Chief Technical Director, Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Stephen Wedderburn, addresses participants at the 10th annual Small Business Exposition and Conference hosted by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on May 11.
Chief Technical Director, in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr. Stephen Wedderburn, says that Jamaica is on the cusp of economic growth and social transformation with the goal of achieving sustained economic growth prosperity, and high levels of job creation and that the MSME sector will be critical in achieving those goals.
Mr. Wedderburn said that data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, show that there are approximately 412,000 own-account-workers – single person enterprises which indicate that with a population of 2.7 million people, MSMEs play a significant role in Jamaica’s economic and business activities.
The Chief Technical Director who was representing the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fishers, Hon. Karl Samuda at the opening ceremony of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation 10th annual Small Business Exposition and Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on May 11, said that with these statistics, the entrepreneurial spirit in Jamaica is alive and well, even though we are not yet where we want to be.
“The sector is not without its challenges, but the Government of Jamaica places MSME, entrepreneurship and enterprise development at the forefront of the country’s policy agenda. We continue to create and introduce policies and programmes to enhance competitiveness, innovation and internationalization within the context of a globalized economic paradigm”, he informed.
He further noted that the staging of the exposition and conference is testament to the Government’s continued commitment to the development of the MSME sector.
“This exposition and conference is not only an opportunity to engage with key stakeholders and bring solutions to some of the issues faced by small businesses from time to time, it is also an opportunity for our small businesses to be showcased, network, explore new ideas, and gain new insights for the way forward, Mr. Wedderburn said.
He lauded JBDC, the Ministry’s lead agency in MSME development, for continuing to champion the cause of MSMEs, and spearheading various initiatives for their growth and development.
The Expo and Conference presented an opportunity for small businesses to have access to a steady volume of customers that may not ordinarily encounter in the normal course of business.
Persons attending not only got a chance to interact with exhibitors, but throughout the day, benefitted from non-stop sessions which were delivered by industry experts on subject matters relating to this year’s theme: Thing Big. Scale Up. Go Global.
The National Commercial Bank, title sponsor of the event is this year’s recipient of the MSME Builder Award.
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