The month of June was an intense one for the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) as the organization set about engaging MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) across several sectors through training and empowerment initiatives. This, as the agency continues along an ongoing trajectory of extending its reach and impact.
“We recognize that people learn through various means and so we have been very creative in finding more fun and comfortable ways to engage our target audience as a complement to the traditional classroom environment. We have also been more strategic in meeting their needs by adding Saturdays to our calendar, as well as out of town. The feedback on that has been tremendous so we hope to do more,” JBDC’s CEO, Valerie Veira explained.
Money Matters for MSEs
Manager of the Financial Support Services Unit, Melissa Bennett journeyed to the garden parish, St. Ann on June 7, 2017 where she trained 14 micro and start-up entrepreneurs on basic financial management at the EZ Ways to manage your Business Finance workshop held in Brown’s Town. “We have embarked on a mission to deliver financial training through our Business Centres across the island covering areas including: separating personal and business finances, calculating start-up costs, identifying funding options, costing & pricing, calculating break-even, sales forecast & cash budget, setting targets, record-keeping, financial statements and filing taxes,” she explained. According to Ms. Bennett, the ongoing feedback from participants has been encouraging, as the Unit prepares to hit Westmoreland and Manchester over the coming weeks.
The Perfect Finish
On Friday June 9, 2017, fourteen (14) participants proudly displayed their creations at the closing session of The Perfect Finish workshop. Over a four-week period, they were taught design techniques using the metal forging technique. “We are pleased with the work that the participants have done over the period. They have produced exquisite metal products including jewellery pieces, clothing, home décor pieces and more,” said JBDC Training Coordinator, Dania Bennett.
Rose McGhie, who journeyed from Montego Bay every Saturday, shared her vision which is “for Island Vixen to be the first brand that will pop into the mind of both males and females when they think of getting fabulous, unique and handmade accessories.”
Intellectual Property Management Support for MSMEs
Approximately 60 persons including participants, JBDC team members and presenters participated in the National Workshop on Effective Management of Intellectual Property Assets for SMEs. An initiative, workshop organizer, Marie Casserly describes as “an eye opener and rich dialogue between policy makers, entrepreneurs, lawyers and expert international and local speakers on workable solutions in intellectual property protection aimed at bringing Jamaica up to speed with monetizing assets.” The agency is looking forward to strengthening its partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to create and implement similar initiatives designed to provide intellectual property management support for MSMEs. The workshop was staged June 13 – 15, 2017 in Kingston.
Empowering Women Entrepreneurs
When the dust settled, at approximately 7:30pm more than 90 female entrepreneurs had been fully fired up to take on the business landscape having attended the second staging of JBDC’s B.O.S.S LADY (Building Opportunities for Sweet Success) conference held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Saturday June 24, 2017. It was a power-packed day funded by the Commonwealth Countries League and saw inspiring presentations from notable Jamaican females.
The highlight of the event occurred during the first half of the day featuring the well sought after Vision Board Workshop conducted my Nicole McLaren-Campbell, Founder of AIM Educational Services and Author of Make it Count. The second half of the day included: The Jamaican Woman’s Place in Business by Ethnie Miller Simpson, President – Women Entrepreneurs Network of the Caribbean, Financing Her Wealth by Michelle Sinclair Doyley, Manager of Client Education – JMMB, Business Etiquette & Communication by Novia McDonald-Whyte, Senior Lifestyle Editor – Jamaica Observer, The Corporate Woman’s Health & Wellness by Meisha-Gay Mattis, Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Fitness & Nutrition for the Woman on the Move by Kamila McDonald, Celebrity Trainer & Coach and Balancing Love & Companionship with Business by Shelly-Ann Weeks – Relationship Expert. The afternoon session was hosted by Terri-Karelle Reid, former Miss Jamaica World and Brand Manager at the Gleaner.
‘Love’, Lunch ‘n’ Learn
“Come from love; your deepest value,” was the main message that JMMB’s Donna Duncan-Scott had for MSMEs attending the quarterly Lunch ‘n’ Learn empowerment event held at the Knutsford Court Hotel on June 28, 2017. Mrs. Duncan-Scott was the featured successful entrepreneur sharing her company’s journey through her mother’s eyes. Throughout the 90-minute presentation, she urged the more than 30 participants to know their purpose, the value they’re trying to create, to be open and honest, solutions oriented, provide exceptional service, stand for greatness, maintain integrity and to act in the best interest of clients. Mrs. Duncan-Scott also shared challenges faced by JMMB and how the organization overcame them. The first Lunch ‘n’ Learn featured Deiwght Peters of Saint International in March 2017.
It’s beginning to look at a lot like Christmas
Plans are in high gear for the third annual staging of the ‘Christmas in July’ corporate gifting and souvenir showcase implemented by the Tourism Linkages Network, of which the JBDC is an integral member. The official screening of more than seventy (70) potential exhibitors was conducted on June 29, 2017 at the JBDC’s Incubator & Resource Centre in Kingston. “We saw a balanced mix of old and new prospects. There were some interesting new products like a series of ceramic relief orchids; rather fresh and upscale. We also noticed an improvement in presentation by many of the producers,” explained Helen Watt, Things Jamaican™ Marketing Officer. The event also featured workshops on Business Negotiation, Corporate Gift Market and the Buyer’s Perspective. ‘Christmas in July’ is geared at boosting the economy and strengthening the bonds between tourism and other key sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and the creative industries. This year’s staging is scheduled for July 27, 2017.