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August - September 2017

| VOICES Bi-Monthly Magazine of the University of Technology, Jamaica

GEM Report Presents Rich Data of Current

Entrepreneurship Ecosystem


he University of Technology, Jamaica on Thursday, September 14,

2017 hosted a special launch ceremony and symposium to announce

the findings of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Jamaica

2016/17 Report, undertaken by a team of researchers drawn from the

University’s College of Business and Management (COBAM). – Team

Lead Researcher, Dr. Girjanauth Boodraj, Associate Professor, COBAM, Mr.

Michael Steele, Head, Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics

and Leadership (JDSEEL), Associate Professors, COBAM, Dr. Claudette

Williams-Myers, Dr. Andrea Sutherland, Dr. Gaunette Sinclair-Maragh, Head,

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM) and Mrs. Vanetta

Skeete, Senior Lecturer, COBAM.

GEM is the largest study of entrepreneurship in the world. Through

a consortium of universities in 100 countries, GEM data tracks the

entrepreneurial attitudes, activities and motivation of entrepreneurs in the

participating countries and monitors entrepreneurial framework conditions

which promote or hinder the growth of entrepreneurship such as financial

support, government policies, commercial and service infrastructure and

physical infrastructure. GEM tracks rates of entrepreneurship across

multiple phases of activity- potential entrepreneurs, nascent entrepreneurs,

new business owners, established business owners and discontinued

businesses. UTech, Jamaica has been involved in producing the GEM

Jamaica country report since 2005.

Keynote speaker, Hon. Fayval Williams, MP, Minister of State, Ministry of

Finance and the Public Service lauded the researchers and the high value

of the GEM Report data in informing government policy and practice. Citing

recommendations from the GEM 2013 Jamaica report, Minister Williams

disclosed that “the recommendations from the report on research into

business discontinuation is factored into the emphasis that is now placed

on the long-term sustainability of start-ups, business growth and reducing

business failure as an important component of enabling a culture of

entrepreneurship and innovation.”

The Minister also noted that another recommendation from the GEM 2013

report for more youths to be exposed to entrepreneurship as a long term

career option, particularly at the elementary level was brought to bear in

revising the current MSME Policy that now focuses on the introduction of

Entrepreneurship in the school curricula at all levels.

Minister Williams told the gathering of entrepreneurs, students, academics

and members of the business community, that the government continues

to place emphasis on initiatives aimed at capacity building and creating an

enabling environment for MSMEs to flourish. She noted that the updated data

provided by the GEM 2016-17 report will be useful in “fixing the shortcomings

in the way we support the entrepreneurship environment in Jamaica.”

“Jamaicans Hold Entrepreneurship in High Regard”

Members of the GEM research team presented the key findings of the study

derived from an Adult Population Survey (APS) using a random sample of at

least 2,020 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 and a National Experts

Survey (NES) in which 36 business experts were interviewed. GEM collects

data from participating countries using these two common data collection

instruments. It harmonizes the data and compares results among countries

categorized as factor-driven, efficiency-driven and innovation-driven.

Jamaica is categorized as an efficiency-driven economy. In the measure

of societal values of entrepreneurship, according to the Report, Jamaicans

hold entrepreneurs in high regard, with 85% stating that starting a business

is a desirable career choice. This compares to only 64% for residents of

Latin America and the Caribbean.

The principal indicator of GEM is the Total Early Stage Entrepreneurial Activity

(TEA) rate which measures the percentage of the adult population who are

in the process of starting or have started a business. The researchers found

that Jamaica’s TEA rate is 9.9% which is approximately 50% of that of Latin

America and the Caribbean.

Among the other key findings are that Jamaicans positively perceive the

possibility of operating a business (85%); slightly more females (50.6%)

than males (49.4%) are involved in entrepreneurship; Jamaicans are driven

to engage in entrepreneurship by opportunities that exist and do not fear

failure; and small, easy to start-up businesses dominate the entrepreneurial

landscape in Jamaica.The researchers also reported that 84% of Jamaicans

believe that they have the required skill to start a business, while 38%

expressed the intention to start a business over the next three years. It was

noted however, that “the will, courage and confidence of most Jamaicans

to undertake entrepreneurial activities above the micro-enterprise level

are lacking.” The researchers recommended that factors that motivate

entrepreneurial activity such as training, accessibility to financing, guidance

and mentorship need to be maintained or strengthened.

The presentation of the report was followed by an entrepreneurship

symposium. The presenters were Dr. Ellen Campbell-Grizzle, Associate

Professor, College of Health Sciences, UTech, Jamaica who provided a

comprehensive overview of opportunities in “The Business of Cannabis.”

Entrepreneur, Ms Valrie Grant, Managing Director of GeoTech Vision

Limited shared her own experiences in a presentation on “Women in

Entrepreneurship” and President of the College of Agriculture, Science

and Education (CASE) shared with the audience on “Opportunities in


The University of Technology, Jamaica on Thursday, September 14, 2017 launched

the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Jamaica 2016 - 17 Report undertaken

by a team of researchers drawn from its College of Business and Management.

Pictured above, the researchers involved in the project discuss something of

interest in the publication during the launch ceremony. From left are Dr. Andrea

Sutherland, Mr. Michael Steele, Mrs. Vanetta Skeete, Dr. Claudette Williams-Myers,

Dr. Girjanauth Boodra,j, lead researcher and Dr Gaunette Sinclair-Maragh.