Critical role for universities in entrepreneurial development

BY KELLARAY MILES
Business reporter
milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, July 14, 2019

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In many developed markets, universities play a leadership role in that space”, was a portion of the utterances that came from Joseph Matalon, chairman of ICD Group and First Angels Jamaica, when he addressed the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) conference held recently.

He presented around the topic of 'Enterprise and Entrepreneur in the Caribbean Region'.

In his presentation, Matalon urged the [the] local universities to take their rightful place in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Though he commends the University of the West Indies for convening such a useful conference, he calls on them, among the other universities in Jamaica, even those in the region to “refocus and redouble their efforts”.

This he said they can do by taking on the role of convener and providing thought leadership within the space, allocating greater resource to entrepreneurship education and training — “making it easier for entrepreneurs to gain licensed access to intellectual property derived from research” he further stated.

Matalon also urged these groups to foster closer collaborations with private sector actors in “designing and implementing acceleration and incubation programmes which can provide the mentorship required for aspiring entrepreneurs”. He strongly puts forward his belief in such an approach, as from his experience via First Angels investors in providing support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME); he has found areas in need of improvement and development.

“While many founders are good at developing enterprises, they often lack the broad package of skills and abilities required to successfully build and scale a business,” he adds.

For these reasons, he bids tertiary institutions to become more proactive in leading the charge for entrepreneurial development within the space.


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