 million in loans last year, which benefited 10 local companies.
This was disclosed by Minister of Industry and Tourism, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, during her presentation in the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in the House yesterday (May 24).
She also noted that during the year, the JBDC, which has a mandate of fostering economic development by promoting and facilitating the development of micro, small and medium enterprises through productivity enhancement and providing technical services, provided internship opportunities for 1,400 young persons as part of its project – Building Youth for National Development (ByoND).
The Minister said that through the ByoND project, 410 young persons became gainfully employed; 250 young persons were trained in business development; 92 new businesses were started by young people in the programme, as well as grants being provided for business development in 26 existing entities.
Other achievements of the project included, a music programme that provided training for 30 studio engineers, 18 vocalists and eight instrumentalists. Based on the success of the first phase of the ByoND project, the Minister pointed out that the Government has approved $50 million to fund the project’s second phase.
The Minister also informed the House that under the JBDC’s United Nations funded-Income Generating Enterprises Project last year, the JBDC paid special attention to two communities, Woodside in St. Mary and Trench Town in Kingston. A total of $3 million was spent in Woodside to construct and equip a production facility, while $1.8 million was expended to complete construction of a bakery at Avon Park in Trench Town.