Jamaica in’ it easier for entrepreneurs to launch successful startups
Start-Up Jamaica (SUJ) launched this week in an effort to jump-start Jamaica’s startup ecosystem. The government-led program aims to help entrepreneurs transform business ideas into effective business plans capable of attracting investors. The program is based on the Start-Up Chile model, which has successfully put Chile on the global-entrepreneurial map.
“We will challenge the entrepreneurs to look beyond the shores of Jamaica or even the Caribbean,” saysJulian Robinson in a recent interview, minister of state in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining.
The SUJ program will allow startups to get seed financing, mentorship, support guidance and other services, in exchange for an equity stake in their company. The program is supported by the World Bank, with funding from the Development Bank of Jamaica. Oasis 500, a Jordan-based company, which has committed to providing $30,000 to each entrepreneur in the program.
The seed capital is only for a 100-day period.
“So, part of the programme, once they finish the 100 days, is that they will have access to a network of funders,” Robinson said. “They will have access to a network of mentors too, because one of the things we’re going to do with Start-Up Jamaica is, on a voluntary basis, to invite successful business persons and executives to become mentors to these companies.
Entrepreneurs interested in joining the program must complete the application to be considered.