The Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) last month signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to signify a strategic partnership to boost entrepreneurship and Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) through the provision of resources which will assist businesses with improving their profitability and sustainability.
The MSBM, as the premier business school in the region, with a rich tradition of providing high calibre business and management programmes, offers a number of Masters Programmes to provide its graduate students with the tools needed to provide technical assistance to businesses. Several of these programmes, including the internationally accredited MBA, comprise of a compulsory Field Project which facilitates graduate students interacting with industry stakeholders to identify innovative solutions and approaches to solving real business problems, thereby providing a practical application of the theories learnt in the programme.
The JBDC is a leading entity in the provision of business support services for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Jamaica, and provides business and technical support as well as business development services to those MSMEs. Both organisations are committed to a sustainable future and to improving the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the communities in which they do business. The partnership is intended to strengthen the growth and development of the MSME sector.
In support of the partnership, Dr David McBean, executive director of the MSBM, stated “this is a very significant alliance as it promotes the MSBM’s commitment to a sustainable future and the boosting of the small business sector as an engine of economic growth. The timing of the partnership is particularly meaningful as the MSBM celebrates a significant milestone this year of 10 years since the merger of the former Mona School of Business and Management and the Department of Management Studies, two formidable forerunners with a rich tradition of providing the highest calibre of business and management education impacting the business landscape of Jamaica and the region.”
Valrie Viera, JBDC chief executive officer, in lauding the collaboration, stated: “This partnership is significant for JBDC as it reflects the core of our mission of providing information, combined with practical application for clients. It is our expectation that both the students and client companies will benefit from the intervention and that innovative solutions will be designed for issues identified. JBDC anticipates excellent results.”
Underscoring the relevance of the agreement, Academic Director for Graduate Programmes Dr Indianna Minto-Coy noted “MSMEs are important to the Jamaican economy with implications for meeting sustainable development goals, including ending poverty, delivering jobs and growth, and reducing inequality. This partnership is therefore, an opportunity for the MSBM to assist these critical actors towards the growth of enterprise and entrepreneurship, while offering students opportunities to develop technical competencies that will redound to the Jamaican economy.”The partnership will see groups of graduate students from MSBM being assigned to undertake a specific project or projects for the MSMEs who are part of the JBDC network, with the aim of enhancing the operations of the entities by applying the knowledge and skills acquired during the students’ course of study.