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JBDC stages small business conference May 22

Friday, May 02, 2014    

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THE Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) will be staging its annual Small Business Exposition and Conference on Thursday, May 22, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

Now in its seventh year, the conference will feature a mix of local and international business leaders; trade support and facilitation advisors; wealth advisors and business development specialists, who will be providing the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with industry information on how to effectively manage their businesses and capitalise on investment opportunities.

The small business expo will bring more than 35 exhibitors on the conference floor from a variety of industries, including manufacturing, telecommunications, banking, accounting, transport, business, technology, and shipping.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet with these organisations and access business support services for various products and services.

Highlights at the exposition and conference will be interactive panel discussions, mini-workshops for specific support areas, financial consultations, business clinics, as well as peer-to-peer mentoring and general business development support.

Speaking at the recent launch of the event, in Kingston, Corporate Communications manager at the JBDC, Keneshia Nooks, said the discussions will be centred around this year's theme: 'Positioning MSMEs for the Global Supply Chain' and will include topics such as: How MSMEs fit into the global logistics hub; business clustering participating within the global value chain; trade facilitation; securing return on investment through research and development; and how to attract and secure international funding.

"Since Jamaica is set to gain numerous opportunities from the implementation of the world's fourth logistics hub, we were certain that the focus of this year's expo would be to educate, especially our micro and small businesses, about how they can benefit from the anticipated opportunities," Nooks said, adding that the whole intent is to simplify the discussions to ensure that the MSMEs understand how they fit in and could operate in a global environment.

"For the first time last year, we will introduce a feature called face time workshops where participants will be able to interact with industry experts through direct discussions and peer-to-peer mentoring on specific topics. This received overwhelming commendations from our participants and this year we have included a separate space outside of the main conference floor for this particular activity," Nooks said.

These special workshops will focus on digital marketing solutions for small and medium sized businesses; using technological tools to improve efficiency; financing options available to assist suppliers in meeting local and foreign buyers' demands and business incubation.

"The JBDC expo has truly evolved and is seen as the official small business event of the year, providing a host of opportunities such as investment and financing, technical advice and market access. The staging of the event is one of our many commitments at the JBDC to providing opportunities that champion small businesses to create wealth and employment for many Jamaicans in various communities across the island," Nooks explained.

— JIS

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