Development Minerals industry to receive entrepreneurial skills training

Apr 18, 2018

L-R: Dr. Oral Rainford, Principal Director for Policy, Planning, Development and Evaluation in the Ministry of Transport and Mining; (centre) Bruno Pouezat, UNDP Resident Representative and Valerie Veira, CEO of JBDC holding the signed Letter of Agreement; Leighton Williams, Acting Commissioner of Mines, Leighton Williams

[UNDP, 30 April, 2018]: One hundred and twenty (120) small and medium scale ‘Development Minerals’ operators, related professional bodies and business development service providers island-wide will benefit from enterprise and business development skills training as a result of a partnership between the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), the European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).

The Letter of Agreement was formally signed by UNDP Resident Representative, Bruno Pouezat on behalf of the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme and JBDC Chief Executive Officer, Valerie Veira, in the presence of Dr Oral Rainford, Principal Director for Policy, Planning, Development and Evaluation in the Ministry of Transport and Mining and Acting Commissioner of Mines, Leighton Williams.

JBDC will carry out four (4) training workshops on Enterprise skills, Market Analysis, Investment Promotion and Value-addition for small-scale operators in the Development Minerals sector to enhance entrepreneurial mind sets; support growth, financial literacy and business planning; increase financial literacy; help develop winning marketing strategies and facilitate knowledge sharing on low-cost, environmentally friendly, value addition techniques. JBDC will complement these trainings with business advice, consultancy, technical services, marketing, research and project management to ensure that the businesses survive and thrive. These complementary approaches will greatly enhance the contribution of Jamaica’s Mining and Quarry Sector to the economy of Jamaica, up from the 2.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) witnessed in the last 3-4 years.

“The private sector, specifically SMEs, are the main engine for growth and job creation, particularly here in Jamaica. Through the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme, the European Union is firmly committed to supporting efficient, inclusive and responsible small businesses. This calls for multiple skills, enhanced access to affordable finance and innovation,” said Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands.

“SMEs create more than 90% of jobs in developing countries and are already major backers of poverty reduction and development at the local level. In Jamaica, 1750 direct jobs and 7000-8750 indirect jobs were created in the quarry sector in 2016, most in rural areas” said Bruno Pouezat, UNDP Resident Representative in Jamaica. “SMEs often tell us that they need more enterprise and business skills training to enable access to finance, especially those in sectors such as ‘Development Minerals’. Together with JBDC, the Government, EU and the ACP Group of States, we are stepping in to fill this gap,” he added.

“Our goal is to help businesses to survive and prosper through the provision of high-impact technical and business support services to SMEs in Jamaica. The signing of this partnership agreement will pave the way for JBDC to provide SMEs in the Development Minerals sector with business advice, consultancy and training of the highest professional standard to improve their entrepreneurship skills, including accounting, marketing, sales promotion and purchasing.,” stated Valerie Veira, Chief Executive Officer of JBDC.

JBDC has been established as one of the premier business support organizations in Jamaica. The JBDC initiative is a cooperative arrangement among Government Agencies and the private sector, associations, academic and research communities. Over 2000 Businesses have benefited from JBDC’s Services over the years and many have returned to profit from further JBDC expertise.

By designating 27 June as the annual Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, the UN General Assembly has recognized the importance of these enterprises in achieving the SDGs – especially by promoting innovation, creativity and decent work for all.


Contact information

Gillian Scott, UNDP/UN Communications Analyst, Tel: 978 2390 – 9 Ext 2032; Mobile:509 0724

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