OFFICE:FMA Proudly Participated in the Branson Center for Entrepreneurship – Caribbean’s Re-opening in Kingston
OFFICE:FMA has been Caribbean dreaming and our dreams are filled with innovative and motivated entrepreneurs. On June 6th, OFFICE:FMA joined our friends at the Branson Center for Entrepreneurship – Caribbean (BCoEC) for the celebration of their Kingston re-opening. It was an action-packed day filled with speeches, panels, and presentations by entrepreneurs. The latter of which showcased their young businesses with poise, professionalism, and pride, clearly demonstrating the successful work of BCoEC’s training program.
OFFICE:FMA actively supports Small to Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs), conducting assessments and eco-system mapping as well as developing supportive financing mechanisms. One such example of our work was setting up a credit facility for women and youth entrepreneurs for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the World Bank. With such a strong base of entrepreneurs, we are excited to share in BCoEC’s activities to enhance their program in Jamaica and expand their model across the Caribbean.
The work products and services BCoEC’s entrepreneurs presented, clearly demonstrate the tangible ability for SMEs to scale their businesses and create jobs. We were also impressed by a central theme readily apparent in BCoEC’s program, driven in large part by founder Sir Richard Branson. This theme or goal is to amplify each entrepreneur’s ability to grow their business and take pride in identifying opportunities and working to solve social or developmental problems. For example, an organic make-up entrepreneur is working to attract and retain her customer base by advocating for container returns which a customer can re-fill with new purchased product. Such SME activity clearly syncs up with actions of larger corporations and drives overall impacts.
As OFFICE:FMA continues to build its climate finance practice, we also wanted to recognize SMEs and the role they play in overall climate solutions. This will be more and more essential as SMEs face the impacts of climate change. While in Jamaica, our team met with a commercial farmer who shared a trend among local farmers to shift to commercial scale greenhouses due to the significant weather variabilities and associated financial loss they have faced. SMEs are often at the forefront of climate impacts whether they are health, flooding, or higher energy costs, and we are pleased to be working together with them to advance solutions.