The Government is to establish a national consultative working group for micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSME) this year as part of measures to further develop the sector.
This was announced by Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, at the opening ceremony for the Jamaica Business Development Corporation’s (JBDC) ninth annual small business exposition and conference, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, May 12.
Mr. Samuda said the working group will be pivotal in implementing the administration’s policies and programmes for the MSME sector over the next three years, including improving access to financing.
Highlighting further initiatives to assist the MSME sector, the Minister informed that a two-year pilot project will be undertaken during the 2016/17 fiscal year, aimed at providing product marketing assistance for 30 new small businesses with innovative ideas.
In addition, 120 MSMEs will also benefit from capacity building workshops to enable them to design and execute business models. “This will improve their ability…to access financing. It is expected that at least 10 per cent of the participants will be listed on the Junior Stock Exchange,” Minister Samuda pointed out.
Another 300 small businesses will be engaged in developing projects that contribute to economic growth and job creation. “Participants will benefit from the opportunity for funding by matching them with investors throughout the island,” the Minister said.
The expo, which was held under the theme: ‘Opening the Door for Financing Opportunities’, coincided with the JBDC’s 15th anniversary.
It attracted 28 exhibitors representing government agencies, financial institutions, and marketing support companies, and featured presentations delivered by speakers at several workshops and seminars.