Entrepreneurship Assistance Programmes Bearing Fruit
May 2, 2014
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says Entrepreneurship Jamaica, a business competition launched by the National Housing Trust (NHT) to encourage innovative ideas at the community level, has been successful.
During her 2013/2014 Budget presentation last year, the Prime Minister announced the initiative, which provided residents in NHT-built schemes with mentorship to convert ideas into business ventures, that create or meet market demands.
“We are endeavouring to do more to find new ways to facilitate our people, to help them start and maintain viable businesses… over 500 applications (have been) received, this tells me that our people have the desire and the capacity to actively participate in economic activities,” the Prime Minister said as she made her contribution to the 2014/15 Budget Debate in Gordon House, on Tuesday, April 29.
She also highlighted that the JAMPRO Export Max Development initiative, which assisted small exporters recently to generate some $1.4 billion, among 15 operators, is growing export businesses.
“Export Max is assisting small businesses to expand exports…also, the EXIM Bank, last year, saw the highest lending in its history. We are creating an enabling business environment,” the Prime Minister told the House.
Under the Bank’s SME Growth Initiative, small business operators can borrow up to, the Jamaican equivalent of US$500,000, to purchase equipment, and to improve operating facilities, as well as for working capital and debt financing.
“I thank all companies who are facilitating entrepreneurship through sponsorship and corporate responsibility. Every Member in this House has received their fair share of business proposals and ideas; we all have facilitated micro and small businesses, we have put in place programmes to address business facilitation,” the Prime Minister stated.
Mrs. Simpson Miller commended the CHASE Fund, the Sports Development Foundation, and other funding agencies for the projects supported annually.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Jamaica. I commend the National Bakery for their ‘Bold Ones’ project that is helping small businesses to grow,” she noted.
The JAMPRO Export Max Programme, work in conjunction with the Development Bank of Jamaica, Bureau of Standards, Jamaica Public Service, and the EXIM Bank. The agency is expanding the initiative to continue its focused development work with export-ready Jamaican firms.