Facilitating urban and rural micro enterprise

Montego Bay, Jamaica, 15-18 October, 2012


A profile of Jamaica and its economic development

Jamaica is the 5th largest island country in the Caribbean, 234 kilometres (145 mi) in length, up to 80 kilometres (50 mi) in width, and 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba. Jamaica achieved full independence from the United Kingdom on August 6, 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Kingston is the country's largest city and capital with a population of more than 937,000.

Jamaica is a mixed economy with both state enterprises and private sector businesses. Major sectors of the Jamaican economy include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, and financial and insurance services. Tourism and mining are the leading earners of foreign exchange. Half the Jamaican economy relies on services, with half of its income coming from services such as tourism. An estimated 1.3 million foreign tourists visit Jamaica every year.

(Above right) A portrait or rural life in Jamaica




Economic development (continued)

Jamaica is a land of contrasts. On the northern coast—home to tourism—and in the suburbs of Kingston, the standard of living is relatively high. Yet not far from these enclaves a significant number of Jamaicans live in poor housing with a limited food supply, and inadequate access to clean water, quality health care, or education. Jamaica's rural poor also face difficult circumstances and many people grow their own crops and participate in the informal economy in order to survive.

Jamaica is divided into 14 parishes, which are grouped into three historic counties that have no administrative relevance.

1 Hanover
6 Clarendon
11 Kingston
2 St Elizabeth
7 Manchester
12 Portland
3 St James
8 St Ann
13 St Andrew
4 Trelawny
9 St Catherine
14 St Thomas
5 Westmoreland
10 St Mary

(Above) The island of Jamaica and its 14 Parishes




GULL’s response:
Facilitating urban and rural micro enterprise

On 16 October, the GULL Jamaica team met to explore the best ways of providing GULL’s action learning system to those in the community and the workplace who would like to achieve greater self-reliance and financial independence. It was decided that a new GULL Entrepreneur Development pathway would be established with support as necessary from a GULL Jamaica Loan Scheme to be established by Lee Bailey in collaboration with GULL Jamaica alumni.

The new pathway will commence with pilot groups in Montego Bay, St James parish (urban environment) and in Accompong Maroons, St Elizabeth parish (Rural environment). Pilot group participants will later serve as rural or urban facilitators so as to ‘cascade’ the process in their own respective community environments.

(Right) The GULL Jamaica team (left to right) Ibrahim Ajagunna, Ruddy Khani, Norma Taylor (GULL Jamaica President), Richard Teare and Lee Bailey.


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