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Jamaica focuses on targeted business mentorship for small entities
Published on March 21, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Following on the achievement of its successful export growth programme, Export Max, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is now inviting production and service companies to participate in the second staging of the customized developmental programme.

Titled ‘Export Max II’ the programme is designed to assist companies that are already exporting or which are export-ready to increase their export sales by the application of a number of capacity building initiatives. Applications to the programme officially started on Sunday, March 16. Unlike its predecessor, which ran from 2011 to 2013, Export Max II is a three-year initiative that will provide in-depth capacity building and market penetration support to 20 local companies.

President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, says the agency will be a reliable business partner for the upcoming companies that will be participating in Export Max II
Speaking at the awards ceremony for Export Max I JAMPRO president Diane Edwards, assured the audience, saying, “We are mindful of the fact that sustained success in the export business is a marathon, not a sprint. Development takes time. It requires patience, support and partnership. This is what JAMPRO wants to be for local export producers through Export Max II - a reliable business partner.”

The programme is open to exporting and export ready firms which satisfy the eligibility criteria and operate within the priority sectors targeted under Jamaica’s National Export Strategy (NES) -- agro-processing, manufacturing, creative industries and services (professional services and education).

Marlene Porter, manager of export development at JAMPRO, noted that with Export Max II special emphasis will be placed on coaching and mentoring, with a number of established companies on board to share their experience.

She said, “Emphasis will be placed on improving the level of productivity and efficiency of the participating companies. These companies should each be exporting to at least one new market and combined, should see a growth of approximately 50% in export sales.”

Porter is encouraging exporters to seize the opportunity to access the targeted interventions that will be afforded under the Export Max II programme.

The pilot Export Max programme achieved significant success with the 15 participating small and medium businesses that benefitted from capacity building and technical services as well as exposure at overseas trade shows. The participating companies were drawn from the food and garment manufacturing/fashion sectors, and the initiative yielded an increase of 31% in exports sales of the companies, exceeding JAMPRO’s target of 30%. New routes were found to market for 11 of the companies, which were able to access 33 new markets and to generate over 50 strong trade leads.

For Export Max II firms must be able to demonstrate the capacity to implement the required systems as well as financial viability. They will be assessed on business experience and export readiness, capacity to meet orders and respond quickly to market opportunities. They should also be able to show the potential impact of the business on the Jamaican economy and alignment to the goals of the National Export Strategy.
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