The island of Jamaica is filled with beautiful flora and fauna, buzzing with industrious Jamaicans hustling and making a living in various sectors across the island. The lively pulse of entrepreneurship is in no regard weakened in the western part of the island. In fact, there are many opportunities and with that also the need for business development support.
Entrepreneur Weekly, is highlighting entrepreneurship in the parishes of St. James and Trelawny and the interdependence of the ecosystem in those parishes. Business is beyond ‘Town’ and there is a wide array of industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and tourism. Recently, Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett said “Jamaica is well on its way to achieving its 2022 projections of total visitor arrivals of 3.2 million and total revenue of US$3.3 billion.” These visitors have the capacity to be served to a large extent by local entrepreneurs in these specific parishes.
Doing Business in Trelawny
Trelawny and St. James are known predominantly for their involvement in tourism, agriculture and manufacturing. According to the local Chamber of Commerce, “Trelawny is in fact conveniently located 30 miles west of the resort town of Ocho Rios and 15 miles east of Montego Bay. She boasts a two-berth, triangular peninsula cruise ship port that easily accommodates the largest cruise ships in the world.” There are numerous hotels, villas, guest houses, restaurants, attractions, beaches and shops that entrepreneurs within fields such as gastronomy, cosmeceutical as well as gift and craft can provide their products and services.
Agriculture is another main focus of Trelawny’s contribution to the economy with their production of yams, bananas, coconuts, and breadfruits, which are grown for export as well as local consumption Trelawny goes down in Jamaica’s history as the parish with the most sugar estates and sugar factories.
Entrepreneurs and individuals interested in pursuing entrepreneurship within this parish have opportunities to find themselves serving on the value-chain of whichever industries, creatively adding their unique and modern take to business.
Doing Business in St. James
The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce said “The capital Montego Bay is a complex city. It is a commercial centre, the tourism capital of Jamaica, Western Jamaica’s regional nexus and the most fast-growing area economically in the country outside of Kingston and the corporate area.” As one the island’s major tourists’ spots, entrepreneurs have a myriad of business opportunities at their disposal such as entertainment, gifts and craft, tours to name only a few. Entrepreneurs can conceptualise solutions and fit their products or services wherever in the ecosystem they see available.
According to JAMPRO “Thanks to our strong manufacturing history, the sector has consistently achieved between 8 and 9% of GDP, over the last few years.” Manufacturing in the parish of St. James is another major industry, within which entrepreneurs can consider to build and expand, supplying their services to the commercial and tourist businesses in the parish.
Exploring the Linkages
The Tourism Demand Study (2015) report provides an assessment of the demand for agricultural, manufacturing, and entertainment goods and services by the tourism sector.
The total quantity of monthly demand for agricultural products and expenditure on these products, including poultry, meat, and seafood, by hotels represented in the tourism demand study amount to 1.07 million pounds and J$248 million, respectively. The highest demand for agricultural product is in the fruits category where hotels purchase in excess of 500,000 pounds per month but the demand for poultry, meat, and seafood result in the highest monthly expenditure of almost J$138 million. Teas represent the category with the lowest quantity demanded while legumes represent the category with the least value of expenditure.
Processed foods on the one hand and apparel, accessories and textiles on the other, constitute the top two groups of manufactured goods consumed by the tourism sector in terms of expenditure. Together these two sectors account for 68% of the total expenditure of about J$1.94 billion on manufactured goods.
JBDC and Entrepreneurs in the West
Business Development Officer, Simone Morrison at JBDC’s St. James office noted that “Entrepreneurs within the parishes of St. James and Trelawny can stand to benefit from business development support through our fleet of technical and industry services.”
One of the clients served by this business centre is Fervour Amour, which is a Montego Bay based business that produces all-natural handmade bath and body products. Owner of Fervour Amour, Patrice Reid has her products islandwide with a number of businesses in the parishes of St. James and Trelawny being home to her products. Patrice encourages entrepreneurs in the west that, “networking is very key to being successful, go to as many networking events as possible. Also always build on your skill and don’t be afraid to gain new ones.”
“My journey with the JBDC has been a blessing, when I was starting Fervour Amour, they were the first persons I reached out to before I even registered the business, they were even the ones to help me decide on the name.” Continuing she added “the staff is friendly and I really love the service I get and the classes that they offer are also very beneficial.”
Next week, Entrepreneur Weekly continues its Business Beyond ‘Town’ trek across the island with a look at Westmoreland and Hanover.