The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) today signed a US$150,000 agreement as part-funding for a US$236,974 project – Testing the Viability of an Innovative Business Training Method for Entrepreneurs in Jamaica. Approximately 1050 micro, small & medium-sized entrepreneurs are set to benefit from the project, which is the first of its kind to be executed in Jamaica. The remaining portion of the budget is to be funded jointly by the Development Bank of Jamaica and the JBDC. The signing took place at the IDB’s office in New Kingston.
Project Management & Research Manager at the JBDC, Lisa Taylor-Stone says “the outcome of this project is to test an innovative entrepreneurial training programme for micro entrepreneurs using experimental methods. Participants will be divided into three training groups focusing on cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, as well as, both cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Execution time is projected to be over an 18-month period. At the end of the training period, each group will be tested on the growth of their businesses with a view to determining the best training methodology for MSMEs based on comparative analysis.”
In signing the agreement, the IDB’s Country Representative, Therese Turner-Jones said it is well documented that the contribution of entrepreneurs (in MSMEs) is an important factor for productivity and growth, and that the creation of new businesses can foster economic growth and spark innovation. “Further to that, we are also aware that the majority of new businesses fail within their first year of operation. This demonstrates that among other things, improvement is needed in the way we train our entrepreneurs. As such the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through its subsidiary the Multilateral Investment Fund(MIF) is pleased to partner with the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) on this project; Testing the Viability of an Innovative Business Training Method In Jamaica in a bid to generate empirical evidence on alternative, effective micro entrepreneur training programs,” she added.
Valerie Veira, Chief Executive Officer at the JBDC, says the agency is proud to launch yet another programme to develop the MSME sector. “This has been our mandate for the past 15 years of the agency’s existence and we continue to challenge ourselves through adequately researching the sector and determining its needs and ensuring that we work feverishly to address those needs. We want to see our MSMEs operating at levels consistent with international standards and the only way they can achieve that is through adequate training and effective business management” she said.
The IDB will begin training select JBDC team members on February 29 over a two-week period, following which they will implement the project.