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MIIC/MCGES target women owned MSME‟s for growth & development

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September 2021

Minister Shaw and Minister Grange hold a cheque for $1 million, to be disbursed to participants in phase II of the WES programme.

Above Body

 01 Sep 2021    communications   

The Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC) the Hon. Audley Shaw and the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (MCGES), the Hon. Olivia Grange, recently partnered to launch the Women‟s Entrepreneurship Support (WES) Project - Phase II.
Speaking at the launch Minister Shaw stated, Entrepreneurship is widely noted as one of the most crucial and viable avenues for economic empowerment and poverty reduction among marginalized groups in the developing world, this is no different in Jamaica. As such, my ministry has ensured that the design of our MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy (2018), facilitates equal and equitable opportunities between both women-owned and men-owned businesses. This expedites the transformation of our MSMEs into globally competitive enterprises, and in the process, makes entrepreneurship a more attractive career choice for women.”
Phase I of the WES project was launched in 2018, to empower women in sustainable formal entrepreneurial development with a primary emphasis on rural women and young women. The project also aims to facilitate the increased formal participation of women in entrepreneurship, thereby improving their incomes and wealth activities, as well as, making a measurable contribution to the socio-economic development of Jamaica. The first phase of the programme was funded by the then Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), with an allotment of $1million.
In her address Minister Grange added “the WES project was developed to empower female entrepreneurs, so that they have economically viable and sustainable businesses. The WES Project is our statement that as a Government, we believe that women must be enabled to equally access socially valued goods in their households, communities and country. This is guided by our National Policy for Gender Equality (NPGE), which envisions and promotes a society where women are provided with the requisite technical and financial support to become successful entrepreneurs.”
The second phase of the project is funded by UN Women and other partners, to the tune of some $1.14 million for support of 10 women in 2021.
Both Ministers commended the United Nations Entity for their contribution to Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) for being the global champion for gender equality; and thanked them for their support, in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, which enables the facilitation of the shared vision of building a world where women and girls are able to maximize their true potential.
Phase II will focus on building on the accomplishments of the previous phase and facilitate technical assistance and financial support.
Recipients in phase II will receive a grant of $100,000 each to be used to improve the capacity of their businesses and assist with formalization. They will also be given two capacity building training workshops from the Jamaica Business Development Corporation.
The MIIC and MCGES aspire to continue to expand and grow the project in the coming years.

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