Western communities embrace social enterprise

Release Date: 
Monday, May 22, 2017

Aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners from marginalised communities in western Jamaica were introduced to the Social Enterprise business model, promoted by JN Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development.

The close to 100 participants who attended the event at the University of the West Indies Mona, western Jamaica Campus in Montego Bay, St James recently, heard testimonials from Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI) incubator members about the success of their entrepreneurial pursuits.

This training session was organised by SEBI, in partnership with the Planning Institute of Jamaica, to introduce the model to its Community Renewal Programme for constituents in western Jamaica.


Entrepreneurial skills


For Stenneth 'Benny' Bowen, a farmer from Salt Spring, Hanover, the networking session was an eye opener. "I discovered a lot, such as how I can use my entrepreneurial skills to develop my community," he said.

Educator, Vilma Clarke, from Paradise in Montego Bay, said she left the session armed with much information.

"I know more about the SEBI, and I received a lot of literature, which I intend to read and use to train others in my community," she said.

Saffrey Brown, general manager, JN Foundation, advised that Social Enterprise 101 is a basic guide, which highlights the stages that entrepreneurs need to consider when starting a social enterprise.

The guidelines are about designing and providing solutions to influence growth.

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A social enterprise is a business that generates income from the sale of goods and services and uses the profits to solve issues such as: unemployment, homelessness and environmental degradation.


A Social Entrepreneur is an individual who establishes a for-profit enterpise with the primary objective of using the profit generated to alleviate a social, cultural or environmental challenge.