Jamaica SBDC project
Within the framework of the initiation of the project of implementing the SBDC model in Jamaica, and taking into consideration the interest of Jamaica in assessing the possibility of adapting and implementing the SBDC model, with the goal of broadening and improving assistance services to the micro and small business sector, on March 6th, 2012 the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce in collaboration with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CE) hosted the event titled “Small Business Development Center Model: learning the SBDC model of the University of Texas at San Antonio”, during which the SBDC model promoted by the University of Texas at San Antonio was presented.
As a result of the consultation process, public, private and academic sectors' representatives considered that the model could be adapted to the Jamaican context and would support the implementation of it.
The "Certificate Training for Future SBDC Counselors and Directors" to prepare professionals on how to operate and manage an SBDC was finalized on March 18, 2013 and trained over sixty (60) participants, including members of the government, private sector and academia. The MIIC is currently engaged in collaborative efforts with the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) in the adaptation and adaption of the SBDC to the Jamaican context. In April 2014, representatives of the MIIC, DBJ and JBDC participated in a week-long observational learning visit at the University of Texas at San Antonio. During this period, participants were given the opportunity to gain a full overview of the SBDC model structure and implementation road map, in an effort to assist in the rationalization of the adaptation of the model in the country. In June 2014 a delegation comprised of representatives from the MIIC, DBJ, JBDC and academia participated in visits with policy markers in Washington, DC for a deeper appreciation of the US SME support framework. The Jamaica SBDC Team continues to advance the adaptation and implementation of the SBDC model and a launch of the Jamaican network is expected by the end of the year.