JAMBIC – Partnerships for MSME support throughout Jamaica
Monday, 16 May 2011 15:18
Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Hon. Michael Stern (left) witnesses the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Dean of the College of Business & Hospitality, Northern Caribbean University, Dr. Andrea Baldwin and Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) to officially open the JAMBIC Centre in Mandeville.  This centre is located at the Morris Entrepreneurial Centre, 1 Brumalia Road, Mandeville.
In July 2006 when the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) launched the Jamaica Business Information Centre (JAMBIC), the idea was to establish a technology based platform through which micro, small and medium enterprises could obtain pertinent business, technical, marketing and financial information.

Five years on, the project has surpassed its initial objective and has accomplished quite a bit more.  Under the guidance of the JBDC and through collaborative efforts with several public and privately based organizations, there are now 12 Centres throughout the island.  These centres provide the widest range of business development services to MSMEs.  The services range from;  Business Plan development, Loan & Grant application processing, website design, internet marketing and training, staff development, employment job bank, marketing and public relations services, business consultations and administrative services.

According to Executive Director at the JBDC, the JAMBIC Centres form the core of JBDC’s outreach into other parts of the island.  “Through the JAMBIC satellite centres, JBDC has been able to extend its reach outside of the corporate area and this is particularly important because there is sometimes a tendency to believe that Kingston is the whole Jamaica.”

“The concept of JAMBIC was built on developing and further enhancing a small business sector which could drive productivity and growth in Jamaica, and while many may say that our achievements are miniscule in comparison to others, JBDC has seen consistent growth in our clients over the years,” Mr. Davis continued.

With a mandate to facilitate the continuous growth and sustainable development of new and existing MSMEs, JBDC has consistently sought partnerships with different organizations to fulfill this edict.  The extensive network of partners includes; Chambers of Commerce in Negril, Hanover, Montego Bay and St. Ann; the Bureau of Standards, Scientific Research Council, Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, Jamaica Employers Federation, Companies Office of Jamaica, Jamaica National Foundation, JAMPRO, Northern Caribbean University and most recently the University of the West Indies, Mona.

While the JBDC/UWI Business Centre will offer the suite of services for which JBDC is most recognized, the JBDC/UWI Business Centre will focus on developing an Ideas and Knowledge Data Bank.  The E-Biz Ideas Bank, as it will be known, will facilitate the brokering of business ideas originating from potential entrepreneurs.  The portal hosts fresh ideas for users including students, lecturers and entrepreneurs where investors after registering to the portal are able to browse for business opportunities listed.  The investors are then able to purchase or enter a joint venture agreement.

In endorsing the new partnership, Head of the Department of Management Studies, UWI Dr. Densil Williams, stated that the collaboration with the JBDC is another practical manifestation of the University’s goal to contribute, in a tangible way, to the economic transformation of the Jamaican and by extension, Caribbean economies.

The new Centre will also focus on developing a Knowledge or Research data bank which is an open source of information based on the needs of the MSME sector.  An assessment of these needs assists students and researchers in identifying the challenges in the business sector and conduct practical and relevant studies that will inform business owners and policy makers of ways to enhance the business environment.  The research bank will also host applicable research on the entrepreneurship and business environment as well as the culture of the MSMEs.

Since the first JAMBIC opening five years ago, over 5000 micro and small entrepreneurs have benefitted from the services.

To see locations, click here.

Contact:           Sancia Campbell


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