By Alecia Smith-Edwards
KINGSTON, Jamaica May 13 (JIS) — The government is exploring the introduction of an entrepreneurship curriculum in schools, in a bid to foster innovation among students.
Making the announcement, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda, said the curriculum is expected to be introduced in all primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
“It is critical that we sensitise young people to the need to study at an early stage about how to do business,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at the launch of Scotiabank’s 2016 Vision Achiever Program at the Scotia Group Financial Centre in Kingston, on May 11.
Samuda said the Ministry has been working to encourage young persons, with brilliant minds, to be more innovative “and to focus on those things that we can create and call Jamaican, so that when we export them, we get the benefit of our own innovation”.
The Minister said the government recognises the importance of the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), in achieving broad-based and inclusive growth.
As such, he said the administration has been providing training and development opportunities to assist in the growth and viability of the MSME sector.
“In recent times we have been targeting MSME deficiencies in areas such as business planning, cash flow projection, management, book keeping, marketing and customer service,” he said.
Meanwhile, Samuda gave the Ministry’s full endorsement of Scotiabank’s Vision Achiever Program, which he said, is in keeping with the administration’s policy of creating and enhancing business and development support and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Providing an overview of the program, Dudley Walters, Scotiabank’s Vice President, Small and Medium Enterprises, said 25 SME operators will benefit from an intensive three-month coaching program, designed to achieve core competencies for running a successful business.
They will be trained in sales, systemising the business process, marketing and understanding business financials.
Participants will also be eligible for a number of prizes valued over $1.4 million to include brand development campaigns, special grant assistance, digital marketing products and business solution products.
“In total, the participants will benefit from over $20 million of business investment. Throughout the course, participants will be given various projects and activities to assist us to determine who the top three participants will be,” Grant explained.