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Story Highlights

  • The Government is working to simplify the process of starting a business, says Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda.
  • Meanwhile, Counsellor and Head of Development Cooperation, High Commission of Canada, Walter Bernyck, said Jamaica is already establishing a well-developed entrepreneurial ecosystem...
  • It is expected that the workshop will result in a 12-month action plan under which stakeholders will engage in concrete actions to collaboratively build a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem, mobilising resources from the region and overseas.

The Government is working to simplify the process of starting a business, says Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda.

He explained that this is being done to ensure that entrepreneurs follow the stipulated procedures and avoid illegal engagements.

The Minister was speaking at an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development workshop, held at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, today (June 22).

Mr. Samuda noted that it is often “tedious and bureaucratic” to establish a company, which causes persons to “take the short route”.

“We are trying to change that and get people from doing business underground,” the Minister said.

Mr. Samuda said the Government remains committed to supporting the growth and development of entrepreneurship by facilitating access to financial and human capital, providing the necessary education and skills, creating a competitive business environment, and establishing clear regulations that do not put unnecessary bureaucratic burdens on businesses.

“In seeking to facilitate and empower our entrepreneurs, therefore, we take the position that entrepreneurship thrives best in a policy and regulatory environment that keeps barriers low, and where entrepreneurs are able to play a leading role in providing valuable input into policy, and in building ecosystems,” he argued.

Mr. Samuda said creating this ecosystem means facilitating access to domestic and foreign markets; focusing on human capital/workforce development; improving the government and regulatory framework; providing support systems, such as incubators and mentors; and ensuring the availability of education and training, not just for the workforce, but also for entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, Counsellor and Head of Development Cooperation, High Commission of Canada, Walter Bernyck, said Jamaica is already establishing a well-developed entrepreneurial ecosystem that will strengthen partnerships with other entrepreneurs, business enablers, policymakers, universities and financiers.

“This will open the door to greater creativity and innovation, especially among our youth… by building an environment more conducive to micro, small and medium enterprises thriving. Jamaica’s ability to strategically plan to achieve long-term sustainable economic growth will also be strengthened,” he said.

The workshop was staged by Accelerate Caribbean, a programme designed by infoDev/World Bank Group as part of its Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), which is funded by the Government of Canada.

The forum, which brought together incubator managers, entrepreneurs, academics, government officials, donors and investors, focused on the challenges and opportunities present in Jamaica for entrepreneurs.

It is expected that the workshop will result in a 12-month action plan under which stakeholders will engage in concrete actions to collaboratively build a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem, mobilising resources from the region and overseas.