JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Over the next three years, micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) will benefit from business development and technical support, under the newly launched Mobile Business Clinic Initiative (MBCI).
  • The MBCI is an islandwide project involving the decentralisation of business development services, geared at reaching a wider group of MSMEs.
  • The initiative will be carried out via mobile office units that will offer a full suite of business development services, in addition to services offered by Government agencies.

Over the next three years, micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) will benefit from business development and technical support, under the newly launched Mobile Business Clinic Initiative (MBCI).

The MBCI is an islandwide project involving the decentralisation of business development services, geared at reaching a wider group of MSMEs in new and existing industries and sectors. It is being spearheaded by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).

The initiative will be carried out via mobile office units that will offer a full suite of business development services, in addition to services offered by Government agencies, including Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the Consumer Affairs Commission, Bureau of Standards  Jamaica, Companies Office of Jamaica, among others.

Main objectives of the project are: to facilitate business formalisation, market access and market entry; to increase awareness of business development services; to provide training, capacity development and technical support; to promote sound entrepreneurial practices through public education; and to sensitize MSMEs about the Government’s reform agenda, including the Secured Interest in Personal Property (SIPP) Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill.

Addressing the launching ceremony, held on September 16, at the National Commercial Bank’s (NCB) Wellness Centre, Phoenix Avenue, in Kingston, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said the Government is committed to developing a comprehensive training and development framework for MSMEs in various areas, so that they can improve their operational efficiencies.

“The importance of micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) is unquestionable. MSMEs are the foundation of today’s economy. These entities are responsible for many of the new jobs created each year in our country, and have the potential to create many new jobs. They must be nurtured, and they must be supported at all levels,” he said.

Lauding the initiative, the Minister said it is a calculated, deliberate effort to strengthen support to the MSME sector, in order to foster growth and improve competitiveness.

He noted that it seeks to integrate the various support organizations in Jamaica and bring them directly to MSMEs across the length and breadth of the island.

“We are facilitating ordinary Jamaicans in growing their businesses, in creating employment for themselves and others, and most importantly, in growing our economy,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Corporate Communications Manager, JBDC, Keneshia Nooks, said the clinics will be implemented in major town centres and remote communities across Jamaica.

She informed that the services to be offered include: financial consultation, technology innovations, business advice, consultation and formalisation, logistics hub training, standards and certification and business modelling.

Importantly, Ms. Nooks added, partners will facilitate value chain linkages through clustering and connections with other business partners, as well as provide expertise in project management, research and business monitoring support.

She said Mobile Clinics will begin on October 29, 2014 and will be held monthly over a three-day period until the close of the pilot phase on September 24, 2015.

“The programme will then be evaluated before the implementation of year two, in late 2015,” she noted.

Two private sector partners – National Commercial Bank (NCB) and Fidelity Motors Limited – have pledged their support to the programme.

During the ceremony, NCB donated $13.5 million to the initiative, while Fidelity Motors will be providing the vehicles.