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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, is calling on groups that represent Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to consolidate and move towards the common goal of enhancing the productivity of the sector.
“There is not sufficient focus on coming together and saying ‘how can we be consistent in pursuit of service to the micro and small business players so that we can harness all our energies and move in one direction’. We have too many competing groups representing the small business sector, all striving for relevance,” he stated.
Minister Samuda was speaking at a ceremony to launch the University of Technology’s (UTech) School of Entrepreneurship on Tuesday evening (June 15) at the institution’s campus in Kingston.
He lamented that not enough focus is being placed on facilitating the sector’s access to the many benefits and services available, citing a recent survey, which showed that nearly 80 per cent of the persons asked, were not aware of the available facilities outside of the traditional sources.
He noted for example, that the Government has provided $750 million for the micro sector alone to assist persons with ideas and talent but no collateral, and they need to know how they can benefit from these funds.
“The job of the associations that champion the cause of the MSME sector is to inform members of what is available,” he stated.
Minister Samuda also noted that the Government provides technical services to the sector through its Jamaica Business Information Centres (JAMBIC), which will be expanded to every parish.
The School of Entrepreneurship, housed within the Technology Innovation Centre, is the first institution of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean.
It was designed to prepare entrepreneurs to create, start and grow innovative entrepreneurial ventures; and to produce entrepreneurs, who can generate innovations within existing businesses.
At the end of the four-year course of study, students, having fulfilled the necessary requirements, will receive a Bachelor of Science Degree in Entrepreneurship.