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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government will be deliberate and instrumental in supporting the development of businesses to enable growth of the country’s economy.
  • Mr. Holness was addressing an awards presentation ceremony for the Development Bank of Jamaica’s (DBJ) pilot project, Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE), at the Spanish Court Hotel, today (July 19).
  • “My Government is playing the role of the market-maker. We are developing the entrepreneurs, we are matching resources with opportunity, and we are also going out there bilaterally, talking to countries (and) establishing the fundamental, political and diplomatic relationships… that when you create the next big thing, that it’s not just big in Jamaica, it’s big all over,” he said.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government will be deliberate and instrumental in supporting the development of businesses to enable growth of the country’s economy.

He said this involves supporting the development of the entrepreneurial skills and the growing of markets.

Mr. Holness was addressing an awards presentation ceremony for the Development Bank of Jamaica’s (DBJ) pilot project, Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE), at the Spanish Court Hotel, today (July 19).

The Prime Minister noted that the administration has been focused on using foreign policy to seek new markets and establish new relationships. He said the CARICOM region, as well as Latin America and even China, should be treated as potential markets for firms to see growth.

“My Government is playing the role of the market-maker. We are developing the entrepreneurs, we are matching resources with opportunity, and we are also going out there bilaterally, talking to countries (and) establishing the fundamental, political and diplomatic relationships… that when you create the next big thing, that it’s not just big in Jamaica, it’s big all over,” he said.

Mr. Holness said the recently established Economic Growth Council, which he chairs, is working to create a better regulatory environment for the business sector as well as improve the availability of credit and financing for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

“That is how you grow an economy. We are clear on what we are doing. We are developing the MSMEs and we are going to grow them. And, we also want to grow businesses that are already big by growing their markets,” he said.

Through DBJ’s IGNITE project, 27 entrepreneurs were awarded up to $4 million each, or 70 per cent of a project cost, to implement innovation activities in the creation and growth of new firms in the productive sectors.

The grants are provided through Business Service Intermediaries (BSIs), which will be responsible for channeling the funds to the entrepreneurs and firms; contributing to the presentation of proposals; and assisting the DBJ in the monitoring of agreed objectives.

The selected BSIs are the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), and the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Prime Minister Holness hailed the programme and commended the DBJ for pairing this initiative with resources from the private sector. He said this principle will be used throughout the public sector as a way of recalibrating Government resources to enable efficiency.

“The things that Government does not need to do, we will not do it; we will pass it on to the private sector to do it,” he said.