The JN Foundation received support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in July 2012 to develop and implement a 3-year programme called the Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI). The programme’s mission is to mobilize increased employment, investment and revenue within communities across Jamaica in a socially responsible manner, and in so doing improve the nation’s economic, social and environmental conditions. This is to be achieved by:
– Increasing public awareness and interest and improving public attitudes towards social businesses;
– Creating an enabling environment within which social enterprises may operate; and
– Transforming social enterprises into efficient and profitable businesses.
– Establishing a network of professionals capable of promoting the work of members and enhancing their ability to operate profitably; and
– Establishing a business development programme.
The aim of SEBI is to facilitate and support the growth and development of social enterprises throughout Jamaica.
For the purpose of SEBI, a social enterprise is defined as a business or individual directly involved in revenue generating initiatives for the combined purpose of increasing income and achieving social or environmental aims. Most social ventures in Jamaica, such as community-based organizations, or co-operatives do not describe themselves as ‘social enterprises’. However in many instances their objectives are the same. Many, for example, have a dual purpose of generating income from the sale of products or services and investing their profit back into the organisation’s development, as well as supporting broader social or environmental aims. All of these organisations have one thing in common – making a contribution to individuals, communities and Jamaica’s development through social change. In addition to the established enterprises, SEBI is ready to support start-ups and newly formed social enterprises.
As part of the facilitation process, SEBI provides enterprises with the opportunity to be part of a business clinic, especially those organisations that have the greatest potential for growth.