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Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) has been spearheading the thrust to make the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) business-focused and ready to take advantage of the opportunities to emerge from the Logistics Hub Initiative.
  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Harold Davis, said the agency is providing the MSMEs with the necessary information, services and products, that will enable them to play a key part in the logistics-centered economy.
  • He added that the agency, through its various thrust and initiatives, is working to move MSMEs towards “a world-class standard operation."

The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) has been spearheading the thrust to make the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) business-focused and ready to take advantage of the opportunities to emerge from the Logistics Hub Initiative.

Speaking with JIS News, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Harold Davis, said the agency is providing the MSMEs with the necessary information, services and products, that will enable them to play a key part in the logistics-centered economy.

“Micro, small and medium- sized businesses really are the backbone of our economy already, so if we are going to move and transform our economy into this logistics-centered economy, we have to ensure that we bring all of these businesses towards that paradigm shift…that new thinking that needs to happen to bring them on a growth path as a viable partner and an attractor in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs),” Mr. Davis highlighted.

He added that the agency, through its various thrust and initiatives, is working to move  MSMEs towards “a world-class standard operation to making sure they are prepared and ready to move into this new phase of doing business.”

A major initiative is the Mobile Business Clinic, which offers the full suite of business development and technical support services to MSMEs islandwide.

The clinics are held in major town centres and remote communities across Jamaica, tackling and addressing cross-cutting issues that address business development and capacity readiness for MSMEs.

The Deputy CEO informed that the mobile business clinic has already travelled some six parishes with over 2,000 persons benefiting.

“The feedback for the clinic has been phenomenal…the energy, the hunger that persons have for the information is sometimes overwhelming. There is definitely a change in the mindset and the type of entrepreneur that is coming to the table asking for assistance…these entrepreneurs are more mature, serious persons looking for serious opportunities,” Mr. Davis noted.

President of the MSME Alliance, Donovan Wignal, endorsed the efforts by the JBDC and other entities in developing the MSME sector.

He noted that the MSME policy that has been put in place “forms the fundamental pillar where MSMEs in Jamaica can grow, and along with the financial initiatives coming from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and training from entities such as HEART Trust/NTA, is preparing MSMEs to take advantage of what is to come.”

Mr. Wignal pointed out that the sector will be integrally involved in the Logistics Hub Initiative in terms of “moving the equipment and all the paraphernalia that will be needed to set up the different areas, the attendant port facilities, the different types of construction, and participation in the SEZs”.

He noted that the MSMEs have benefited from significant reforms over the past 24 months, including changes in legislation to enhance the business environment.

“It is evident that Jamaica is shifting to a new paradigm where business is concerned. “I implore persons to go and get the training, learn about logistics and what it offers, learn about new businesses because where opportunity meets preparation you will have success,” Mr. Wignal said.