JAM | Nov 20, 2023

HEART to train micro business operators in Parade Gardens, Rose Gardens

/ Our Today

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Romaine Allen, director of Life Yard, a social enterprise and community-based organisation, asks a question while at the session.

Some 35 small business operators in the Parade Gardens and Rose Gardens communities of Kingston are to benefit from a micro-entrepreneurship training course administered by the HEART/NSTA TRUST in the coming weeks.

At a recent Project STAR business formalisation session, Stacey Mignott of the HEART/NSTA Trust, told the business operators that the micro-entrepreneurship training will comprise of 70 hours and will equip them with the practical skills and knowledge they will need to run their businesses from day to day, including financing, feasibility analysis, franchising, government regulation and tax.

“We want to be able to empower you because it’s not only the big things that cause the business not to scale, but also the little things that you take for granted,” Mignott said, as she encouraged the gathered participants to formally register their businesses.

“What we are doing is giving training opportunities to persons who are in-charge of their business or who have a business idea, you can be a part of the micro entrepreneurship training,” she explained.

Mignott also informed them that upon successful completion of the course, they will have the opportunity to access up to J$300,000 in funding to assist with their businesses.

Presentations were also made by the Companies Office of Jamaica on how the operators can register their businesses; the National Insurance Scheme on how they can contribute to the scheme to access benefits on retirement; and the National Housing Trust (NHT) on how they can contribute to the NHT and the benefits available. 

Limited market access

According to Project STAR, the session was organised to assist the business operators as the majority of the community-based enterprises in the targeted communities do not operate at the scale of a micro, small, or medium enterprise, or participate in the formal economy. Their enterprises are generally unbanked, have little or no access to credit, and are unable to leverage digital technology. In addition, they have limited market access and no insurance, and many have never benefited from upskilling and business management training, and as such, they do not maintain accounting records.

Project STAR is currently rolling out its business support programme, which falls under its economic initiatives. Among the business operators in attendance were carpenters, plumbers, vendors, tailors, beauticians, artisans, farmers, agricultural traders, cook-shop operators, creatives, among others.

Mary Campbell, a business operator from Windward Road who sells fruit juices, said the session was educational.

“I have enjoyed the meeting. I have learned a lot from all the presenters, especially NHT and the Companies Office of Jamaica, and I am open to any information that will enhance my business,” she said.


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