Project eDrive shifts into gear
Ramsay McDonald (left), deputy chairman, JPS Foundation, and Lauri-Ann Ainsworth (second right), CEO, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship-Caribbean, look on as Gary Barrow (second left), chief operating officer, JPS, greets Clare Bailey (right), head of programmes and strategic partnerships, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship-Caribbean.

The JPS Foundation and IDB Lab have launched Project eDrive, in preparation for the new era of business opportunities expected to follow the approval of the Electric Vehicle Mobility Policy announced on Wednesday, June 8, by the Minister of Science Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz.

The Electric Vehicle Mobility Policy, once signed off by the Chief Parliamentary Council, will allow Jamaicans to import electric vehicles at a concessionary rate of 10 per cent of the value of the vehicle.

Project eDrive, which is being implemented by the JPS Foundation, has been established to support the growth of electric vehicle usage in Jamaica, as well as supporting services. It also aims to create awareness and encourage capacity-building within the sector. This will include technical training, the creation of opportunities for market sensitisation and new business model development.

In light of this, Project eDrive recently hosted a successful five-day boot camp aimed at identifying entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in electric mobility and assisting them in growing their ideas into profitable businesses.

Speaking at the opening session of the camp, Gary Barrow, chief operating officer, JPS, suggested that the introduction of electric vehicles to Jamaica’s automotive sector was just one of the positive impacts of the many developments happening within the energy industry. He shared that the company and its foundation would continue working towards enabling a sustainable environment that supports the use of electric vehicles.

The boot camp was facilitated by Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship-Caribbean and was held under the theme ‘Pioneering Solutions to Energy and Transport Problems’. It saw 30 start-up entrepreneurs within Jamaica’s energy and transport sector being selected to participate.

The sessions focused on different aspects of entrepreneurial success and covered topics such as goal setting, the business model canvas, developing the tool kit to build momentum, validating a business idea and how to successfully pitch same.

Start-up entrepreneurs in attendance were exposed to business best practices by industry experts, including Lauri-Ann Ainsworth, CEO of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship-Caribbean; Clare Bailey, head of programmes and strategic partnerships at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean and Kerrie Richards, founder of Business Growth Rocket.

Through eDrive, the JPS Foundation intends to fully build out an electric mobility ecosystem and will, in the coming weeks, begin training persons in electric vehicle maintenance and as first responders.

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