With more than 150 business associations and organisations representing micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in several sectors, including entertainment, manufacturing, personal services, transportation, retailing, mining, agriculture and the professionals, and operating in Jamaica, why create another to further muddy the water?
Reference is being made to The MSME Alliance, which is under the presidency of Professor Rosalea Hamilton as President. According to information gleaned from this association, the formation was hailed as “a historic alliance of business associations and organisations representing the MSME sector.”
Strategically, The MSME Alliance was said set up to build meaningful partnerships and for creating alliances and networking among existing business associations.
The uniqueness about The MSME Alliance, according to literature from the association, focuses primarily on business groupings, rather than individuals or firms as members.
How do you become a member?
If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, you can only become a member if you are already a member of an already existing organisation that is a member of The MSME Alliance; this accords you automatic membership status.
As of April 2009, the following associations and organisations were members of The MSME Alliance.
- All Island Bee Farmers Association
- Blockmakers Association of Jamaica
- Blue Mountain Project Entrepreneurs
- Custom Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of Jamaica
- Electrical Contractors Association of Jamaica
- Hardware Merchant Association
- Jamaica Agricultural Society
- Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors & Publishers
- Jamaica Association of Dramatic Artists
- Jamaica Craft Traders & Producers Association
- Jamaica Egg Farmers Association
- Jamaica Gasoline Retailers Association
- Jamaica Greenhouse Growers Association
- Jamaica Guild of Artists
- Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers
- Jamaica Optometric Association
- Jamaica Ornamental Fish Farmers Association
- Jamaica Racehorse Trainers Association
- Jamaica Society of Energy Engineers
- Jamaica Vendors, Higglers & Markets Association
- Jamaica Wood Products & Furniture Association
- Mining & Quarrying Association of Jamaica
- National Association of Taxi Operators
- National Council of Taxi Association
- Ocho Rios Craft Traders & Producers Council
- Port Trailer Haulage Association
- Positive Tourism Web Services
- Technology Innovation Centre
- Western Craft Region Association
Among the benefits to be had for becoming a member include:
- accessing financing
- access to the ScotiaMSME Alliance Fund (J$100 million fund at 8.624% – 10/875%)
- business networking
- lower telecommunications costs through Digicel CUG and other discounts
- online training and resources
- online presence through the MSME Alliance corporate website
- online shopping at discounted prices
- marketing through an online mall
- bulk purchasing of goods and services
Besides providing its membership access the above-mentioned benefits, The MSME Alliance’s aim is to provide a forum for SMSEs and other stakeholders, having a common interest, to meet in a spirit of friendship and cooperation for mutual benefit, and to fostering good commercial and social relations.
It also seeks to improve the capacity building of its network of associations by providing the means for all to work together in addressing the core problems facing the MSME sector. According to the Alliance, this is done primarily to increase the competitiveness of MSMEs in Jamaica and CARICOM.
The MSME Alliance Secretariat, Suite 55, Princeville Plaza, 95-97 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 8, Jamaica. Phone: (876) 925-5276 / 578-4926, Fax: (876) 924-0715, eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.msmealliance.com (now under construction).
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