Some 50 business leaders, industry stakeholders and policymakers were trained in Social Enterprise 101 at a two-day Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI) workshop, a programme being implemented by the JN Foundation.
The participants were drawn from government agencies, ministries and departments of co-operatives and friendly societies through partnership with SEBI, the World Bank and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.
Saffrey Brown, general manager of the JN Foundation, which spearheads SEBI, said that social enterprise was an excellent tool which can propel community development.
“We have all experienced good projects that have not survived, because it takes dedicated resources to sustain growth and the social enterprise model can achieve this,” she said, in addressing the opening session of the workshop at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
Vivian Brown, director of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, welcomed the training and pointed out that in recent years, social enterprise has been a journey of discovering.
“Social enterprises are becoming critical agents for development by using solid business models. The model has shown particular strength in addressing issues relating to crime; and the marginalised, such as persons with disabilities; as well as addressing environmental and climate change issues,” he said.
“My ministry recognises that social enterprises creates local value and can play a central role in the creation of jobs,” he added.
Elaine Tinsley, private-sector specialist at the World Bank who facilitated the training, said the World Bank was pleased to be involved and noted that if the social enterprise sector grows, it would make significant impact on the Jamaican economy.