Small Businesses to Benefit From NDFJ/MSME Alliance Partnership

Photo: Mark Bell Director General in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vivian Brown (standing, second left) oversees the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between executives of the National Development Foundation of Jamaica (NDFJ) and the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Alliance, during a ceremony at the offices of the Ministry in New Kingston on June 22. Signing (from left) are President of the MSME Alliance, Donovan Wignal, and Chairman of the NDFJ, Dalma James. Also overseeing the process is Manager of the NDFJ, Helia Burkett. The MOU will facilitate training and other support services for small businesses.

Story Highlights

  • Over the next three years, small business owners will benefit from training and other support services under a partnership between the National Development Foundation of Jamaica (NDFJ) and the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Alliance.
  • Representatives from both entities formalised this partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the offices of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, in New Kingston, on June 22.
  • For his part, President of the MSME Alliance, Donovan Wignal, noted that with this training, the number of small businesses that fail, normally 80 per cent, will be reduced.

Over the next three years, small business owners will benefit from training and other support services under a partnership between the National Development Foundation of Jamaica (NDFJ) and the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Alliance.

Representatives from both entities formalised this partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the offices of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, in New Kingston, on June 22.

The NDFJ and MSME Alliance will, initially, offer training courses and workshops as well as back-office support to small businesses.

Other business support services are expected to be offered over the life of the agreement.

Director General of the Industry Ministry, Vivian Brown, welcomed the partnership as “extremely timely… and highly commendable”, which he noted is in line with the Government’s increased emphasis on the development of the MSME sector.

He said that the assistance of private-sector entities, such as the NDFJ and MSME Alliance, is crucial to the Administration’s continued thrust to provide an enabling environment for the growth of small businesses.

Mr. Brown said he is pleased that the capacity building that will be provided under the MOU will help businesses to better deal with some of the obstacles to doing business, such as access to capital.

In the meantime, Chairman of the NDFJ, Dalma James, said he is confident that the expertise the Foundation will impart to small business owners will redound to the good of the sector.

“We are hoping that at the end of the day, we will have business operators who are more educated, more focused, will be able to better manage their business and, by natural extension, they will be seen as less risky. If they are less risky, then the commercial banks and other financial institutions will be more inclined to lend money to these businesses,” he said.

The NDFJ operates a Centre of Excellence which provides training, education and professional back-office support and consultancy for entrepreneurs.

For his part, President of the MSME Alliance, Donovan Wignal, noted that with this training, the number of small businesses that fail, normally 80 per cent, will be reduced.

“This is one more option added to the mix of available training for small businesses, one more avenue for small businesses to break that glass ceiling, to matriculate into major business going forward, and to make themselves more sustainable,” he said.

The MSME Alliance is a small-business support organisation which lobbies on behalf of its members.

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