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GG's I Believe/Monroe College Scholarship launched

Gov’t gets closer to business incubator in digital economy

Saturday, March 08, 2014    

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GOVERNMENT is now a step closer towards the setting up of a national business incubator that will seek to help local and international players to stay in the island and develop their skills and business plans in a digital economy.

"Basically, it will be an incubator where persons who have ideas or who want to develop a business will be able to come in," said Julian Robinson, minister of state, Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining.

He was speaking Thursday at the launch of the Governor General's I Believe Initiative (IBI) Monroe College Scholarship at King's House in St Andrew.

The state minister said people who are interested in, among other things, the building of applications for phones and software, as well as people who are in animation, will be targeted as the focus will be to reach out to persons who are in the digital economy. The centre, he said, is to be launched in the third quarter of the year. He, however, declined to disclose the planned location of

the centre.

"In essence what we will have is a six-month programme where candidates will be given coaching and mentorship guidance to the point where they can develop a business plan, a prototype and can venture out to seek funding. So it's moving from an idea, to where you are close to a business," said Robinson.

"The primary target will be Jamaicans, but it will be open to anybody because one of the major benefits of the incubator is to have cross- fertilisation of ideas," he said.

In the meantime, he said that the ministry has received commitments from a number of private sector partners, in terms of the facility and

other items.

The IBI scholarship is a partnership among King's House, Monroe College, and entrepreneurs James and Manuela Goren for a four-year degree leading to a career in information technology.

Under the initiative, one deserving student will get the opportunity to study at Monroe College's New Rochelle Campus in New York, starting this August.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen said the offering of the scholarship is a response to an appeal by students to the IBI for financial assistance to pursue tertiary education. The IBI, of which the Jamaica Observer is one of the partners, was launched in 2011 to encourage Jamaicans to aspire to excellence.

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