Friday, February 13, 2015

THE Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) is running a pilot project through which persons between the ages of 18 and 29 who live in the Corporate Area can get grants to start businesses.

Jenni Headlam, project manager for the KSAC Enterprise Assistance Programme, which was launched on February 2, told the Jamaica Observer that the $2-million pilot project will last for six months.

"Through word of mouth there is already lots of interest in the programme," she said. The first information session, said Headlam, will be held in two weeks when interested persons will be briefed about the project and can apply to participate if they are eligible.

At the end of the pilot project a review will be done after which a the full programme will be launched, based on the review.

Three types of grants will be available under the project. Five grants of up to $130,000 each will be available under the wage incentive grant; business improvement grants of up to $100,000 will be available to seven persons; while 10 people can apply for start-up grants of up to $50,000.

Persons qualifying for the $130,000 and $100,000 grants must have registered businesses, have TRN and proof that the business is operating in Kingston and St Andrew.

Persons who qualify for grants must attend five half-day 'Up and Running" workshops that cover the main aspects of running a successful business.

Topics to be discussed at the workshop will include finance management; people, performance and productivity (getting the best from employees); winning and keeping customers; exploiting technology; and keeping the business legal/compliant.

Headlam said that persons who participate in the workshops must initiate a business plan or update their current business plan, while successful applicants will be mentored by existing business advisors and experienced business owners.
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