The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) will this year host the 9th staging of its annual Small Business Expo & Conference as well as mark 15 years of operations in Jamaica. Charged with the mandate to assist in the development and sustainable creation of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Jamaica, the JBDC has facilitated the development of many local businesses through the network brokering approach, ‘from concept to market’.
Under the theme, ‘Opening the Door to Financing Opportunities’, the Expo and Conference is being hosted in partnership with the National Commercial Bank and will be held on Thursday, May 12 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
As is customary, the expo will feature a plethora of exhibitors including representatives from financial institutions, government agencies and marketing support companies. This year, the expo will also feature a number of micro-entrepreneurs who are doing their part to create wealth, provide jobs and build the local economy. These include AJ Draughting & Associates which was recently awarded as the most improved entrepreneur, after his participation in Season 5 of the Innovators TV show. Other participants include Taylor Made Events & PR Management, another participant in the Innovators, Body by Sam – a fitness and healthy lifestyle transformational firm; and Rose Tyrell, long-standing JBDC client who supplies stylish, handmade footwear made from leather and crochet.
Additionally, several exciting speakers will present in informative and exciting workshops and information sharing sessions. Among the areas to be covered in the workshops are: Listing on the Stock exchange, Making Your Business Pitch Ready, Venture Capital and Crowdfunding, Youth Entrepreneurship, Proposal Writing and Opportunities in New Media.
The expo will also have a heavy emphasis on youth entrepreneurship with presentations from young entrepreneurs making a mark in their industry. Renewable Energy Consultant, Innovator and Founder of Kimroy Bailey Robotics and the KB Foundation, Kimroy Bailey is scheduled to conduct a Robotics presentation and demonstration which is expected to elicit both excitement as well as inspire new ideas in entrepreneurship. The principals of eMedia Interactive, Jamaica’s first online media company, Javette Nixon and Tyrone Wilson will also showcase several opportunities in new media.
The main speaker for this year’s expo is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EduFocal, Gordon Swaby. EduFocal is an e-learning web application for students sitting CSEC and GSAT examinations. Swaby was recognized by the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica in 2012 as one of the 50underFifty business leader awardees. He was also named in 2014 by the Inter-American Development Bank as one of ten innovators in the Latin American and Caribbean region.