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Diaspora Conference to give Social Enterprises Boost

Published:Monday | May 4, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Saffrey Brown, general manager, Jamaica National Foundation.

The development of social enterprises is to be a key area of focus at the Sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference to be held in June.

Saffrey Brown, general manager of the Jamaica National Foundation, says the foundation would use the conference to connect members of the diaspora to social programmes in Jamaica.

"We have been doing a lot of work with social enterprises, and at the 2013 conference, we presented on social enterprises, and it was a successful forum where the diaspora was very interested in coming on board," Brown said as she addressed a Gleaner Editors' Forum last week.

She argued that social enterprises represent a sustainable way for members of the diaspora to give back to Jamaica.

"A lot of them want to get involved back home, not necessarily for charitable activities but to contribute to the development of Jamaica, and what they realise with social enterprises is that it allows them to get involved in something that is sustainable."

Brown went on to add that during the 2015 conference, tangible outcomes and relationships that can be developed with local social enterprises would be explored.

One of those tangible outcomes will be a concerted push to generate greater

uptake of iSupport Jamaica, a crowdfunding platform that is used to raise funds for the social sector.

Brown also said the conference would highlight those Jamaicans living abroad who have set up social enterprises in Jamaica. This, she noted, would provide participants with greater channels to give back to Jamaica.