Yaneek Page, an entrepreneur and business trainer has a great response in today’s Jamaica Gleaner to a question about what type of businesses are much needed in Jamaica.
Ms Page pointed out the harsh reality that Jamaica is “a very challenging environment for businesses and it takes much more than introducing a popular North American idea or business model to this market to be prosperous.” However she did not discourage the aspiring entrepreneur.
In her view the following businesses are much needed in Jamaica:
1. Businesses that export/earn foreign exchange
2. Businesses that locally produce/substitute what we import
3. Businesses that can solve pressing societal problems
In support of #2 she sited frightening data provided by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica: total imports for January 2014 were valued at US$441.893 million and unfortunately exports were about a quarter of that at US$114.595 million.
IN JANUARY OF THIS YEAR THE MONEY SPENT ON BUYING PRODUCTS FROM ABROAD WAS CLOSE TO 4 TIMES THE MONEY RECEIVED SELLING PRODUCTS TO OTHER COUNTRIES. IMPORTS WERE ALMOST 4 TIMES EXPORTS. THIS IS A DANGEROUS SITUATION!
In a recent article I mentioned a local farmer who was told that a chain of hotels is importing vegetables that are grown locally. Local farmers were not meeting the demands of the hotel chain and at times the quality and delivery times were unsatisfactory. In other words if local farmers did a better job of producing quality foods and delivering them on time, the hotel chain would keep more of their earnings in Jamaica.
To read the response by Yaneek Page please follow this link.