Operators of MSMEs encouraged to utilise technology

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams, is encouraging operators of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to utilise technology for efficiency and profit-making.

She was delivering the keynote address at the opening of the Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ) 2019 Caribbean MSME Conference, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday.

The minister said that with the World Economic Forum pointing to the technology revolution connecting billions of people via mobile devices with “unprecedented processing power,” this holds “tremendous growth opportunities” for the sector.

“It has become crucial that businesses, whether small or large, leverage technology as a means of increasing efficiency and productivity to drive growth,” the minister said.

The three-day event is being held under the theme 'Improving Sustainability through Resource Development'.

Williams said the use of social media as “business engagement” tools, and with a vast amount of people transacting business online, e-commerce is expected to become the largest retail channel in the world by 2021.

“As much as you are able to incorporate technology in your business process, you will be amazed at the number of persons that you can reach with the use of social media platforms – a website, and even your own e-commerce platform,” she told the audience.

The minister argued that businesses, communication, and many aspects of everyday life will be revolutionised by technology, and the necessary steps must be taken to retool and prepare for the next “frontier of business”.

Williams said the Government fully recognises that digital data is a crucial source of innovation and value to businesses, and the Data Protection Bill that will soon be debated in the Parliament is a proactive action to manage the system.

She encouraged the business operators to provide ongoing training of their managers and staff to navigate the web responsibly, and to equip their systems and networks with state-of-the-art protection mechanisms, to mitigate cyberattack as best as possible.

—JIS


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