The Fund was launched today by Kingston Central Candidate Imani Duncan Price, herself a businesswoman, at the St. Matthew’s Anglican Church Hall in Allman Town, Kingston. It was born out of a need to support enterprising persons (young, old and in-between) throughout Central Kingston, who want to earn a consistent living, be able to put good food on the table and take care of their families.
A major part of realizing that goal is to ensure that the persons who have received the loans also develop the right business skills to move their businesses forward, and this will come through Business Coaching. “I’ve met young men who are on the corners all day in Spoilers, Tel Aviv, Rae Town, Allman Town, Franklyn Town – some have subjects, some don’t, some are certified, some just have the skill, some don’t. But many want to learn. They want a work too. They know all too well that a one-day drink doesn’t last,” Mrs. Duncan Price said.
Mrs. Duncan Price is financing the fund through personal investment as well as through her global and local network. Thus far, the Fund raised two million dollars with another one million dollars injection to come by the end of July 2019. “We will do this using the internet to raise that money from the Diaspora, family and friends abroad, who want to support small business growth in our communities like Spoilers, Tel Aviv, Rae Town, Allman Town, and Franklyn Town,” she said.
Latoya Scoburgh, a resident of Franklyn Town, shared her story of not finishing high school due to pregnancy but persevering. She started out running her own stall and has now grown to having two wholesale stores and a bakery at the age of 33. She emphatically shared that, "It was through God's guidance, discipline, money management and a JN small business loan at the right time that saw her through”.
In addition to the Fund, Mrs. Duncan Price will set up an online marketing arm for groups of artisans in the constituency – brand ‘Kingston Central’. “Hand crafted shoes and sandals made in communities of Kingston, Jamaica will sell for a much higher price via the websites, like Etsy.com than sold downtown. As those artisans grow, they will train more people in the art and skill so more people can earn as well.”
The loan application process was opened at the launch today. Speaking to the initiative at the launch, Patrick Sterling, international tax accountant and hailing from Tel Aviv originally, endorsed the programme. He stated, "This is the kind of focused investment that Central Kingston needs to grow. I am happy to be a part of the Evaluation and Advisory team.' Forms will be available at the Central Kingston Constituency Office as well. Other outlets will be determined over time. The first loans will be disbursed on July 23, 2019 and a business coach assigned.
- Countries: Jamaica