Sat | Mar 23, 2019

World Bank helps Jamaica tackle youth unemployment

Published:Wednesday | March 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

The World Bank has moved decisively to introduce novel avenues of investment in a bid to combat youth unemployment as well as resuscitate Jamaica's ailing economy.

In so doing, the World Bank said it was focusing renewed attention on investment-starved Jamaica as it seeks to introduce fresh initiatives that it believes can assist in propelling the country out of the economic abyss in which it has found itself.

The World Bank's Fabio Pittaluga told The Gleaner that his organisation was particularly concerned about the crippling levels of youth unemployment in Jamaica.

"We are here to provide innovative solutions for our client, which is Jamaica, that has a huge problem with high youth unemployment, and the traditional markets - whether it's agriculture, tourism or the manufacturing sector - are not necessarily going to generate the kinds of jobs needed to provide a viable set of options for young people," said Pittaluga.

He said it was against this backdrop that the World Bank's Digital Jam 3.0 was initiated.

Scores of Jamaican youth were in attendance at the conference on the weekend, with Pittaluga expressing satisfaction with the outcome.

Sharon McDade, an invitee of the World Bank, told The Gleaner she brought a revised concept of 'angel investing', targeting people who are desirous of starting new businesses but are not being given the time of day by traditional financial institutions.

ANGEL NETWORKS

She suggested that a system be put in place where Jamaicans with some degree of wealth could establish entities dubbed 'angel networks' to assist budding entrepreneurs.

To this end, McDade has addressed a group of private citizens in Jamaica, with high net worth, who can assist Jamaica out of its dire straits without struggling for overseas investment alone.

In addition to financing start-up business activities, McDade said the 'angels' could also invest in privately held businesses that possess real opportunities.

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com