JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce, Senator Kern Spencer, has called on entrepreneurs in the micro, small and medium enterprise sector to utilise the opportunities that are available from small business incubators, as there was a link between business incubators and economic development.
Senator Spencer who was speaking today (Oct. 11) at the two-day inaugural forum on Business Incubation and Entrepreneurship, at the University of Technology’s Innovation Centre, on Old Hope Road, informed that business incubation has been a strategic consideration in most successful economies.
Pointing to statistics from the United States, he noted that business incubators increased the business survival rate of start-up businesses from 35 per cent to 87 per cent. He added that countries that had benefited economically from the use of small business incubators include the United States, India, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Malaysia, and Panama.
Senator Spencer informed that research had shown that business incubators have the potential to create jobs, revitalise neighbourhoods, commercialise new technologies, and strengthen local and national economies.
“We expect the same kind of positive results that have been garnered from incubators in other societies will be true, not only in Jamaica but also across the Caribbean, where the region is ripe for the developmental push that can be derived from incubators,” he said.
The State Minister noted that the government was aware of the many benefits that could be derived from small business incubators, and as such it had already initiated two pilot projects. These are the Small Business Incubator Project and the Community-based Production Centres (CPCs).
The Small Business Incubation Project, he informed, “has the overall goal of facilitating the creation of employment opportunities.the CPCs will employ persons from the general community and facilitate private business, creating employment opportunities in communities. The CPCs will also be involved in the production of goods with tangible support from the government to assist entrepreneurs and innovators with the productive process”.
“We see business incubators as a means of achieving a wide range of our economic and social objectives, not just employment, but also our objective of raising the rates of enterprise formation, technology upgrading, the stimulation of research in new areas, and in empowering socially disadvantaged groups such as the poor, unemployed, youth, and our women,” he said.
Senator Spencer commended the Technology Innovation Centre for being the first business incubator in Jamaica, and one of two in the Caribbean.
The forum is being held under the theme: ‘Business Incubation and its impact on national development’.

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