Kingston, Jamaica: — A national study commissioned by Women Business Owners Jamaica Ltd. (WBO) and conducted by the Mona School of Business, has identified just over 4,600 women owned businesses in Jamaica, more than 20 percent of which have been in operation for more than 20 years. The findings demonstrate how women-owned businesses are helping to sustain the social fabric, by providing employment, allowing employees to take children to work, granting flexi-work time and contributing to community projects.
“Many women are doing well and they are demonstrating that they have the drive, financial savvy and determination to manage high growth business effectively,” asserts Mrs. Eleanor Jones, President of Women Business Owners Jamaica Limited (WBO), the not-for-profit organization which promotes the establishment and growth of business enterprises led by women.
“The achievements of these pioneers are helping to put to rest the long-standing myths about the capabilities of women in the business arena,” she stated.
The Jamaican Conference Board of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce partnered with WBO on the study, while funding were the Bank of Nova Scotia and the US Agency for International Development. The study shows that some 82 percent of current women-owned businesses were started by the owner, with 11.60 percent being inherited. Majority ownership – at 92.2 percent – remains firmly in the hands of women, who also run 91 percent of the businesses. Just over 86 percent of these enterprises are still being managed by their founders; and generate most of the family income.
The WBO is making its contribution to supporting the development of the nation’s established and aspiring women business owners by facilitating a series of training workshops, organized through an alliance with the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited. To date, three workshops under the theme, “The Game of Business – Playing to Win,” have been conducted and three others are scheduled in Ocho Rios on Tuesday, June 3; Mandeville on Tuesday, June 10 and Kingston on Thursday, June 19. The second leg of the workshop series is free of charge.
The workshops cover topics such as marketing, networking, financial management and sustainability in business, in order to help women deal with some of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs.
New, old and aspiring women entrepreneurs can strengthen their business acumen by registering for a WBO workshop and attending the WBO Annual General Meeting on June 19 to learn about membership opportunities. Space is limited, so participants are asked to register in advance by emailing [email protected] or calling 960 8627.