Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Business on the move

Published:Sunday | November 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Contributed Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton (third right), cuts the ribbon symbolizing the official launch of the mobile business clinic initiative (MBCI), at the National Commercial Bank Wellness Centre in Kingston, on (September 16). Chairman, Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Silburn Clarke (left); Marketing and Sales manager, Fidelity Motors, Leslie Nembhard (second left), chief executive officer, JBDC, Valerie Veira (second right) and senior general manager, Retail Banking Division, NCB, Audrey Tugwell-Henry shared in the moment. Partly hidden is Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams.
Contributed Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton (second left), and Marketing and Sales manager, Fidelity Motors, Leslie Nembhard (right), shake hands inside the mobile business clinic unit. Also inside the vehicle are Miinister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams (left), and senior general manager, Retail Banking Division, NCB, Audrey Tugwell-Henry (second right).
Contributed Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce, the Hon. Anthony Hylton (left) and chief executive officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira (second left) engage MSME Business owners who participated in the first day of the St. James Business Clinic in Sam Sharpe Sqauare on Tuesday.
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parts of the country.

The literal vehicle for the initiative to stimulate business activity is a 2014 Nissan Urvan 350, donated by Fidelity Motors, the country's authorised distributor of new Nissan motor vehicles. The Urvan has been retrofitted with office capabilities, providing technical and capacity support to entrepreneurs.

In stock form, before being retrofitted, the 16-seater cost $4.9 million. It is well suited for the task which requires a combination of optimum fuel efficiency, power, capacity and manoeuvrability. "It has a 2.5 turbo diesel engine, manual transmission and is a high-roof and wide-body vehicle,"

said Andrew Channer, sales executive at Fidelity Motors.

After retrofitting the cost is $5.5 million. The vehicle is now equipped with a wide-screen

television, printer capabilities, LED lighting for the interior, drawers, cabinets and other storage space, WiFi, a generator that enables the use of four to five laptop computers and a fire extinguisher, among other equipment.

Though in its infant stage, the mobile business programme has already seen approximately 300 start-up entrepreneurs turn out to participate in consultations and training seminars.

"It's been going pretty good. Persons have had the opportunity to sit with different personnel in finance, business monitoring, business development, JAMPRO and different persons from the industry that will assist the business development. A lot of the people felt motivated because they didn't have access to this kind of information before," said corporate communications manager of the JBDC, Keneshia Nooks.

"The clinic is set up to help people with the various processes, from financing to consumer advice," she continued, adding that the three-year project will be done in phases.

At the end of the first phase an assessment will be done in order to develop a new strategy, going into the project's second year.