Creative and IT industries the main interest for entrepreneurs - JBDC
While production and manufacturing are still major areas of interest, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) has found that many budding entrepreneurs are more interested in the creative and information technology (IT) industries.
"A lot of the young people say they are very interested in the technology-type things. That's the excitement now, that's the flavour of the month," said JBDC CEO Valerie Veira.
Veira, who was a guest at a Gleaner Editors' Forum last Friday, said many entrepreneurs are going into areas such as fashion design and the offering of gourmet foods to meet the demand for these products and services.
"Entertainers need clothes, they need food, they need accessories, they need transport, all of these services and products," she said.
Deputy chief executive officer of the JBDC, Harold Davis, believes Jamaicans have a competitive advantage in the creative industry.
"We have natural talent and we naturally do it well," he said.
Business advisory services manager at the JBDC, Althea West-Myer, feels that given the support available for those with an interest in the IT sector, more persons are also gravitating to this area.
"We recently launched an accelerator programme, and one of the areas that we have the most interest from is the tech industries," she said.
West-Myer added that more funding is being made available to persons in this sector and this has helped to fuel the growth.
"You have a number of apps and so on being developed," she said.
She noted that persons are going into areas such as health, agriculture, finance and educational technology.
"Quite a number of our applicants and registrants for the conference are actually in ICT because the ecosystem is now being developed," she said.
The JBDC will be hosting its 11th annual Small Business Expo and Conference on May 16, and hundreds of entrepreneurs have already signed up to gain access to experts and to learn how to grow their businesses.