MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL
HIS EXCELLENCY THE MOST HONOURABLE SIR PATRICK ALLEN ON, GCMG, CD
TO THE 6TH ANNUAL JBDC SMALL BUSINESS EXPOSITION AND CONFERENCE
ON MAY 21, 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Last year, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation collaborated with the “I Believe” Initiative as we convened three Youth Conferences at County level on the joint themes of Career Development and Youth Entrepreneurship. As I listened to the excellent presentations by the JBDC representative, I became increasingly convinced of the need for such presentations to be taken all across the island. More people need to focus on how they can transform their passion and talents into productive employment for themselves and ultimately, create jobs for others. The JBDC not only has the know-how which they can readily transfer, but they also have success stories which can serve to motivate others.
We are passing through a difficult period when the job market is soft and an increasing number of young graduates are frustrated by several months or even years of unemployment or underemployment. Retrenchment and business failures have also put hundreds of persons out of work. In this context, public education about the need for skills training and certification and augmenting opportunities for this, take on added importance. With the well-known resilience and creativity of our people, hobbies can be turned into successful small businesses, with training to ensure quality consistency and also to instil best business practices.
Small businesses are the bedrock of our economy and are the best hope for creating jobs. However, the challenges they confront in these times, not only in Jamaica, but even in developed economies, have forced many into survival mode, while others have closed. Today’s Exposition and Conference will not solve the issues, but it will demonstrate that opportunities still exist for growth and that there are greater efficiencies to be gleaned from better management practices and work ethics. Hopefully, it will motivate some to persevere. Hopefully, too, many will be encouraged to take the essential steps for establishing solid foundations for their business.
I commend the JBDC for maintaining this Annual Exposition and Conference for small businesses and am assured that with their usual effective planning and efficient implementation, this will be a successful event.
Let me also use this opportunity to thank all who are engaged in small businesses for your contribution to the economy.I encourage you to hold on to your dream and work to achieve it. Believe in your capacity to succeed. I leave with you the wisdom of the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey:
“If you haven’t confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you started.”