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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The policy seeks to guide the implementation of strategies to improve the local business climate.
  • The agency will have primary responsibility for technical training and business development support for MSMEs.
  • The JBDC has been working with some of the financial institutions to forge the right financial product which would suit the MSMEs.

The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is set to play an integral role in the implementation of initiatives outlined in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) and Entrepreneurship Policy.

The policy seeks to guide the implementation of strategies to improve the local business climate and reduce some of the impediments which MSMEs encounter in doing business.

“We see ourselves as the primary rock on which the policy will be promulgated as there are many initiatives within the policy that we are directly responsible for driving,” Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the JBDC, Harold Davis, told JIS News.

He added that the agency will have primary responsibility for technical training and business development support for MSMEs.

“The policy seeks to address, and does so very eloquently and explicitly, a number of the issues that will enhance the growth of the MSME sector and entrepreneurship,” Mr. Davis explained.

He pointed out that the JBDC has already embarked on initiatives as a means of creating an enabling business environment for MSMEs.

“This year, we have had a focus on introducing energy management to our small business community, which is sometimes detrimentally affected by the cost of energy. So we look at alternative energy solutions and energy efficiency,” the Deputy CEO noted.

On the issue of access to finance, Mr. Davis informed that the JBDC has been working with some of the financial institutions to forge the right financial product which would suit the MSMEs.

“We are working to expand the knowledge of the entrepreneur about the Secured Transaction Act, which the Minister (Hon. Anthony Hylton) piloted recently, which will afford different types of collateral to be used for financing. We are working with the entrepreneurs to prepare them for financing as well, not only loan financing, but other types, such as equity and venture capital financing,” he said.

In tackling cross-cutting issues, such as youth in business and persons with disabilities that the policy speaks to, the JBDC has already been undertaking initiatives to address this through training sessions with members of the disabled community in bookkeeping and other critical areas in business operations.

Mr. Davis added that there are also programmes targeting the youth, which present entrepreneurship as a “viable option for their livelihood.”

“Even though we see ourselves as the drivers of the policy, a critical mechanism is to make sure that we are the network broker. So wherever the services are in both the public and private sectors that would support the initiatives of the policy, we make sure that we partner with them to facilitate the various strategies to be implemented under the policy,” he said.

The JBDC continues to foster business development through its marketing, financial support, business incubation, technical support and business advisory services that it offers to the MSMEs.

It offers help across the spectrum, from guiding business start-ups to a wide range of consultancy advice for established businesses.