Phase Two of SEBI launched
Eighteen social enterprises, 12 new entrants and six SEBI Pioneers, were officially unveiled as participants in the second phase of the JN Foundation's Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI).
The launch event took place at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel recently. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the first phase of SEBI was implemented in 2012 for a three-year period, during which eight social enterprises successfully improved the performance of their operations.
The participants were trained and mentored to lead sustainable and profitable operations, while fulfilling their business and social missions.
Saffrey Brown, general manager, JN Foundation, highlighted the impressive results of phase one and welcomed the 18-month expansion. She also commended the young social entrepreneurs in the new cohort for responding to the most vulnerable in their communities.
"We are impressed by the number of young people who are investing their time and energy to create businesses which impact lives in underserved communities," Brown stated. "And being a part of this programme is indicative of their commitment and belief in their vision to lead enterprises that use an inclusive approach to influence socio-economic growth."
Denise Herbol, outgoing mission director of USAID, was elated with the positive response and direction of the SEBI programme from its inception. She said the USAID's decision to renew its collaboration was influenced by the overwhelming results of phase one. She noted that the companies earned approximately J$50 million in revenue from their businesses to enhance their social enterprise activities.
"USAID's partnership with the JN Foundation and contribution to the Social Enterprise Boost Initiative has been invaluable, based on the individual, community and country benefits. But more can be achieved, hence, without hesitation, USAID decided to extend this project," she said.