Local entrepreneurs are set to benefit from small business law training under a new partnership between the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) and Street Law Caribbean. The initiative, which will highlight entrepreneurs’ rights and obligations, was announced at a signing ceremony at the JBDC’s Head Office in Kingston today.
Street Law Caribbean, an associate of the UWI Faculty of Law is a not for profit company registered in Jamaica, with a principal objective to demystify the law and to then provide broad-based basic legal education through structured and interactive teaching and learning programmes to the community. In fulfilling its developmental focus, the organization seeks to enter into cooperation agreements with local, regional and international organizations, academic institutions, and other bodies in support of its community outreach and other projects.
The agreement with the JBDC will see the implementation of capacity building and related activities geared more particularly to supporting a deeper understanding of the law and its implications for the small business community in Jamaica. It will also support sustainable economic development programmes and initiatives in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.
Deputy CEO of the JBDC, Harold Davis says areas such as business formalization are critical to the growth of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise sector. “Informal businesses are forced to operate outside a legal system and therefore face restrictions. It impacts negatively on the size of their customer base, which means they don’t realize their full potential in terms of profitability. An informal operation also has limited access to government support which is critical to their growth,” he explained.
In carrying out its mandate to grow the sector, the JBDC has implemented programmes such as the Mobile Business Clinic Initiative (MBCI) aimed at extending its reach to MSMEs islandwide and effectively demystifying the policy framework within which they are required to operate. The Agency’s satellite offices, strategically placed across the island have also been effective in influencing and facilitating this ongoing transformation.
“Street Law Caribbean will be a partner under Phase two of the MBCI scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of the upcoming fiscal year. Part of our collaboration with Street Law Caribbean requires JBDC to lead the way in facilitating dialogue with our client base through outreach activities such as roadshows, seminars, conferences and/or other events in order to exchange experiences and best practices,” said Mr. Davis.
Mr. Davis says the new agreement with Street Law Caribbean will bolster the agency’s efforts. “For example, we want our clients to understand the importance of a formal contract and how they may enter one which is legally binding to secure their rights, protecting both themselves and their suppliers/customers, ” he added.
The Agreement was signed by JBDC’s CEO, Valerie Veira and Dr. Christopher Malcolm, Director – Mona Law Institutes Unit, Faculty of Law, UWI.
Chairman: Cleveland Stewart | Chief Executive Officer: Valerie Veira
An agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries (MICAF)