The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is celebrating 20 years as the Government’s premier agency for supporting the development of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector in Jamaica.
Established in 2001, the entity provides business development services from concept to market.
These include offering guidance for business start-ups and expansion; business advice and consultation; research services; business monitoring, training and capacity-building; project management services; financial advice, design and product development, as well as market penetration support and access.
Speaking with the JIS News, Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira, explained that the entity emerged out of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).
She noted that the Government identified the need for an organisation of its kind to drive the development of the MSME sector.
“We were originally a department called Productivity Centre (within JAMPRO), where we negotiated technical assistance, and what we found was that there were a number of fragmented projects that provided support to the MSMEs, but we felt that this was not adequate. We worked to come up with a programme that would rationalise the support and development of MSMEs,” she said.
“We recognised at the start that this was a sector that needed the full support of the Government and to be an advocate to help with the decisions to be made, and that was the genesis of this organisation,” she added, noting that the “data showed that there was significant contribution that the sector could provide to economic development locally”.
Ms. Veira expressed pride in the work that the organisation has done to further the advancement of the MSME sector locally.
“It has been encouraging for us that the sector has been on the lips of everyone,” she told JIS News.
She noted that “our financial support systems have really been enhanced, as we recognise that the sector can really contribute, and the Government, along with international agencies, has come on board to facilitate the development of the sector”.
“We are now managing several programmes that ensures that our MSMEs are being supported and the MDAs have worked so well with us to help make the JBDC a household name,” Ms. Veira added.
The JBDC has organised several activities to mark its 20th year of operation.
These include a virtual thanksgiving service for staff members held on July 1; a 20th anniversary awards ceremony on July 28; a special anniversary edition of the ‘Quarterly’, the JBDC’s Business Dialogue Magazine; and month-long social media highlights of the JBDC’s top-20 achievements and milestones in July.
WRITTEN BY: ROSHEIKA GRANT
Source: JIS News