Wed | Jan 26, 2022

JMMB Group, UTech ink MOU to assist MSMEs

Published:Saturday | November 27, 2021 | 12:07 AM
Shani Duncan-Falconer (seated, centre), senior corporate manager, JMMB Group SME Resource Centre and Professor Colin Gyles, actg. president, University of Technology, Jamaica sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutions at the JMMB
Shani Duncan-Falconer (seated, centre), senior corporate manager, JMMB Group SME Resource Centre and Professor Colin Gyles, actg. president, University of Technology, Jamaica sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutions at the JMMB Group’s head office during a recent signing ceremony. Looking on are Nigel Cooper (seated, left) head, Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership at UTech, Jamaica and Andrea Bolton-Fyffe, Technology Innovation Centre Incubation Manager at UTech, Jamaica.

The JMMB Group SME Resource Centre recently formalised a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Technology Innovation Centre (TIC) at University of Technology, Jamaica, at a signing ceremony, held at the group’s head office.

This five-year long agreement will allow for micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs), who are a part of the JMMB SME Resource Centre’s (JMMBSMERC) Accelerator Programme, to benefit from capacity building programmes offered by TIC, thereby bolstering their expertise and building their network, in a bid to assist these businesses to scale and grow.

Under this MOU, these MSMEs will have access to training and support services, as well as an initial Growth Wheel assessment to further examine and understand their businesses’ strengths and areas of improvement, so that a clear roadmap may be created to nurture, scale and grow these businesses along their life cycles.

In describing the partnership as a win-win for MSMEs, Shani Duncan Falconer, senior corporate manager, JMMB Group SME Resource Centre, shared, “We are proud of this move to sign an MOU with the university, as it is in keeping with our commitment to build a strong reserve of principled and expert business leaders, who will be able to contribute positively to the recovery and growth of the local and regional economies, while building the communities in which they operate.” Adding, “This is a coming together of both worlds - academia and practice - to augur for the best outcome for the entrepreneurs, in their transition from fledgling businesses to household names.”

Leadership skills

Through this partnership, MSMEs will have the opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills and capacity building, through training sessions on a range of topics, including: accounting and taxation, financial management, marketing, business planning, project management, operations management, human resource management, copyright and legal issues, ethics, commercial negotiation and export planning.

Professor Colin Gyles, acting president, University of Technology, Jamaica, noted that this latest agreement with JMMB Group speaks to the indelible mark that the Technology Innovation Centre (TIC) continues to make on the Jamaican economy, by supporting small and medium-size businesses in their growth quest. Established in 2002, the Technology Innovation Centre (TIC) is a specialszed unit of the Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership (JDSEEL), in the College of Business and Management at University of Technology, Jamaica. The TIC is a full-service business incubator that supports the growth and development of early-stage, technology-driven, and technology-enabled companies in the residential programme, as well as companies from other industries, in its associate and virtual programmes.

Professor Gyles added that, “UTech, Jamaica, is happy to be partnering with the JMMB Group on yet another initiative designed to build and support entrepreneurship and economic development in Jamaica, which signals the commitment of both institutions to strengthening MSMEs. Aligned with the mandate of the university, this agreement will allow for collaborative research projects, technology initiatives, resource sharing and public education, which will redound to the benefit of budding entrepreneurs and undoubtedly help in enhancing the skills and competencies of the current cadre of MSME business owners.”