Director General in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr. Vivian Brown, says that social enterprises in Jamaica are now becoming critical agents for growth and development.

Social enterprises are businesses with primarily social objectives, and whose surpluses are reinvested in their business or the community. Their primary mission is to solve social, economic or environmental problems at community or national level through effective and ethical business practices. They have the dual responsibility of creating social value and ensuring financial viability.

According to the Director General, the social enterprise model has shown particular strength in addressing issues related to inclusion of the marginalized such as youth, rural women and persons with disabilities.

Mr. Brown was addressing the opening session of a Social Enterprise 101 Seminar for Business Enablers and Industry Leaders, at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston on June 07, 2017.

He noted that social enterprises will be critical to Jamaica’s growth and development thrust going forward.

“Along with Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), social enterprises are indispensable to achieving, not just mere growth, but broad-based, inclusive growth, which also supports the attainment of several specific goals under the National Development Plan – Vision 2030,” he stated.

He further stated that the Government will continue to increase its efforts in providing robust support to the sector by enacting and implementing the necessary institutional reforms and legislations to make the sector more vibrant, competitive, and sustainable.

The director general also lauded the work of the Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI), one of Jamaica’s most innovative business development programmes whose primary goal is to create an enabling business environment which facilitates the growth of social enterprises in Jamaica.

The two-day seminar, June 7-8, 2017, is hosted by the Social Enterprise Boost Initiative, the World Bank and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

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