A total of 20 micro-entrepreneurs who benefitted from grants under the Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP) II, cycles one and two, were recognized for their outstanding achievements by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
The entrepreneurs are from the communities of Denham Town, August Town and Greenwich Town in Kingston and St. Andrew, Treadlight in Clarendon and Mount Salem, Anchovy, Salt Spring and Norwood in St. James.
Awards were presented in several categories including philanthropy, creativity, and innovation, use of technology in business, social media marketing, entrepreneurship, community service, resilience, and compliance with business regulations.
Speaking at the Enterprise Development Grant Awards Ceremony, held at the AC Hotel by Marriott, on April 6, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill commended the JSIF for its invaluable and timely intervention.
He noted that many of the entrepreneurs were adversely affected by the COVID- 19 pandemic.
“The participants of this programme are contributing to Jamaica’s economic growth. We are aware of the challenges that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) face, and because of this awareness, opportunities afforded through JSIF are created by the Government to help improve the quality of life of all citizens across the socio- economic (sphere),” he noted.
For his part, Managing Director at JSIF, Omar Sweeny said this component was vital, as it gave entrepreneurs a holistic understanding of how to execute strategies to further grow their businesses successfully.
“In the eight communities, we have supported on average 45 microenterprises per community. In future targeted communities of JSIF, we will continue to do [the] business of supporting livelihoods,” he said.
Meanwhile, recipient of the community service award, and owner of Draggon’s Eggs and Poultry, Diane Draggon Smith, expressed gratitude for the support she received under the programme.
“JSIF has helped…by providing equipment that helped to expand the storage capacity of my business, as well as making production operations (faster). I want to say thank you JSIF for what you have done for my business, I am really grateful,” she said.
Under the initiative, beneficiaries received grants to include equipment, tools, and materials, as well as business development support in the areas of costing, customer service, marketing and sales, financial literacy and budgeting, management of business records, and legal compliance.
Participants also received assistance with company registration, as well as support for community outreach activities.
The Integrated Community Development Project II is funded by the Government of Jamaica.
Under the first cycle of the ICDP-II Enterprise Development Awards, a total of 126 Entrepreneurs benefitted from grants totalling $20 million, while under the second Cycle 242 beneficiaries, received funding, amounting to $51.7 million, to boost their enterprises.