Prospective Entrepreneurs Urged To Explore Niche Markets

Story Highlights

  • Prospective entrepreneurs are being urged to venture into new niche markets that will provide greater returns for themselves and their businesses.
  • Former President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Brian Pengelley, said the areas they could explore include the approximately $600 billion nutraceutical industry; the US$20 billion bamboo industry; agro-processing; and providing agricultural products for the tourism sector.
  • Mr. Pengelley was addressing a town hall meeting hosted by the Small Business Association, at the Girl Guides Association of Jamaica headquarters, in Kingston, on November 23.

Prospective entrepreneurs are being urged to venture into new niche markets that will provide greater returns for themselves and their businesses.

Former President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Brian Pengelley, said the areas they could explore include the approximately $600 billion nutraceutical industry; the US$20 billion bamboo industry; agro-processing; and providing agricultural products for the tourism sector.

Mr. Pengelley was addressing a town hall meeting hosted by the Small Business Association, at the Girl Guides Association of Jamaica headquarters, in Kingston, on November 23.

As it relates to the nutraceutical industry, he said the country represents one of the largest biotechnical potentials globally, as endemic to Jamaica are 80 of the 116 plants said to have medicinal properties.

He advised persons who may want to supply goods to the tourism sector, to ensure that they can meet the demands of the sector. “The supply chain for the tourism industry has to be very solid, it must be there when it is supposed to be there,” he said.

Mr. Pengelley said while there are tremendous opportunities within the small business sector, operators have to be mindful of several challenges they have to face.

These include sustaining and maintaining their small enterprises, due to a lack of capital; collateral requirements; technical and management assistance; and business education and training.

He reminded entrepreneurs to prepare business plans for their companies, as they “cover most of the pitfalls that you are going to look into.”

Mr. Pengelley encouraged entrepreneurs to seek out grant fund financing from institutions, such as the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ). He informed that the DBJ recently launched a grant fund facility, aimed at boosting the young entrepreneur’s ability to think innovatively and bring new ideas to the local market.

Dubbed, Innovation Grant from New Ideas To Entrepreneurship (IGNITE), the programme, which targets new businesses through existing SME development and incubator programmes, will be implemented as a two-year pilot, to test the grant’s effectiveness in selecting innovative start-ups.

In the meantime, he informed that in 2014, there were 9,871 micro and small companies registered in Jamaica, and of that figure, 6,714 were micro firms with sales in the region of $43 billion, which resulted in the collection of $7 billion in GCT for the Government.

Micro businesses are considered those that employ fewer than five people with sales of less than $10 million; a small business employs six to 26 workers, with sales of $10 million to $50 million; and a medium-size business hires 21 to 50 persons, with a turnover of $50 million to $100 million.

The meeting was held to discuss opportunities and challenges within the sector.

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