Patria-Kaye Aarons | Creative jobs at your fingertips
The data suggest that somewhere in the region of 13 per cent of Jamaicans are unemployed. Drive through many inner-city or rural communities and you get the feeling that 13 per cent was a typo and perhaps it could be more like 31 per cent. Far too many idle people. Far too many people living solely on remittances. Far too many people available to crime. I wonder where the jobs for these people will come from.
There's this thing about entrepreneurship. Once I started my business, I began to see business opportunities all around me. The frustrating thing is that I just don't have the time or money to execute them all. Today, I just want to throw some business ideas into the wind in the hope that someone starts a company, and, more important, creates some jobs.
Picture Faith's Pen ... except, no duplications. Imagine that you felt for some good Jamaican food on a Friday night. What if there was a place you could go with 10 or 12 different stalls? One, just one, man selling pan chicken. One man doing soups, another lady doing roast fish, a jerk pork man, a curry goat lady, a pastry lady with sweet potato pudding and toto. You get the idea. Everyone would attract their very own customer and there wouldn't be this fierce competition. Multiple entrepreneurs working together to offer the best of Jamaican gastronomy without the repetitive sameness.
LEMON GRASS LINE
The Scientific Research Council (SRC) is an underutilised resource. It has completed research on an entire line of lemon grass products: body wash, shampoo, lotion. And I'm sure they can do more.
I would love to use locally made lemon grass-scented dishwashing liquid in my kitchen. Someone needs to reach out to SRC and buy that formulation. It comes complete with ingredients, machinery needed, and supplier suggestions. It's a business in a bag. They also have many other fully thought-out product formulations just waiting for someone to purchase them.
Sometimes literature texts are just tough to internalise. What if some Edna Manley graduates started a company and staged plays from the CXC, CSEC, or A'Level syllabus in school auditoriums? Their overheads would be low, pretty much transportation and talent. To enrich the performances, they could give out handouts with character sketches and thematic explorations and have Q&A sessions with the students after the performances. I can see how students would love that and how their grades could benefit from this new method of teaching.
Saturday mornings, parents need a break. Either to do errands or chores or just get a little breathing room. Somebody, please start a kids club where children do activities and learn fun skills. The weekend engagement would be great for building friendships and developing aids other than the academics. A win for both parents and children.
Every beach has way too many almonds going to waste. Let's put them to use. Locally made almond milk and other almond by-products would get my money any day.
SINGLE-SERVE COFFEE MACHINE CUPS
Keurig coffee machines are awesome. Those single-serve coffee machines make all kinds of warm, delicious beverages. Why not create locally made options for those single-serve K cups? Blue Mountain coffee? Why not Jamaican chocolate tea? Jamaican herbal teas? The opportunities for export are endless.
So many more I can think of. A mobile car wash that employs 100 per cent street boys. There's grant funding out there to get this venture started. Locally made bed linen. Not a dressmaker doing a thing. I mean a commercial entity doing commercial quantities with Caribbean flair.
It's a great time to start a business. Now there are more financing options and better support structures for entrepreneurs to start new businesses and run them successfully. We can't all get a job. Someone has to step up and create them.