11/13/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/13/2020 07:58
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, speaking at a Stakeholder Sensitization webinar on Innovating Social Sector Financing, at the Ministry's New Kingston offices on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. This webinar, organized by the Jamaica Stock Exchange and the IDB Lab, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, aims to acquaint stakeholders about the pending legislative framework that supports the social sector and the opportunities available for financing and capacity-building support through the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE). Other presenters at the sensitization session are Managing Director, JSE, Marlene Street-Forrest; Ambassador of the JSSE, Thalia Lyn; Registrar - Department of Co-operatives and Friendly Societies, Errol Gallimore; and Manager - JSSE, Nora Blake.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw has commended Jamaica's growing social enterprise sector for its contribution to the country's economic and social development.
The Minister made his comments at a virtual stakeholder sensitization session themed: 'A roadmap for growing the social sector in Jamaica,' put on by the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and the IDB Lab, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, yesterday, November 11.
The social enterprise sector as an element of the social economy and as a divergent business model is a fairly new entrant in Jamaica's commercial ecosystem, Minister Shaw said.
'Though new, the model is even more critical today as public funds become more and more stretched in meeting the needs of all citizens,' he said.
The Government of Jamaica is therefore thankful for our social enterprises: cooperatives; mutual societies; churches; associations and foundations that pursue economic and social goals and promote community, Minister Shaw said.
While noting that the first formal recognition of the social enterprise sector as a meaningful contributor to the Jamaican economy was marked by its inclusion in the Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Policy (2018), crafted by the ministry, Minister Shaw said the government recognizes that the social economy plays an important role in employment creation and contributes to sustainable societal development.
To date, through an extensive data collection and mapping exercise carried out under the policy, Jamaica now has 126 formally registered social enterprises.
The next big step toward creating the platform for the growth of this sector is the enactment of the Social Enterprise Legislation, which is being actively pursued, the Minister said.
He said the legislation will not only govern the administration and functioning of social enterprises but will also allow these enterprises to efficiently and effectively carry out their business activities as they seek to contribute to their communities more substantially.
The JSE and the IDB Bank signed a technical cooperation agreement on December 5, 2019, with a budget of US$910K comprised of funding of US$490K and $420K from the JSE and IDB, respectively.
The funds are to be used for a three-year project aimed at 'innovating social sector financing,' JSE managing director, Marlene Street-Forrest said.
The project aims to facilitate the effective mobilization of resources to social service organizations and social enterprises that serve the poor and vulnerable populations through the JSE's integrated system and tools, she said.
Mrs. Street-Forrest noted that 'the readiness of especially our entities to receive capital is paramount to the success of this project and the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange.'
The sensitization session also saw a presentation by Thalia Lyn, ambassador of the social enterprise sector and head of the National Commercial Bank's (NCB) Foundation.
Minster Shaw, while noting the acclaim of the Junior Stock Exchange, commended the JSE for its innovativeness in support of national growth and urged the JSE team to continue its quest for a micro stock exchange.