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Start-up Jamaica to pick up steam

Published:Friday | February 27, 2015 | 3:21 PM

Jamaica's push to create a local animation industry is to receive a major push under the Youth Employment in Digital and Creative Industries project, which has been allocated $70 million in the 2015/2016 Estimates of Expenditure.

Some 190 computers and 385 tablets are to be published under the project, which is funded by the World Bank, which has funded US$20 million towards the project.

The equipment will be given to persons who are in the business incubator.

In addition to the computers and tablets, 335 2D software licenses and 40 software upgrades for animation labs are to be procured at a cost of $24.6 million.

The Youth Employment in Digital and Creative Industries is being implemented through the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, and seeks to foster youth entrepreneurship in the digital animation industries and develop the animation industry in Jamaica.

This year, $11.5 million is to be spent procuring services for animation-training programmes and development of Digital Jamaica and KingstOOn yearly events.

Phillip Paulwell, who has ministerial carriage for the project, told The Gleaner that Cabinet has given approval for Start-Up Jamaica to be established as a business, adding that it has real earning potential.


Business training


Start-Up Jamaica is an accelerator that will house start-up companies and provide them with the key skills and technology, business, management, legal and accounting support that will prepare them to pitch to equity investors and receive investments to grow their businesses.

"Over time, we want to train 15,000 youngsters in animation," the minister said, adding that "it has received significant support internationally".

Only $5 million was allocated to the project for the current fiscal year, but with it set to expire in August 2019, Paulwell said more and more money will be allocated going forward.

- D.L.