Tue | Jan 26, 2021

Growth & Jobs | JBDC partners with international company to help businesses grow amid COVID-19

Published:Tuesday | November 24, 2020 | 12:11 AM
Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira (left), and Caribbean Business Consultant for CIAL Dun & Bradstreet, Kavin Hewitt, signs the MSME development agreement during the recent signing session.
Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira (left), and Caribbean Business Consultant for CIAL Dun & Bradstreet, Kavin Hewitt, signs the MSME development agreement during the recent signing session.

The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) has entered into a major partnership with international organisation CIAL Dun & Bradstreet to deliver critical development services to businesses in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector as they grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agreement was signed last week at a ceremony dubbed, ‘Partnerships for Growth’. The event formed part of the JBDC’s celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2020 under the theme IDEATE. INNOVATE. ACTIVATE.

Headquartered in the USA over the past 178 years, CIAL Dun & Bradstreet has helped clients survive financial panics, recessions, the Great Depression, wars, pandemics, and numerous global changes. The organisation’s SME Gold Solutions offers two main value propositions for small to medium businesses:

(1) Increasing visibility in local and overseas markets;

(2) Increasing/establishing credibility.

CIAL Dun & Bradstreet also offers several tools to take businesses where they need to be. These include a business ID, digital badge, business analysis report, B2B matchmaking, and a credibility certificate.

Speaking at the event, JBDC Board Chairman Dr William Lawrence said the board of directors was pleased with the progress that the organisation had been making, with much alacrity, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawrence anticipates that the move will help MSMEs to recover quickly and go forward. “As you know, the country, like many others, has been hard hit, and the main driver of economic growth, the business sector, has had to grapple with many challenges. A number of surveys suggest that at the lower end of the spectrum, the MSME sector, there is need for special help, and this is where the JBDC has always stepped up to the plate. The JBDC has always embraced important partnerships locally and overseas,” he added.

In his address, State Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Dr Norman Dunn charged the JBDC to remain focused on its mandate in these challenging times and actively engage in various industries in an effort to assist them in transforming into a post-COVID-19 era and identifying new ideas.

“As an entrepreneur myself, I understand the importance of these terms: ideate, innovate, and activate. It is what makes us entrepreneurs. We see Global Entrepreneurship Week as more than just networking and building awareness. It is also about unleashing our creativity, exploiting new opportunities, solving problems, taking risks, learning about our failures and successes, and charting a new course for the future. It is about thinking big, making our mark on the Jamaican landscape and the world,” Dunn added.

Chief Revenue Officer at CIAL Dun & Bradstreet Joe Cohen said that credibility, backed by data, is a critical element for growth. CIAL Dun & Bradstreet data is used internationally to validate suppliers in export markets. In some jurisdictions, a Duns number is required for entry.