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Paulwell highlights opportunities in the ICT sector

Science, Technology, Minister, Phillip Paulwell (right), converses with President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA), Erica Wynter, at a seminar held as part of activities for National Entrepreneurship Week, at in Mandeville. JIS PHOTO Science, Technology, Minister, Phillip Paulwell (right), converses with President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA), Erica Wynter, at a seminar held as part of activities for National Entrepreneurship Week, at in Mandeville. JIS PHOTO
MANDEVILLE,  Jamaica November 13, 2014 - Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Phillip Paulwell, has urged young Jamaican entrepreneurs to look at emerging opportunities available within the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.

Minister Paulwell told an Entrepreneurship seminar in Mandeville on November 12, that the online market presents a unique opportunity for local economic activities.

“Given the large percentage of unemployed youth in Jamaica, many of whom have high school diplomas and even college degrees, the online market presents a world of opportunity,” he said.

The Minister advised that through the virtual economy, youth can access employment opportunities globally, which is an attractive solution for many small island developing states, where the size of the local market hinders growth and job creation.

He noted that the US$220 billion global animation industry is just one avenue for such employment pursuits. Mr. Paulwell noted that because animation skills are transportable, any individual with those skills can service clients remotely.

The Minister informed that Jamaica’s animation industry is now attracting attention from global players, with local companies receiving an increasing number of expressions of interest for contracts from international companies.

Additionally, Mr. Paulwell informed that the Government has also created an opportunity for local technology entrepreneurs to build on their innovations through the Start-up Jamaica initiative.

The project aims to transform Jamaican and Caribbean young people from being technology consumers to technology creators over the next few years, and to position Jamaica as the hub for entrepreneurship and innovation in the Caribbean.

In the meantime, President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA), Erica Wynter, said if Jamaica is to earn its way out of its current economic situation, a culture of entrepreneurship must be institutionalized among the country’s youth.

Ms. Wynter noted that private sector and entrepreneurship development are essential ingredients for spurring economic growth and achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing poverty.

She noted that since its inception, the YEA has been working to promote entrepreneurship as a viable career option for Jamaican youth.

Ms. Wynter informed that the organisation  has presented the Ministers of Education and Industry, Investment and Commerce with policy position papers as part of its efforts to increase Government support for young entrepreneurs.

“For many developing countries, private sector development has been a powerful engine of economic growth and wealth creation, and crucial for improving the quality, number and variety of employment opportunities for the poor,” she said.

“Economically, entrepreneurship invigorates markets. The formation of new business leads to job creation and has a multiplying effect on the economy. And socially, entrepreneurship empowers citizens, generates innovation and changes mindsets,” Ms. Wynter added.

She noted that these changes have the potential to integrate developing countries into the global economy.

National Entrepreneurship Week is being observed from November 9 to 15, under the theme: ‘Uniting the entrepreneurial spirit for growth’.

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