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Social enterprise training for MSMEs, social enterprises

Friday, July 10, 2020

Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) has partnered with Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and Sagicor to stage a social enterprise round-table and grant proposal writing workshop aimed at helping the development of the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector and social enterprises (SEs).

According to JBDC Chief Executive Officer Valerie Veira, the corporation recognises social enterprises as an emerging component of the MSME ecosystem — one that has the potential to significantly contribute to the social fabric and economic development of the country.

“Social enterprises will be of greater relevance as Jamaicans prepare to rebuild their lives and livelihoods, which were greatly impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19),” she said.

The initiative, to be held under the theme 'Doing well by doing good: Monetising the impact of Social Enterprises', is expected to run from July 28-31, commencing with the round table on day one and the proposal writing sessions on the following days.

The round table targets social entrepreneurs, financiers, policymakers and investors and will explore the role of SEs within the MSME sector. The sessions will also seek to explore 'monetising the impact of SEs', 'attaining economic growth without compromising social impact', 'getting Jamaica's SEs investment ready' and 'accelerating investment ready SEs through the JSE'.

Following the round table, approximately 50 social entrepreneurs will participate in the grant proposal writing workshop. A high point of the workshop will be a Pitch Perfect competition which has a cash prize of $150,000. SEs must satisfy the requisite criteria in order to be selected for the workshop.

Workshop participants will be exposed to the dynamics of proposal writing from a donor's perspective. They will also construct proposals for business and development projects as well as become empowered to write winning proposals.

“Our partnership with the JSE and Sagicor has afforded us to charge a minimal fee at this point as we are aware of the challenges facing our client group,” Veira disclosed.

The workshop, which would have cost $19,000 per person, is now $4,000 per person on the premise that each participant applies and qualifies for the scholarship. The deadline for applications is July 22.

— Kellaray Miles