See service as business, small operators told

Sunday, December 13, 2015

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Deputy chief executive officer of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Harold Davis wants self-employed people,
including farmers and creative-industry practitioners, to pay more attention to building a business.

Davis told an entrepreneurial forum in Mandeville last month that small operators should look beyond being self-employed and self-sufficient.

"You have to think about the right product for the right market, you have to think about the financing options… You have to think about technology. You have to think it through and strategise in a way that will make it work," he said.

Davis’s address came as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week put on by his organisation, which is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

The open day and exposition was organised under the theme "Going for Growth" and in partnership with the Jamaica Civil Service Association, the Rural Agriculture Development Authority (RADA) and Scotiabank.

"Entrepreneurship is the base on which any striving economy will grow. Certainly for developing countries like Jamaica, entrepreneurship … small business in particular, is what’s going to grow us into the prosperity that we seek. If we are going to be growing on the shoulders of entrepreneurship we have to make sure that (your businesses) are strong," said Davis.

Scotiabank branch manager in Mandeville, Earl Blake, told the audience, which included students, that it is important to lay the right foundation for productive work.

He reinforced the need to have a vision and timeline for the growth and development of any business.

"Preparation is really everything," said Blake noting that having a financial advisor is recommended and that debts should be serviced honestly.

The credit bureau is now in place to keep borrowers in check, he said.

Peter Thompson, principal director of technical services at RADA, used the opportunity to commend Manchester farmers and extension officers for their work.

He noted that Manchester was listed as number one in domestic agricultural production. It was the leader in Irish potato production as well as protected agriculture, with almost 60 per cent of greenhouses in Jamaica. The parish also boasts a successful agro park at New Forest/Duff House in South Manchester, Thompson said.

The event was held during Civil Service Week and also as part of the recognition for the RADA, which is in its 25th year of service to Jamaica.

There were a range of exhibitors and activities including a farmers’ market at the RADA Complex.

— Alicia Sutherland

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