State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, says the Government is looking to spur greater collective stakeholder involvement in social enterprise, particularly by well-thinking Jamaicans engaged in business.
In so doing, he says, they will be well positioned to assist in identifying solutions to some of the society’s challenges and addressing these.
The State Minister was speaking at the National Social Enterprise Forum at the Mandeville Hotel in Manchester on Wednesday, November 13.
“One of the things we are picking up is that social enterprises engage many more women and young people.”— Green
Green noted that the Ministry recognises the importance of the social enterprise sector in value creation and cohesion, and has taken steps to ensure its incorporation in government policies.
“We have an updated MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy that was brought to the fore in 2018, and one of the critical parts of it is a chapter [on] social value created through business models. That has triggered a greater energy and focus on social enterprise,” he said.
The State Minister also referenced a 2015 research which shows that social enterprises are important contributors to the local economy. The data indicated that of 100 such enterprises researched, 767 jobs were created benefiting some 466 females and 278 youths.
“One of the things we are picking up is that social enterprises engage many more women and young people, and that is why we want to provide more focus on and support for social enterprise.”
Noting challenges encountered by social enterprises in their engagements, Green encouraged stakeholders to indicate ways in which the Ministry can assist them in terms of strengthening business models around these.