JBDC partners with international company to provide support for MSMEs during COVID-19

JBDC partners with international company to provide support for MSMEs during COVID-19

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) recently partnered with international organisation CIAL Dun & Bradstreet to deliver critical development services to businesses in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) sector as they grapple with the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a signing ceremony held last week, JBDC Board Chairman Dr William Lawrence said that the move will help members of the sector to recover quickly going forward.

“As you know, the country, like many others has been hard hit and the main driver of economic growth, the business sector has had to grapple with many challenges. A number of surveys suggest that at the lower end of the spectrum, the MSME sector, there is need for special help and this is where the JBDC has always stepped up to the plate. The JBDC has always embraced important partnerships locally and overseas,” he said, while also commending the organisation for its continued work and the alacrity with which it has been assisting the sector since the onset of the pandemic.

CIAL Dun & Bradstreet, headquartered in the United States of America, is a global organisation which has helped clients to survive global crisis, such as recessions, pandemics and other global changes. Through its SME Gold Solutions, small businesses are provided with increased visibility in the local and overseas market and established credibility. Along with tools, such as business IDs, digital badges, business analysis reports, business-to-business (B2B) matchmaking and credibility certificates, MSMEs are equipped with the required apparatus needed to get them to where they should be.

Chief revenue officer at CIAL Dun & Bradstreet, Joe Cohen, cited credibility backed by data as a critical element for growth and identified his organisation's use of data as one that has been accepted internationally to validate suppliers in the export market.

With CIAL Dun & Bradstreet's current management of a database comprising some 40 million businesses across Latin America and the Caribbean region, there are several benefits that could be secured by MSMEs.

“We have seen mature organisations, who, externally, look very strong but unfortunately did not invest the time and resources into making sure they know who their customers are, validating their supply chain, diversifying their supply chain and we've seen them have a very difficult time during the economic impact due to COVID. But we have also seen the other side of the spectrum, which are small and medium-sized organisations that took the time to understand who they are working with, where they need to be prospecting and to ensure their credibility so that when there was a market shift, they were in a position to take advantage of that to maximise that opportunity,” Cohen said.

“That is exactly what this agreement with the JBDC is coming to do. It is coming to support organisations in Jamaica and the Caribbean — enabling you to build credibility and visibility on both a local and global scale,” he added.

The JBDC, during the signing ceremony, also expanded its small business development centre (SBDC) network, this time through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University College of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) to provide further support to the MSME sector.

SBDC Jamaica is managed by the JBDC and includes other organisations such as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), University of Technology, Jamaica (UTECH), College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) and the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

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