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The University of Technology’s (UTech) Faculty of Business Management on Tuesday (June 15) launched its School of Entrepreneurship, at a ceremony on the institution’s campus in Kingston.
Housed within the faculty’s Technology Innovation Centre, the school is the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean and will offer a course of study designed to prepare entrepreneurs to start and grow innovative ventures, as well as produce entrepreneurs to generate innovations within existing businesses.
Speaking at the ceremony, President of UTech, Professor Errol Morrison, said the university prides itself on grooming students to “hit the ground running,” creating opportunities for themselves and others.
“We have been grooming our students to come out of this institution not just to ‘go and look a work’, but to be able to create jobs for themselves and for those who may avail themselves of those opportunities,” he said.
Professor Morrison noted that the Technology Innovation Centre was built in 2002, with a concept of encouraging new start-up business ideas, particularly for micro, mini, medium-sized enterprises. The Centre accommodates persons with ideas, with a facility where they can access e-support, get business planning and the wherewithal to start up a business at a very cost effective level.
“Now we are moving that to yet a new level, wherein, we are taking the ideas of our students, those in business, those ideas which have a potential, as we see it, for some commercial productivity, and we will incubate those,” he explained.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, said it was important to have an entity that teaches people how to do business, stressing that the institute would now have to instill a “spirit of entrepreneurship” in students.
“The challenge that I think this institution is going to have is how to inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship, which does not necessarily have to come from text books,” he said.
Dean of the UTech’s Faculty of Business and Management, Professor Gavin Chen, noted that the school stimulates the entrepreneurial process and inspire people who have ideas and want to start firms.
“We want to be able to provide our students with the basic ideas that will stimulate creativity, make them think outside the box, make them look at what is necessary to form a business, and then provide them with the necessary tools to retard the issues of failure,” he said.
UTech graduate and keynote speaker, CEO of OGM Integrated Communications Limited, Oral McCook, pointed out that through its outreach and instruction, the School of Entrepreneurship can help small businesses become larger and more successful, and help to bridge the divide between the informal and formal economies, or between hustling and enterprise.
“It can help many local enterprises to go beyond our boundaries and take advantage of the opportunities that globalisation has presented,” he said.
To qualify for entry into the programme, applicants should possess five Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) subjects with Grades One, Two or Three as of June 1998, or General Certificate of Education (GCE) O’Level with Grades A, B, or C, which must include Mathematics, English Language and Accounts or a business subject.
Mature applicants may satisfy Prior Learning Assessment Requirements. Application forms are available from the Admissions Office or online at www.utechjamaica.edu.jm.
At the end of the four-year course of study, students, having fulfilled the necessary requirements, will receive a Bachelor of Science Degree in Entrepreneurship.