JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says the new Local Economic Development Support Programme (LEDSP) will assist in lifting Jamaicans out of poverty by creating sustainable livelihoods at the community level.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller made the remarks during her keynote address at the launch of the Programme under the theme “Think Community, Think Business” at the Irie FM Courtyard, Ocho Rios, St. Ann on May 7.
  • The Prime Minister indicated that through the LEDSP, her Administration has been taking steps to strengthen micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says the new Local Economic Development Support Programme (LEDSP) will assist in lifting Jamaicans out of poverty by creating sustainable livelihoods at the community level. Mrs. Simpson Miller made the remarks during her keynote address at the launch of the Programme under the theme “Think Community, Think Business” at the Irie FM Courtyard, Ocho Rios, St. Ann on May 7.

The Prime Minister indicated that through the LEDSP, her Administration has been taking steps to strengthen micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) across the country. “We know that small enterprises face a range of challenges.  Most are under-resourced and have difficulties accessing the necessary financing,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.  However she maintained that Government has consistently put programmes in place to assist MSMEs and “that is why we are launching this very important programme (LEDSP) today,” she explained.

The LEDSP is a new initiative being implemented by the Social Development Commission (SDC) to advance economic development of communities through the implementation of an integrated community development strategy. The LEDSP is designed to provide 4 core areas of support to MSMEs in communities. These include Capacity Building, Networking and Building Partnerships, Direct Support and the Implementation of an Incentive Scheme. The SDC will also be developing a database that will serve as a hub for networking among the partners under the programme.

Importantly, the Prime Minister noted that Capacity Building will enable grassroots communities to develop business plans and other documents, and manage their enterprises effectively. “For these community businesses to thrive, the strengthening of the capacity of business owners is vital,” she emphasized. Community Development Committees, Development Area Committees, and Parish Development Committees, will also benefit from these capacity building initiatives.

“Ultimately, the Local Economic Development Support Programme will lead to increased benefits for our citizens from an expanded local economy that improves the quality of life for all,” Prime Minister Simpson Miller added, noting that the promotion of MSMEs is a priority area for her Administration.

The LEDSP builds on a range of existing MSME Government support progammes and is sponsored by HEART – NTA and the Caribbean Local Economic Development