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Story Highlights

  • The policy seeks to minimise some of the challenges faced by the sector.
  • The policy’s formulation is consistent with the Government’s 2013/14 strategic priority focus on job creation and economic growth.
  • The Industry Ministry is leading the policy’s implementation, through its key agencies and other private and public support bodies.

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) and Entrepreneurship Policy, which provides a comprehensive framework for the development of the sector, was officially launched on Wednesday, October 29, at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel in Kingston.

The policy, which was launched by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, seeks to minimise some of the challenges faced by the sector, which impede its formation and sustainable growth and development.

The policy’s formulation is consistent with the Government’s 2013/14 strategic priority focus on job creation and economic growth.

The document, recently tabled in Parliament, speaks to, among other things, increased finance to the sector and enhancing business development support. It also aims to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation while tackling cross-cutting issues such as women and youth in business, and persons with disabilities.

The Industry Ministry is leading the policy’s implementation, through its key agencies and other private and public support bodies, including the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), Companies Office of Jamaica, Logistics Hub Taskforce, MSME Alliance, and Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ).

In his address, Minister Hylton pointed out that the MSME sector is a critical pillar of the country’s economic growth agenda, and it is imperative that the Government places entrepreneurship and MSME development at the forefront of the public policy agenda.

He said the launch represents an important milestone in a long overdue intervention by Government to strengthen the environment for MSME growth and development.

“After extensive consultations with various members of the MSME stakeholder community, the Ministry crafted a comprehensive policy that will serve as a framework for implementing initiatives that will support the MSME sector,” he said.

The Minister further noted that while there have been a number of initiatives on behalf of the MSME sector over the years, the MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy is the first intervention framework that offers co-ordinated, coherent and targeted support to the sector, in an effort to expand its contribution to economic growth and development.

The event also marked the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), which is being celebrated in Jamaica for the first time. It is to be observed from November 18 to 22.

GEW, which began in 2007, is recognised as the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators, who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth, and expand human welfare.