In the midst of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) celebrations, at least one stakeholder group has called for more to be done to move the local sector forward with efforts being guided by a long-term and sustained vision.
President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Jamaica (YEA) Cordell Williams-Graham told the Jamaica Observer that while the week-long celebration provides a great opportunity to reflect on the efforts and to spotlight the work and growth of local entrepreneurs and entities operating in the space, greater focus and energy is needed to propel more of its players into greatness.
“While the week serves as a valuable platform to showcase the vibrancy of the entrepreneurial community, I believe all players recognise that there is much more work to be done and entrepreneurship is more than just a week. At the YEA we believe that this work must be guided by a more long-term vision and we must move away from seeing our micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as just small business but as big ones which have been helping to plant the seeds for Jamaica’s productivity and growth,” she said to the Business Observer.
“We maintain that there is also a need for greater representation and inclusion of entrepreneurs and advocacy groups to be seated at the decision-making tables where they can actually provide the input to drive the sector forward.
WILLIAMS-GRAHAM…while the week serves as a valuable platform to showcase the vibrancy of the entrepreneurial community, I believe all players recognise that there is much more work to be done and entrepreneurship is more than just a week. At the YEA we believe that this work must be guided by a more long-term vision and we must move away from seeing our micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as just small business but as big ones which have been helping to plant the seeds for Jamaica’s productivity and growth
“At the YEA we continue to advocate for partnership and collaboration among all players as this is crucial to ensure that impact is less scattered, more targeted and meaningful. There also needs to also be a greater will among the powers that be to remove the red tape in crucial processes which hinder the prospects for investment, growth and development,” she added.
The YEA, which she said has been working to tackle a number of the real issues with which entrepreneurs continue to be plagued, has been utilising a joined up, strategic and data-driven approach to identify the successes and to iron out the pain points. With the findings from its assessments the entity, through a wide range of activities around coaching and mentorship, said it has been able to design and implement meaningful and impactful programmes that provide sustained visibility, resources, accountability and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs.
“This has helped entrepreneurs to thrive beyond the week and throughout their entire entrepreneurial journey,” Williams-Graham said.
GEW, which is said to have officially started back in 2008 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, has since then grown from a series of events happening only in the US and UK, expanding to other countries worldwide. Through a week-long celebration observed in the second week of November, the contributions of entrepreneurship towards worldwide economic growth are highlighted.
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), which has been leading the charge locally, through a number of planned activities including a church service held on Sunday along with a series of forums, launches and other showcases throughout this week, aims to celebrate and highlight the work of these players.
Deputy CEO of the JBDC Harold Davis, in lauding the growth of entrepreneurs throughout the years, said that the week has been set aside to celebrate the contributions they have made to economies all across the world with a focus on celebrating their drive and resilience.
“In Jamaica we have a similar story to tell where entrepreneurship is the backbone of our economy which continues to help in driving it towards success. This drive to celebrate and introduce entrepreneurship to the populace has led directly to an increase in the number of persons that are turning to entrepreneurship for careers,” he further stated while pointing to its own support and mentorship efforts among others fuelling the growth of the sector.
“At JBDC alone, we steadily see at least 4,000 entrepreneurs every year and based on the strong interest that we have been getting each year, we have no doubt also seen an increase the business of entrepreneurship, and this has been steadily growing over the last few years,” Davis also said while pointing to record increases of new business registrations being reported by the Companies Office of Jamaica as a testament to this.
Source: Jamaica Observer – https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/gew-celebrates-entrepreneurship-but-stakeholder-calls-for-more/