IDB, PSOJ collaborate on EmpowerJA
The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have launched the EmpowerJA initiative that seeks to fast-track the economic and social development of the country’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as well as large business entities.
The initiative, coined ‘EmpowerJA: Building Bridges for Business Success’, will see the IDB and PSOJ jointly hosting a series of fora, starting in November, that will provide Jamaican firms with information and skills that will aid them in addressing business challenges. Comprising seven sittings, the series will allow participants the flexibility of attending both in-person and virtually, while offering access to the expertise of a wide variety of entrepreneurs.
The series will focus on a number of key areas which both the PSOJ and IDB believe are priorities for Jamaica’s private sector at this time and will drive the improved efficiencies of companies. These include: digital transformation, cybersecurity, data protection, climate resilience, and sustainable workforce development.
“For many years the PSOJ has been the voice of the private sector in our beloved Jamaica, tirelessly working towards the betterment of both our economic and social landscapes. We are unwavering in our commitment to our mission: ensuring that the private sector is fully equipped with the essential knowledge and competencies to remain at the forefront of competition,” PSOJ President Metry Seaga stated during the press launch at the IDB Jamaica office in St Andrew on Thursday.
“We aim to empower Jamaican businesses with the requisite skills and knowledge to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape. Through these forums, we are setting the stage for enterprises to embrace sustainability, innovation and inclusivity,” he continued.
Seaga acknowledged and thanked the IDB for its support in identifying the critical sectors needing attention. Together the PSOJ and IDB will share a “collective focus” on data-driven insights as they seek to address the needs of both MSMEs and large enterprises.
While noting that the two institutions are committed to finding practical solutions for challenges in the global environment that pose a threat to Jamaica’s private sector, Seaga pointed out that one of the biggest challenges is “ensuring that we have a highly skilled workforce.
“This requires not only attracting top talent but also committing to our continuous reskilling and upskilling of our existing labour force. Through initiatives such as the EmpowerJA Series, we can usher in a new era by bridging the skills gap and preparing a workforce that is proactive, prepared and ready for the future,” the PSOJ president explained.
While the IDB continues to support the Government’s development objectives of higher levels of sustainable inclusive growth and debt reduction, it indicated in a recently released country strategy for Jamaica that it is also eager to better serve and partner with the private sector.