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May 9, 2014
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JAMPRO, Jamaican business leaders to provide mentorship to SMEs

Prominent business leaders have stepped up to partner with JAMPRO's Export Max II mentorship programme for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Under the Export Max II programme, clients will benefit from close mentorship with Jamaica's top business heads including Brian Pengelley, sales director, Red Stripe; William Mahfood, managing director, Wisynco; Stanley Beckford, chief risk officer, Grace Kennedy; Dr Trevor Hamilton, President and CEO, Trevor Hamilton and Associates; Stephen Spence, chief executive officer, SMS Communication; and Melody Cammock Gayle, director of marketing and business development, Maverick Communications & Associates.

Export Max II is designed to assist companies already exporting, or which are export-ready, to increase their export sales by the application of a number of capacity-building initiatives.

Launched in March, the programme has officially extended the deadline for applications from the local export community to June 6.

The programme was recently lauded by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller during her 2014/2015 budget presentation for "assisting small businesses to expand exports".

The prime minister highlighted that the Export Max Development pilot initiative assisted small exporters to generate some $1.4 billion, among 15 local producers.

Export Max II is a three-year initiative that will provide in-depth capacity building and market penetration support to 20 local companies. The programme is being sponsored by the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Bureau of Standards, Development Bank of Jamaica, Jamaica Productivity Centre and the Caribbean Export Development Agency.

Export Max II is open to exporting and export ready firms, which satisfy the eligibility criteria and operate within the priority sectors targeted under Jamaica's National Export Strategy (NES) - agro-processing, manufacturing, creative industries and services (professional services and education).

Potential applicants must be able to demonstrate the capacity to implement the required systems as well as financial viability. They will be assessed on business experience and export readiness, capacity to meet orders and respond quickly to market opportunities.

They should also be able to show the potential impact of the business on the Jamaican economy and alignment to the goals of the National Export Strategy.

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