In September 2014, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) mandated by the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce (MIIC) launched the Mobile Business Clinic Initiative (MBCI) under the theme ‘Strengthening the Capacity of Jamaican MSMEs’.
The initiative which involves both the public and private sector has as its main objective the “decentralization of Business Development services”. This means that through the project, entrepreneurs from across the island, across industries and in particular new industries, were provided with easy access to business development support services over a one year period.
The MBCI was executed in major towns and remote communities across Jamaica utilizing a mobile unit sponsored by Fidelity Motors and with the participation of fifteen government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, along with lead support from the National Commercial Bank.
Services that were offered include: Financial consultation, Technology Innovations, Business Advice, Consultation and Formalization, Logistics Hub Training, Standards and Certification and Business Modeling.
After thirteen clinics crossing the island, the initiative has impacted approximately 2,199 entrepreneurs. The clinics were implemented through a mixture of one-on-one consultations, workshops and seminars. Clients were also invited to participate in future developmental programmes including Business Mentorship and Hand holding programmes offered by the JBDC.
The general feedback from attendees and exhibitors has been positive, with recommendations for improvements for going forward. Participating partners include; NCB, Nissan, Columbus Business Solutions (FLOW), JAMPRO, Companies Office of Jamaica, Jamaica Logistics Hub Secretariat, Food Safety & Prevention of Infestation Division, JANAAC, Consumer Affairs Commission, Development Bank of Jamaica, Tax Administration Jamaica, Tax Administration Jamaica, and The Gleaner Company & Irie FM.