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2016, February 18 - Jampro & UWI Seek to Boost Entrepreneurship

BAS Bulletin – February 18, 2016
(Extracted from the Jamaica Observer – February 14, 2016)

Principal of the UWI Open Campus Dr Luz Longsworth (seated left) and executive director of Jampro, Diane Edwards (seated right), sign the MOU for the new alliance between both organisations for educational training services in business for SMEs across Jamaica. Witnessing the occasion are staff members from both organisations.

Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro) has inked a deal with the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus to increase access to its training programme for young entrepreneurs through the use of an online platform.

The agreement allows Jampro to expand its target market through live streaming of its capacity building workshops, which will be displayed through the Open Campus’ online and face-to-face facilities across Jamaica. The programme is expected to begin April and last for an initial period of two years.

In signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) both organisations will collaborate on the execution of capacity development programmes for Jampro’s direct clients and other business interests. The MOU outlines the roles of both entities including UWI Open Campus’ commitment to assist Jampro in planning, developing and delivering programmes and courses for its clientele, as well as developing a learning management system that will engage more people and enable them to access training and education from locations in and outside of Jamaica.

Currently, UWI Open Campus operates in 42 campuses across the Caribbean region — 11 of them in Jamaica. The programme hopes to target at least 1000 business people in the first year.

“As an agency that is in service to the public, we must find more ways to get information out there to people who are in need. Jampro is focused on capacity building for our medium and small businesses, and we have recognised that there may be challenges for them to access our services and training programmes in person during working hours,” Jampro’s executive director, Diane Edwards, told the
Sunday Finance in an e-mailed response.

“With this new partnership with UWI Open Campus, we will be able to reach not only our current clientele, but thousands of persons that we would not have been able to impact on a day-to-day basis. It gives us the opportunity to have a wider reach, and educate and empower persons interested in exporting products and services to international markets and marketing their investment opportunities,” she continued.

The programme was decided upon after a meeting with the principal of UWI Open Campus, Dr Luz Longsworth, who expressed concern about the need for increased business literacy and bankable business plans in Jamaica, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that were not formally trained in doing business.

Longsworth is optimistic that the new alliance will garner more training opportunities for Jampro’s existing step-by-step workshops through the Open Campus’s ability to disseminate this information.

“I want to thank the UWI Open Campus team led by Dr Longsworth for partnering with Jampro on this initiative, and I anticipate that we will be able to help many Jamaicans on their journey to creating wealth for themselves and their families,” Edwards said.

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