JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Senator Deika Morrison, has reported that the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC), facilitated technical service support in the establishment of some 2,164 new businesses in 2005.
Contributing to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate, yesterday (February 3), she said that during the course of last year, the JBDC assisted a total of 2, 936 persons and entities, with 772 of them being existing businesses.
The JBDC’s mandate is to foster economic development by promoting and facilitating the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, through productivity enhancement and providing technical services.
Senator Morrison said through the JBDC’s initiative, Building Youth for National Development (ByoND), which is designed to help young people between the ages of 17 and 29, some 1,400 persons were assisted in Phase 1, while another 946 have, to date, benefited under Phase 2. Turning to new initiatives being offered by the JBDC, she spoke of a partnership programme with the Bureau of Standards dubbed, ‘Product Development and Upliftment of Standards’. This, she said, is geared towards the provision of grant funding to improve product development, packaging and branding.
Two other partnership programmes also exist under the JBDC umbrella – a joint programme with the Ministries of Industry and Technology, known as the ‘Interactive Communication and Information Network’, while the other is an alliance between the JBDC and the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB), called ‘Innovative Industries’.
The former programme establishes a network of business development centres nationally in partnership with local Chambers of Commerce and institutions. As for the latter programme, Senator Morrison explained that, “it is a network of small producers in exotic food and fermented products organised to provide economies of scope and not just economies of scale”.
Furthermore, the State Minister told her colleague Senators that another initiative, the pro-invest ‘E-commerce for small and medium enterprise’ was also currently available.
This initiative supports the virtual marketing of the goods and services of entrepreneurs, “by developing a shared e-commerce platform and a supply chain management system that delivers the benefits of economies of scale to small producers”, she pointed out.
She noted that the JBDC would be launching a public/private partnership programme later this year, known and the Small and Medium Enterprise Mutual Guarantee Fund. The Fund has the support of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism and the private sector.
Senator Morrison explained that it would be launched, “through the establishment of a mutual guarantee company that will provide financial guarantees to participating banks and credit unions that lend to the small and medium enterprise sector”.

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