State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams, says the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) facilitated “significant business development services” to various stakeholders during the 2012/13 fiscal year.
Making her 2013/14 Sectoral Debate presentation in Parliament on Tuesday, June 25, Mrs. Ffolkes Abrahams said the agency’s activities to this end, included: administering over 8,000 interventions for micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) stakeholder clients; and facilitating the participation of just over 3000 persons in approximately 134 workshops conducted during the period. Areas covered in the workshops included: business management, business formalization, financial management, and business plan writing.
Additionally, she said, the JBDC assisted some 2, 354 new clients to develop business ideas and issues related to start up and existing business operations. Further, close to 160 manufacturers attended furniture design/business clinics held in St. Ann and Portland.
The JBDC also provided technical services for some 57 agro-processing/food production, craft, and fashion clients in areas such as formulation and/or adjustments of products, product design and development, pattern making and garment construction, labelling and packaging.
The State Minister said another 209 clients benefitted from graphic design services related to packaging, labelling, and collateral material, while some 35 fashion and food production businesses utilised the incubator facility at the JBDC’s Resource Centre. She also advised that 56 audits were conducted for MSME facilities from various sectors, including furniture, craft, and fashion.
Noting that no aspect of development should be “by-passed” in the thrust to build entrepreneurship, Mrs. Ffolkes Abrahams said the JBDC was also involved in several community development initiatives.
She informed that the agency, working in tandem with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH), and the Steps to Work Programme, has provided business development training to approximately 676 individuals islandwide.
“The objective is to graduate beneficiaries from PATH, by providing them with business development training and employment skills so that they can become economically self-sufficient,” she explained.
The State Minister said the JBDC commenced conducting workshops for participants in the Labour and Social Security Ministry’s Youth Empowerment Strategy (YES), with 25 residents from the communities of Drewsland and Trench Town in St. Andrew, benefitting thus far.
“The aim is to improve the quality of the labour force by providing access to decent and productive work, for youth,” she indicated.
Mrs. Ffolkes Abrahams advised that the JBDC also commenced providing product development training in jewellery making, utilizing recyclable material, for participants in the private sector-led Youth Upliftment through Employment (YUTE) programme. Training she said, has been provided for 44 participants, thus far.
Contact: Douglas McIntosh