Twenty four (24) employees of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) recently completed an intense two-week ‘Training of Trainers Workshop’ being conducted by experts from the Lunberg University in Germany. The workshop conducted in March 2016 is aimed at enhancing the team’s skills to deliver the upcoming Personal Initiative for Entrepreneurship training programme for approximately 1050 Jamaican Micro, Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs). The workshop is the first phase of the recently announced US$236,974 project – Testing the Viability of an Innovative Business Training Method for Entrepreneurs in Jamaica.
Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira says the training project is the first of its kind in Jamaica. “As pointed out in our Mission Statement, we pride ourselves on having highly committed, competent and motivated employees. We strive to not just hire those among the best in the field, but also to hone their skills so that they remain in touch with and ahead of industry trends, fully equipped to deliver optimal service to our clients within the MSME sector. As the agency mandated to develop the sector, we also recognise the training of entrepreneurs as a significant part of our methodology in achieving our objectives. Over the years, we have consistently developed and implemented several training initiatives to better equip our entrepreneurs to successfully grow their businesses, and ultimately, the economy. As such, we take very seriously, our ability to train these entrepreneurs by first ensuring that we ourselves are fully qualified to deliver,’’ she said.
The employees, consisting mainly of Business Development Officers, were trained in the following Personal Initiative for Entrepreneurship areas: goal setting, entrepreneurial mindset, overcoming barriers, opportunity identification and action planning. “We are confident that this project will have the desired impact following implementation with the selected MSMEs, as the Lunberg team has tested the methodology worldwide and conducted research to prove its success,” she added. The Lunberg team included Professor Michael Frese, Daniel Verch, Mona Mennsann.
Project Management & Research Manager at the JBDC, Lisa Taylor-Stone says “the project will also test the training methodology for MSMEs 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. Cognitives skills include the aforementioned Personal Initiative areas, while non-cognitive includes day-to-day business practices. 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.”
The project is being jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Development Bank of Jamaica and the JBDC. Training for the MSMEs will commence in May 2016.