Ten small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the global services sector (GSS) on Wednesday last were chosen for the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica’s (BPIAJ) ‘Scale up the value chain: targeting SMEs in the GSS’ project.

The chosen companies are: Innovate 10x, QualityWorks Consulting Group, Hacker Hostel, tTech, Shadrok Global Business Solutions, Caribbean HR Solutions, CCServices, Contax360, KnightFox App Design Limited, and MS Tech Solutions.

Through this project, with support from Compete Caribbean and its grant of US$440,000, these SMEs will be provided with support, customised road maps, technical assistance, mentorship, and the requisite help needed for them to become fully digitised and gain access to opportunities within the global value chain.

BPIAJ launched the SMEs scale-up project last year November during which companies were invited to participate in the competition. The judges who shortlisted and chose the companies were from Compete Caribbean, Development Bank of Jamaica, Jamaica Promotions Corporation, and Spatial Innovision Limited.

The programme starts immediately and will run until April.

“Our objective is to attract higher-value services and to help our SMES to become global partners. Many of them are not exporting, and we want to help them to start exporting their services and to bring more foreign exchange to Jamaica. Some of them are already looking at expanding in the US, but we want to help them grow their footprint in the sector to support the bigger ecosystem within the Jamaican market and within the Caribbean as well,” Gloria Henry, president of BPIAJ, told the Business Observer at the announcement event held at the Inter-American Development Bank’s offices in Kingston.

“Jamaica is not consuming as much digital services as it should and we’re not digitising enough processes. A lot of what the customer-support services and other businesses outside of the GSS are using could be better enhanced, more productive, and return higher revenues if they were digitised. We’re hoping that there will be spin-offs from these businesses into the wider economy of Jamaica,” she added.

Innovate 10x’s manager of market and commercialisation, Jason Scott revealed that the company’s ultimate goal is global domination in the information technology (IT) space and that this project will enable such aspirations.

“We understood that the competition would be an opportunity for us to scale across the region and internationally, and primarily into the North American and European markets. We’re looking forward to meeting the mentors and building out that road map and strategy plan to see how best it aligns with what [the company] wants to do, and how quickly we can implement and execute,” Scott told this publication.

Debra Fraser, chief executive officer of human resource outsourcing company Caribbean HR Solutions, also expressed her expectations of the project.

“We wanted help with becoming a global HR outsourcing player and accessing that market, as it is very hard to define. [This project] will help us be proactive and make sure that we have a good strategy to get there, which in turn will hopefully enable us to get private placement funding or public funding through the stock exchange,” she said.

The Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) is a private sector development that delivers innovative and practical solutions that stimulate economic growth, increase productivity, and foster innovation and competitiveness in 13 countries across the Caribbean region. Through competitions, CCPF invites and selects project proposals to demonstrate the kinds of investments and activities that private sector companies can adopt to foster innovation and position regional products and services competitively in the global market.

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