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Updated MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy presented to stakeholders

Friday, January 26, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Stakeholders in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector got an opportunity to review the Updated MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy and offer their suggestions, comments and recommendations before it returns to Cabinet.

This was at a workshop hosted by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston yesterday.

The policy serves as a comprehensive framework for the implementation of strategies to support the growth and development of the MSME sector, addressing the needs of businesses over the entire investment life cycle.

It involves a structured approach to business plan development and project design; screening and evaluation of business plans; and rigorous risk-management assessments, buttressed by a window for financing that includes various forms of debt as well as equity facilities.

Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Donovan Stanberry, who addressed the session, said the new policy, which is at Green Paper stage, will support thousands of Jamaicans.

He noted that it will help to bring informal commercial operators into the formal economy.

“There are people, in their own small way, who have been exporting without any support from the State, without any fanfare and it's our duty and responsibility to harness that huge potential and bring the support to these people, because, in their own way, they are creating jobs,” Stanberry said.

He noted that the ministry's mission is to facilitate and create the kind of policy, legislative and supportive framework to provide those people with the tools they need to maximise their potential and create value for this country”.

The review of the 2013 policy, which began in 2016, is intended to make it more relevant and current to the changing economic landscape and reflect development goals.

The priority areas include creating an enabling business environment, increasing financing to the sector, enhancing business development support, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, social value creation, and tackling cross-cutting issues for MSMEs.

In December 2016, workshops were held and the first draft of the policy was developed.

In September 2017, it was sent to Cabinet where it was approved and tabled as a Green Paper in the House of Representatives in November.

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