JIS News

In its continued bid to foster the development of the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) will host its third annual one-day small business exposition, at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, on Wednesday, May 12.
Dubbed ‘Plan.Strategise.Grow’, the event will feature an interesting mix of presentations and displays, geared specifically at prospective and existing entrepreneurs seeking information to assist them in start-ups, or improvements to existing businesses.
Speaking with JIS News, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the JBDC, Miss Valerie Veira, pointed out that this year’s staging is quite timely and relevant in light of the challenges and threats that the global recession continue to create.
“We think that this year the expo is particularly important, because of the challenges that exist now in the environment, but also too, because this very challenge has given rise to many business opportunities,” Miss Veira argued, adding that there has been a 30 per cent increase in the level of clients seeking assistance to make their business ideas a reality.
She noted that the global recession has led many persons to refocus, reconsider and strategise methods to develop and maintain some form of business initiative and the expo is the perfect opportunity to reach and provide answers to such groups.
“We have people who are still employed, but there is a gap in the income based on the cost of living and so they are now identifying hobbies that they can organise as a business. There are young professionals who might be interested in starting their own business and hiring people, this group is qualified, trained and ready with skills to start,” the CEO highlighted.
Another large group, she said, consisted of persons who have been made redundant in the various industries, such as bauxite, and are highly skilled, and have money from the redundancy and want to convert these skills into businesses.
The day’s proceedings will consist of several seminars and presentations exploring topics such as: ‘Financing Options for Small Businesses’; ‘Strategic Planning for Business Growth’; ‘Building competitiveness through Clustering and Networking’; ‘Getting the Insider’s Advantage – Marketing to attract more clients, more money and more growth’; and ‘Social Media – efficient tool or wasteful distraction’.
Additionally, entities such as Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO); Micro Enterprise Financing Limited, Churches Co-operative Credit Union, Development Bank of Jamaica, Technology Innovation Centre and First Global Bank will be in attendance to explain the importance of utilising their services, and how critical it is for them to be involved in the sustainability of the business.
Miss Veira urged persons to participate in the initiative, noting that it can allow them to start, improve and grow their businesses and be introduced to agencies and stakeholders who can assist them in the process.
“If you are interested in growth, in enhancing your income and improving your lifestyle, then this is the place for you to come. You just might find that some hobby that you never thought about is a fabulous business idea which, with some support and guidance, can transform into a very successful business,” she said.
The Expo will last from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and admission is free.

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