Kingston, November 14 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, and the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Honourable Audley Shaw have launched the Women’s Entrepreneurship Support Project to encourage and assist women to start and run successful businesses.
The project is a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries in November 2017.
Speaking at the launch function for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Support Project on Tuesday, Minister Grange said, “We are certain that women can be a catalyst for large-scale economic growth and the creation of prosperity — if they get a little support.”
She said that although reports show that Jamaica has the highest proportion of women managers anywhere in the world, there are still too few women owners of businesses.
“We need to change all of that and the MOU between both our ministries is strengthening and synchronising strategies that promote and encourage women’s involvement in entrepreneurship. We aim to increase the number of women owners in the local business sector. And we are providing tangible support through the Women’s Entrepreneurship Support Project,” Minister Grange said.
The project will be implemented over three years and will among other things build the technical capacity, financial literacy and social capital of women entrepreneurs operating micro or small enterprises and give women entrepreneurs the knowledge and empowerment opportunities to scale up their businesses.
According to Minister Grange, funding is a major component of the project and each year women-led businesses will be targeted for support.
Four female entrepreneurs were presented with cheques totalling one million dollars and Minister Shaw gave a commitment that another ten will receive funding also by the end of the year.
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Support Project was launched as part of activities to commemorate Global Entrepreneurship Week being observed locally under the theme ‘Minimising Barriers + Maximising Inclusion’.