SEBI Summit 2015

ust over two years ago the JN Foundation partnered with the US Agency for International Development to create the Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI), which was developed to create opportunities for Jamaica's existing and potential social enterprises. The programmes three main objectives are:

  1. Help make social enterprises efficient businesses
  2. Create an enabling environment for social enterprises
  3. Improve the public's awareness of, and attitude towards social enterprises

Objective 1 provided 10 social enterprises with intensive, on-going business development training. While SEBI worked directly with these transitioning social enterprises, the programme was also laying the foundation for the wider social sector here in Jamaica. And, as we tried to raise awareness about social enterprises we had the pleasure of hearing your interests, needs and concerns. You had asked for information on starting a social enterprise, access to thought leaders in the sector and ways in which you could lend your support.

As a result of the needs of the sector, SEBI held Jamaica's first ever social enterprise summit in January of 2015. Over 300 people participated in the two day event which saw presentations by leading SE practitioners and academics from Jamaica, the UK and the US.

The three international panelists: Peter Holbrook, CEO, Social Enterprise UK, Claire Dove, Chair Social Enterprise UK and Becca Stephens, Executive Director, Thistle Farms; have been on the forefront of the movement in their respective countries. Each has played their parts at both macro and micro levels and were joined by the experts right here in Jamaica, most notably, K'adamawe K'nife of the Office of Social Entrepreneurship at the University of the West Indies, Saffrey Brown of the JN Foundation and Jennifer Sharrier, SEBI.

Attendees and visitors were also able to visit the Marketplace where local social enterprises were able to showcase and sell their products and services.

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.