JAM | Mar 13, 2023

The Honey Bun Foundation, JMEA, sign MOU to empower SMEs

/ Our Today

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From Left: Executive Director of JMEA Kamesha Turner-Blake, John Mahfood, President of JMEA and Michelle Chong, Founder of The Honey Bun Foundation signs an MOU for the JMEA to offer The Honey Bun Foundation’s Advisory Committee to its members. (Contributed photo)

Local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are set to get a big boost by way of an Advisory Committee Model developed by The Honey Bun Foundation, which will be adopted by the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) to benefit its member companies.

On Wednesday (March 1), leaders of the JMEA and The Honey Bun Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), giving JMEA member companies, 30 per cent of which are categorised as ‘small companies’, access to the model and indicating the JMEA’s commitment to follow the Foundation’s tried and tested strategic roadmap to help give the businesses a boost.

“One of my biggest dreams was for the Foundation to partner with the JMEA. This marks a very important day for me,” said Michelle Chong, founder of The Honey Bun Foundation at the signing ceremony held at Honey Bun’s Retirement Crescent offices in Kingston. “We want this programme to reach across the breadth of Jamaica to help small businesses grow. We are going to use this to change Jamaica,” she added.

Michelle Chong

President of the JMEA, John Mahfood, in commending Chong on her initiative, said, “Not only does she care a lot, but she also wants to do something for the economic benefit of Jamaica. What the Honey Bun Foundation is doing will reach more people. The strength of the JMEA with a small nimble organisation like the Honey Bun Foundation, is going to help the process of getting to those companies who we need to help.”

The Honey Bun Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of Honey Bun Limited, developed the Advisory Committee Model as part of its mandate to create various business empowerment models for SMEs to help them grow and thrive. The Advisory Committee Model pairs qualifying SMEs with teams of expert advisors from various fields. The SMEs follow the guidance of the experts for a period of 12 months, while utilising a strategic roadmap developed by the Foundation. The engagement between SMEs and the Advisors follows clearly outlined terms of engagement that ensure accountability.

The Honey Bun Foundation recently closed the first run of its Advisory Committee Model which it led with the support of a team of advisors, dubbed ‘Nation Builders’, who guided participating SMEs to unprecedented results, with one business reporting a 30 per cent increase in profits.

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