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Gleaner Editors' Forum | JBDC: J'cans must hone entrepreneurial mindset

Published:Saturday | May 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer

Jamaica is considered to be one of the most entrepreneurial nations in the world, according to The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. But this is not reflected in the economy, as Jamaicans have not been able to hone their entrepreneurial mindset.

This was revealed by Althea West-Myers, business advisory services manager of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), during a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum.

"Entrepreneurship grows economies, but it's not happening in Jamaica, primarily because our people are largely hustlers and self-employed people; we have not really grown and developed entrepreneurs," said West-Myers. "That's what we are trying to do at JBDC, and make that distinction that helps people to understand how [to hone] an entrepreneurial mindset."

West-Myers made it clear that she was not disrespecting hustlers, as the hustler was potentially a person with an entrepreneurial mindset. But, she noted that, as a nation, we had not yet learned how to harness that creativity.

"That creativity is manifested in the hustler, but that's where it ends. The entrepreneurial mindset has to learn how to develop that creativity that manifests in 'hustlership', and gets it to another level," argued West-Myers. "But we have not yet, as a nation, learned how to harness that, so we can bridge the gap between entrepreneurial activity and GDP," she added.

West-Myers also suggested that Jamaicans were ahead of the world as it related to latent creativity that can be pulled into entrepreneurial activity.