An agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce, the JBDC is Jamaica’s premier business development organisation working collaboratively with government, private sector, as well as, academic, research and international communities.



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WITH EASE of access to information on potential markets and industries brought about by rapid development in technology, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is urging micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to develop well-researched products for maximum profits.

Underscoring the importance of research in product development, Keera Walters, assistant manager of the Business Advisory Services Unit at the JBDC, said, “Knowing exactly what the market lacks and what your customer needs are key to ensuring the type of product you develop. Product development shouldn’t be of your own thinking.”

The needs of consumers have significantly been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, more personalised products are on high demand. Coupled with the wave of businesses that have emerged offering top-quality products, the JBDC said MSMEs need to research rigorously to develop products that people want.

Although research might seem like a technical endeavour, Walters disagrees. She encourages entrepreneurs to conduct their own research without the services of a research professional. “Research means gathering any information that is relevant. It could be if you’re looking to go into cosmetics, for example, do some research on what’s trending on the market, and that could mean browsing through the supermarkets to see the type of products available. That’s research. It also could look like going on the Internet and seeing what’s the latest in your potential industry.”

To determine the market fit for products/services, MSMEs are urged to thoroughly research to understand what customers want to achieve, their pains, their gains, and how your product adds value to their lives.

Knowing what the customer’s exact pain points are is necessary, especially for start-ups, because it helps to set them apart from businesses that are not delivering value to their customers. Tools such as the Value Proposition Canvas is a method of research, especially for businesses with limited resources. This tool is used to understand customers’ problems and producing products or services that solve them.

“At JBDC, we use this tool to help clients identify if their products meet a market need. It does this by looking at the potential target customers and helps the clients to define a profile, such that they can generalise and extrapolate information to say this type of person exists in the market and how many of them there are. And it could do simple things, like statistical reports, where the profiling might be demographic information and you can use statistical information to estimate and that kind of thing,” Walters explained.

The JBDC aims to assist MSMEs with utilising strategies to boost the production of highly competitive products across borders and maximising profitability.

The JBDC is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner –


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