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JIS News

The top 10 finalists in this year’s Digicel Rising Stars competition have benefited from grants valued at $300,000.
Through its Building Youth for National Development Programme (BYoND), the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC), has presented grants worth $30,000 to each of the finalists to assist in developing their music career.
The presentation took place on October 6, the day of the finals, at Mas Camp Village in New Kingston.
Speaking with JIS News, Executive Director at JBDC, Harold Davis explained that by accepting this grant and participating in the BYoND programme, the 10 finalists would develop several of the core business skills that are required in the music industry.

Project Co-ordinator of the Building Youth for National Development Programme (BYoND), Marsha Foster (right), presents a $90,000 grant to the winners of the 2006 Rising Stars competition, One Third. The group was among the top ten finalists in the competition, who were each presented with $30,000 grants to assist in developing their music career. The presentation took place at the Mas Camp Village in New Kingston on Friday, October 6, the day of the finals.

The programme provides assistance in professional voice training, music business mentoring, artiste management, instrument tutorship, demo CD and collateral material development.
“We have established relationships with a number of studios, which will be offering a discounted rate to do demo CDs and other aspects of the music business,” Mr. Davis said, adding that the BYoND programme was about assisting young people between ages 17 and 35 to enter into the business sector in a structured way.
“At the onset, we recognised that music was one of the areas where we have a tremendous and competitive advantage and we also recognized that enough attention was not being given to encourage and strategically develop our youth to enter commerce in the music business,” the Executive Director informed.
He noted that JBDC’s partnership with the Rising Stars competition was in keeping with the centre’s mandate of fostering entrepreneurship development.
“The JBDC is committed to the development of the creative industries.we do believe that musicians are entrepreneurs too and they deserve the level of development, attention and nurturing that other areas of entrepreneurial activities have received,” he pointed out.
Mr. Davis said that the Rising Stars competition assisted in “unearthing and screening good talent and bringing them up to the surface”, for a place in the creative industry.
The JBDC is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce (MITEC), which was established as one of the premier business support organisations in Jamaica, to assist in fostering business development for the micro, small and medium enterprise sectors.