JICA Follow-up Cooperation - St Mary, Manchester, St Thomas
During the period November 2014 – March 2015, as a Follow-Up Cooperation project resulting from Japan International Cooperation Agency's (JICA) Technical Training Program in Japan, RESET’s introductory entrepreneurship workshops were executed throughout the parishes of Manchester, St Mary and St Thomas as the first phase of a workshop series.
This is a knowledge sharing exercise which seeks to introduce aspiring and active for-profit and not-for-profit entrepreneurs to critical elements for enterprise success, enterprise opportunities and key supporting technologies, in a two-day workshop format. Also, a data gathering exercise to identify local innovations, products and services that are ripe for market expansion, and needs, challenges and obstacles that can be resolved collectively.
St Mary Workshop
This workshop was held on the premises of the Port Maria Police Station, upstairs with a view of the Caribbean Sea and Nice Sea Breeze for two days. It comprised a two day training program, covering topics such as The Basics of Entrepreneurship; Getting Ready to Master Success; The Basics of Self-Employment and & Small Enterprise; Financing Your Business; and Using Technology in Small Enterprises.
The parish of Manchester was the first to benefit from the JICA Follow-Up Cooperation Workshop Series targeting young and upcoming entrepreneurs in communities across Jamaica. The participants were very receptive of what the RESET team had to offer, broadening the horizon of their thinking as it relates to enterprising and becoming successful entrepreneurs using the skills and resources that are available and building on them.
St Thomas Workshop
This workshop was held at the Morant Bay Seventh Day Adventist Church Grounds in St. Thomas. This was a two day training for residents of the community who are entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs seeking better ways of operating a business. Several topics were discussed during this workshop, upon which participants were able to define key terms such as Enterprising, Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurs. They were also advised on how to become successful entrepreneurs and how to identify a good business idea. we also looked at How to Finance a Business, How to Operate and Enterprise, How to Navigate the Local Environment Through Collective Action, and Using Technology in Small Enterprises.
Launch of RESET
The 2014-2015 Small and Medium Enterprise Development Training Program was officially launched on Tuesday November 25th, 2015 at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, Manchester. Present at this event were several dignitaries and organizations such as Her Worship Mayor Brenda Ramsey of the Manchester Parish Council; Mr Hiromoto Oyama - First Secretary to the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica; Mr Kenji Tobita - Resident Representative Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); Dr Christopher Tufton - Co-Executive Director, Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI); Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce among others.
RESET Entrepreneurial Development & Business Management Training Program
This training program is as a branch of JICA Follow-Up Cooperation Workshop Series, through intense 2-day enterprise development and technology courses which will help participants to fully appreciate how to master success. They will recognize that there is no shortcut; that they must develop well thought-out, viable business plans and be prepared to work hard and persistently towards their goals. For these workshops, RESET seeks to target aspiring and existing for-profit/not-for-profit entrepreneurs (including youth) with minimum grade 9 level competencies.
This workshop series will continue into the year 2016, having commenced on November 26th 2014, as the RESET Team seeks to cover all the fourteen (14) parishes of Jamaica and select groups or communities. Expected outcomes are that participants will be better able to start and manage their own for-profit or not-for-profit enterprise, increase awareness of business opportunities and support services, build networks leading to collaborative community development projects, and to benefit from the expansion of JICA and Japanese Embassy's support for capacity strengthening of small enterprise sector through knowledge sharing and the coordination of resources to provide solutions. Additionally, participants will benefit also from Special Financing Facility/Opportunities with Partner Financial Institutions - Innovative financing solutions will be made available to Participating SMEs that sign up to the RESET SME Support Program.
Some of the themes expected to be covered includes self employment and small enterprise: advantages and disadvantages, doing business in Jamaica, application of ICT in business, and facilitating the creative process of finding a good business idea. And with these themes in mind, our overall objectives are that this project be designed to provide public education about new business opportunities, drive entrepreneurship through cities, small towns and communities; increase awareness of use of technologies in the small and medium enterprise sector; provide information to help small and medium enterprises operate more efficiently; and to create awareness of marketable and under-utilised resources, products and techniques of local small and medium enterprises that can be leveraged to increase domestic consumption of Jamaican products and services.
The Portland leg of the workshop series was held at the Port Antonio Anglican Church which featured presenters, Mr David Lee of DEKAL and Mr Andre Anderson of Portland Pride. Also presenting was JICA volunteer, Hide Shima along with Collette Campbell, Founder/Executive Chairman, RESET Caribbean Foundation. Participants were able to gain new knowledge on enterprising and growing their busiest as successful entrepreneurs as well as to showcase some of what they had to offer. It was a fun and fulfilling two days with the participants and presenters alike and continued work and followups will be done with them.
St Elizabeth Workshop
This workshop was done with local farmers within and around the Postdam community at the Postdam Brethren Church Hall. The focus of this workshop was on educating the participants on how to become successful entrepreneurs using new technologies and approaches to their farming activities. Further to this, we also looked at other solutions and alternatives as it relates to production and water problems for the community and parish in extension. Mr Alvin Murrey also encouraged the farmers to engage in potato farming as a project through propel, where they will reap great rewards through the exportation market. Follow-ups are to be done with the participants of the workshop along with the greenhouse association body in the parish.
The Hanover workshop was also a success, where upon completion, each participant was awarded a certificate for the training which they had undergone over the period. This was done as part of the Dolphin Head ornamental fish sanctuary ceremony. They gained beneficial knowledge and experience, suited for creating prosperous and profitable entrepreneurs thereby helping to build their community and nation. The participants were very receptive of the training and material presented.
Small Business Development Training in Japan Follow-Up
The Small Business Association in Jamaica (SBAJ) is the official organization in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC) charged with the responsibility of targeting the Small and Medium Enterprise Sector (SME) in Jamaica to improve productivity and thus revolutionize the Jamaican Economy. The then General Manager of the SBAJ, Collette Campbell, completed a JICA Training Programme in Japan on “Small and Medium Enterprise Development Policies A” during March 2013 and based upon her Action Plan, requested this F/U Programme geared towards moving the Small and Medium Business Sector in Jamaica from surviving to thriving.
Recounting her experience on the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA)-sponsored programme, Ms. Campbell says most noteworthy was the strong support provided to small businesses, which has ensured their longevity. And so acting upon the lessons learnt there in Japan, Ms. Campbell returned to Jamaica with a focus to put into action all she had observed.