JIS News

Story Highlights

  • It is targeted at organisations that are directly involved in business activities that generate revenue, which is reinvested to create opportunities for communities.
  • It’s to show them that you don’t just have to rely on handouts and funding, that there are ways in which you can become self-sustaining

Businesses that generate revenue for social, environmental and human development initiatives are to benefit from the staging of a Social Enterprise Summit to be held in Kingston next week.

The event is scheduled for January 26 and January 27 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Being held in Jamaica for the first time, the two-day summit is organised by the Jamaica National (JN) Foundation’s Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

It is targeted at organisations that are directly involved in business activities that generate revenue, which is reinvested to create opportunities for communities. It will provide insight into global trends in social enterprise, and critical factors to ensure the success of such operations in Jamaica.

Project Manager for SEBI, Jennifer Sharrier, said the summit will serve to educate the social sector by bringing local and international experts together to share best practices.

“It’s to show them that you don’t just have to rely on handouts and funding, that there are ways in which you can become self-sustaining,” Ms. Sharrier said, while addressing a recent JIS Think Tank.

“So the summit will cover theory, and it will also be very practical. There will be a lot of handholding and information sharing on how to start a social enterprise…the steps that are required and what are the pitfalls,” she further informed.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, will deliver the keynote address during the opening ceremony on Monday.

Special guest for the two-day summit is Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Social Enterprises United Kingdom (UK), Peter Holbrook, who will point to lessons Jamaica can learn from the UK, which is considered the world leader in social enterprise. He will, among other things, outline the top 10 pitfalls that can be experienced when starting a social enterprise.

Other confirmed speakers include:  Lecturer, Researcher and Director in the Office of Social Entrepreneurship at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Dr. K’Adamawe K’Nife; Chairperson of Social Enterprise UK, Claire Dove; and CEO and founder of Thistle Farm, a social enterprise based in the United States, Becca Stevens.

The sessions will be closed to the public and will cater to businesses and individuals already involved, or are in the process of operating a social enterprise.

However, a marketplace will be staged, where members of the public may view and purchase goods and services from a number of social enterprise organisations in Jamaica.

The marketplace will also be at the Jamaica Pegasus and will open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm over the event’s two-day staging.