Taking on the role of ‘network broker’ in the development of the Micro, Small & Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME), the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) recently coalesced the support of several local and international stakeholders to trigger growth and development of the sector. Under the theme, D.R.I.V.E – Developing Rich Industry Value Chains for Export, the JBDC recently staged one week of stimulating events to mark the celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) (Nov 13 – 19).
Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira, explains that as the government’s premier provider of business development services for MSMEs, the JBDC plays a pivotal role in bringing together stakeholders who can positively impact the development of MSMEs. “Funding is always at the forefront of the minds of entrepreneurs, and although we are making progress, there is still a lot more work to be done in helping the financial sector to understand the way they operate and how their needs can be met as they grow,” she said.
Continuing, she noted that innovation and production levels are crucial to meeting the international demand for Brand Jamaica products. “As such, the JBDC has solicited support to build incubator spaces that allow our producers to meet international standards, and at the same time, spurring them to think and innovate. We cannot do this alone and we recognise the value of partnerships, including other government agencies, to get to the finish line,” she said.
The week of events was made possible through a partnership with title sponsor, Sagicor Bank. Other partners included bronze sponsor Barita Foundation, as well as exhibitors including Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), EXIM Bank, Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), Scientific Research Council (SRC), Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ), and First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union (FHC).
The first event of the week, the Official Opening of Agro-processing Incubator followed by the Business Dialogue Forum was both supported heavily by industry leaders and stakeholders. Under the Increasing the Export Capacity of Micro and Small Agro-processors using the Cluster Approach, the renovation of the agro-processing incubator is funded by the European Union, managed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and implemented by the JBDC.
The incubator will provide assistance to local Agro-processors as well as support the JBDC cluster brand, Jamaica Harvest.
On Tuesday November 14, entrepreneurs in the essential oils industry got to see firsthand what the JBDC
Essential Oils Incubator had to offer in the event dubbed Essential Oils Opportunity Hour & Demo Day. The day saw knowledge sharing from JBDC Experts and industry experts all day long plus live demonstration of oil extraction in the state-of-the-art facility.
Essential Oils is Jamaica’s ‘Liquid Gold’ as demand for natural skin and hair care products rocket. The facility has been developed in response to the market potential and viability of the essential oils industry in Jamaica and provides a space for growth and opportunity. Eager to learn new tricks and tips in the booming essential oils industry, participants turned up their
On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, but JBDC brought the sun to IRC at the Jadire Fashion & Artisanal Showcase. The IRC exploded with colours and curves as models rocked the runway in high fashion Jadire pieces. The space was also fully retrofitted with inspiring home décor made from Jadire fabric.
On Thursday, November 16, entrepreneurs braved heavy rains to attend the Raising Capital Mini-Business Expo which featured exhibitions and consultations with members of the financial sector, as well as key government agencies. The highlight of the day was a robust panel discussion which explored issues including regulatory compliance and funding for MSMEs.