Minister makes submission on Charities Appeal Tribunal to CabinetWednesday, January 28, 2015
INDUSTRY, Investment and Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton says a submission has been made to Cabinet seeking approval for the establishment of a Charities Appeals Tribunal.
Hylton, who made the disclosure while addressing the opening of the inaugural Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI) Summit at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Tuesday, said members of the tribunal were selected in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
In the meantime, Hylton said the Government recognises the need to partner with social enterprises to deliver well-needed products and services to the most vulnerable.
According to Hylton, social enterprises -- businesses which reinvest surpluses into the development of communities -- are an integral part of the wider entrepreneurship ecosystem and play a vital role in the delivery of products and services to communities that are socially disadvantaged.
Social entrepreneurs, he said, often provide solutions which the Government and the private sector are unable to deliver effectively.
"Social enterprises can play critical roles and fulfil a number of functions, such as maintaining community buildings or open spaces, or providing services for the community," he noted.
"Some businesses might also be able to generate profits from selling products created from community assets, such as produce from land allotments or refurbishing old computers," the minister added.
Chairman of the Jamaica National Building Society Foundation Earl Jarrett, in his address, said there was no denying that social enterprises account for a significant part of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Jamaica.
"It is important that (this figure) be determined precisely so that (social enterprises) can be encouraged to grow and to thrive through directed public policy," he said.
Jarrett said it was also important that as Jamaica begins to assess the contributions of social enterprises to the local economy that the Government and other stakeholders begin to think through the shaping of policies to encourage the growth of these types of organisations.
"Collectively, we can create greater opportunities for the social economy and help to influence policies that will support the growth of the social enterprise sector," he said.
At the same time, mission director of the United States Agency for International Development Denise Herbol noted that the social enterprise model is a new and innovative solution that can be used to increase foreign investments to Jamaica.
"Social enterprises are a vital source of a business approach to fair trade, social inclusion, creation of jobs for individuals and groups from marginalised labour markets," she said.
The two-day summit brought together experts in the field of social entrepreneurship and enterprise, including representatives of charities, NGOs, community-based groups, as well as the private and public sectors.
Participants learnt about the role that social enterprises play socially, economically, and environmentally as well as assess the contributions of the sector in other jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom.
The social enterprise model has found success in several developed regions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Europe as a way of addressing the challenges being faced by the global non-profit sector.
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