More business support for Jamaica’s creative entrepreneurs

Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Valerie Veira (second right); engages with (from left), University of Technology (UTech) Vice President, Professor Colin Gyles; Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) Network Manager, JBDC, Dionne Palmer; and Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts Vice Principal, Kerry-Ann Henry, at the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) for the establishment of SBDCs to serve the creative industries at the JBDC in Kingtson, recently.

Entrepreneurs in the creative industry are to benefit from increased technical and managerial support through the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).

The entity recently signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with three tertiary institutions for the establishment of small business development centres (SBDCs) to serve micro, small and medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) operators in the sector.

JBDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Valerie Veira, said that Jamaica is yet to fully capitalise on the local creative talent.

“We are developing some important research on the creative industry and how we can fully exploit the economic development possibilities, which we haven’t even begun to touch yet. For us, creativity seems to be performing arts, but that is just one component,” she pointed out in an interview with the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).

The new SBDCs will be located at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland, as well as the University of Technology (UTech) and the Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts in Kingston.

SBDC Network Manager, Dianne Palmer, encouraged entrepreneurs in the creative industry to take advantage of the services available at the facilities.

“Creatives can come, and they will be provided with counselling free of cost, training, intervention to help them get loans and grants,” she indicated.

Palmer noted that the services offered at the SBDCs will facilitate the growth of more sustainable businesses in the creative industry.

“There is a lot of talent in our industry, but we need to make it into a business that is sustainable, and that’s why we approached the Edna Manley College [for example]. They have the expertise, and with our assistance at the JBDC, we can help them to engage with entrepreneurs to start more sustainable businesses,” she said.