Editior Notes

AND WE'RE OFF!

And we’re off! Jamaica’s social enterprise sector is growing and if the 15 new social enterprises in the SEBI incubator are microcosm of the whole, then the movement is quickly becoming a game changer for us.

Inclusive is the word that best describes the expanded SEBI cohort. With communities such as the deaf, blind, visually impaired, mentally ill and physically challenged alongside representatives from the youth and women cohorts all participating as architects of their own success; social enterprise is a catalyst for social and economic change.

This is a wonderful development, as these communities are typically excluded from discussions on economic growth. Nevertheless, they have taken up the mantel; are breaking stereotypes; shifting paradigms and redefining their roles through social enterprise.

This is just one of the reasons our General Manager, Saffrey Brown recently affirmed that “social enterprises are at the heart of the development of a country's economy.”

We understand that structure is necessary for growth. And through our partnership with the PSOJ we are lobbying for the social enterprise sector to be included in the upcoming limited review of the MSME Policy. Inclusion in the MSME Policy is only the first step in the process of creating an enabling business environment for social enterprises. Jamaica needs to take bold steps in affirming the social enterprise sector, by creating a sector specific policy like the Social Value Act passed in the United Kingdom.

The future of social enterprise looks bright.  However, it resembles the Jamaica of yesteryear when ethics and honesty went hand in hand with commerce; when the who and the why of the business mattered as much as what the business produced.

Social enterprise success is measured in terms of people, planet and profit and so is intrinsically bound to values of ethics and honesty. 

The future of social enterprise is bright, and even more so Jamaica’s future shines brilliantly too.

A social enterprise is a business that generates income from the sale of goods and services and uses the profits to solve issues such as: unemployment, homelessness and environmental degradation.

 

A Social Entrepreneur is an individual who establishes a for-profit enterpise with the primary objective of using the profit generated to alleviate a social, cultural or environmental challenge.