JIS News

KINGSTON — The Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have agreed on the implementation of a business management and customer service software project, which will allow small businesses to engage in proper accounting, human resource and sales practices.

“These are crucial areas within the small business sector…we want to assure (the IDB) that their contribution is very valuable, and I have no doubt that it will contribute immensely to the development of the small business sector,” Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon Karl Samuda, said at the press briefing and signing at his Ministry, New Kingston offices, Tuesday (April 19).

The Ministry is contributing $5.4 million (US$63,000) of the total project cost of US$213,000. The software will serve the small business sector at a minimal cost, beginning with a 15-month trial period.

“What we have discovered is that small businesses that start without the appropriate training and background and knowledge of how to do business, about 80 per cent of them fail within the first two years. Those who are exposed to a proper system, proper management structures, will go on to become successful,” Mr. Samuda said.

President of the SBAJ, Dalma James, said the use of proper accounting records, in small businesses, needed much to be desired. He said that, in many cases, operators who have the systems are not fully aware of how to use them, and the SBAJ has decided that it is imperative to address the issue.

“What we have decided to do is to come up with an Internet-based accounting system which, at minimum cost, a small business in Jamaica can plug in, do their accounting (and) have the most powerful, up to date machinery at their fingertips,” he explained.

“We are quite sure that something like this is definitely going to improve the level of performance and productivity in the country,” Mr. James added.

Mr. Samuda also emphasised that his Ministry remains prepared to work closely with the sector, providing funds to enhance players who lack capital

 

By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter