New initiative ‘Big up Small Business’ to boost local businesses in Jamaica

Over 150 entrepreneurs and small businesses across Jamaica will receive coaching and practical support from the ‘Big up Small Business’ initiative. Our new project, with TUI Care Foundation, builds on our previous initiative ‘Out and About in Montego Bay’, which successfully led to an increase of four times as many tourists visiting Montego Bay’s Harbour Street Craft Market.

The aim of the project is to create opportunities for local entrepreneurs in Jamaica to connect with the tourism sector. Over 150 MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) will learn how to develop their products and promote them to hotels, tour operators and tourists visiting the island. Ten entrepreneurs will be selected from this group to become the project’s ‘beacon businesses’ – a group of local businesses that will have access to a more intensive coaching programme and receive guidance from experienced travel professionals.

Travel and tourism is a major source of economic growth and employment in Jamaica and working with local businesses offers a real opportunity to build strong local economies. This initiative will provide practical support for small local businesses to tap into this thriving tourism industry. The participating businesses will receive training and marketing support to develop their businesses and understand what international visitors want.

By forging links and helping drive innovation small-business entrepreneurs (including accommodation and attraction providers, community enterprises and craft producers) can connect more easily with tourists. As well as offering unique and unforgettable holiday experiences for visitors, local businesses can also help the local community to benefit from the opportunities brought by tourism.

The overall aim of the project is to increase the revenue from tourism for businesses. We will help to create new opportunities for the entrepreneurs by organising expos, conferences and workshops to connect them with tourists and travel businesses. We will also show them how to access grants and new investment to scale up their businesses.

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