The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce has partnered with the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB) to undertake a national initiative to strengthen the capacity of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) across the country.
Dubbed ‘The MSME Business Roadshow’, the national outreach will expose MSMEs to the network of support services offered by the Ministry, its agencies and partners.
It will provide entities with information about and access to business development services, promote awareness of financing opportunities, as well as foster connectivity between markets and customers.
The objective is to foster the growth and development of the MSME sector, which currently contributes about 44 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
The IDB is providing a grant of approximately US$250,000 to fund the initiative.
Addressing the launch on Tuesday (May 30) at the IDB offices in St Andrew, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator Aubyn Hill, said “this strategic and focused effort to engage with and strengthen the MSME sector, through this MSME roadshow, is critical to the country’s long-term economic growth”.
He said that among the service providers is the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), which will stage capacity-building workshops aimed at increasing the participation of MSMEs in public procurement activities, as well as to sensitise them about available opportunities.
General Manager, IDB Caribbean Country Department and Country Representative for Jamaica, Tariq Alli, commended the Government for embarking on the roadshow.
He said it will promote inclusion of MSMEs across the island, while addressing several major challenges faced by these enterprises. These include managing intellectual property, meeting and maintaining standards, internationalisation and export, and access to financing.
“MSMEs are critical drivers of sustained economic and social development in Jamaica. Development cannot happen without their growth, and we hope that with such initiatives this will help to make the life of entrepreneurs a little easier and support the as they seek financial success,” Alli said.
The plan is for the roadshow to begin in the Corporate Area in July before journeying to Ocho Rios, Mandeville and Montego Bay. Discussions to expand the roadshow to other parishes are under way.
Participating entities will be required to register via an electronic platform.
There are currently more than 4,,000 MSMEs operating in Jamaica, and MSME sales account for 13.4 per cent of government revenue or $220 billion in taxes.
MSME actors account for 15 per cent of Jamaica’s total population and 34 per cent of Jamaica’s labour force.