FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 1, 2022
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) hosted its Business Dialogue Forum on Monday February 28, 2022 at 5:30pm via Zoom. The forum was under the theme “Developing the Manufacturing Sector – Towards an Oil-Rich Jamaica.” The JBDC is slated to open their Essential Oils incubator at their Incubator Resource Center in April. The facility is being developed in response to the market potential and viability of the essential oils industry in Jamaica and will provide a space for growth and opportunity.
In the Business Dialogue forum Mr. David Harrison – Director, JBDC Incubator & Resource Centre noted along with the other panelists the untapped potential of the essential oils industry. He added that “one of the challenges that has caused the industry to not be as sustainable as it can be is the limited resources, one of which is production space. Therefore, the JBDC is pushing forward with the Essential oils incubator project.”
Harrison noted that “the objectives of this project are to establish an organized viable industry, provide rural development, create support for import substitution by using local raw materials. Additionally, the project is aimed at demonstrating that this is a sustainable model for production of essential oils so it can be replicated and scaled.”
The incubator which be housed at the JBDC’s Marcus Garvey Drive office is set to also be a shared incubator space where clients can bring their raw material and produce their own products. Clients also stand to benefit from the gamut of JBDC business development services in a customized way for their specific needs. Harrison added that “we hope that the incubator will be a hub that will stimulate entrepreneurship within the sector.”
Mr. Harold Davis, Deputy CEO for JBDC who facilitated the discussion inserted that “we are confident that the facility will be able to produce in a viable way considering the market research we have done both locally and internally.” The incubator will also house a quality control lab and specialized equipment for packaging. In the near future David Harrison added that “in the next 2 years we are aiming to have this incubator be self-sustaining and self-financing.”
The Business Dialogue forum unpacked various elements of the essential oils industry and the potential for Jamaica’s economy. Mr. Davis noted “the discussion is about developing an industry with all of the elements of the value chain.
To develop an industry properly every step of the value chain has to be viable, from producing at the agricultural level straight up to the retailers.”
The discussion featured Hon. Dr. Norman Dunn, State Minister – Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce; Mr. David Harrison – Director, JBDC Incubator & Resource Centre; Ms. Janine Fletcher-Taylor, Manager, Marketing Services Unit, JBDC; Dr. Charrah Watson – Executive Director, Scientific Research Council; Ms. Berletta Forrester – Manager, Manufacturing – JAMPRO; Miss Joni-Dale Morgan, Managing Director – Morgan’s Creek; and Mrs. Claudine Campbell Bryan – Managing Director, Scentre Yourself.
The panelists emphasized the importance of building out each level of the value chain so that the essential oils industry can be successful. Ms. Janine Fletcher-Taylor added that “we need to invest research and development to ensure the industry is producing quality value added products.” Dr. Charrah Watson of the Scientific Research Council concurred and noted the Council’s role in supporting the industry through research and evaluation of products for quality.
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) was established in 2001 as the premier government agency providing business development services to Jamaican Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)…’From Concept to Market’, JBDC provides guidance for business start-ups and expansion, offering business advice and consultation, research services, business monitoring, training and capacity building, project management services, financial advice, design and product development as well as market penetration support and access. The organisation which operates within the ambit of the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce (MIIC), strives to continually fuel the local economy through its services and programmes designed to support the growth and development of the MSME sector.
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