USAID Announces New Partnerships in Jamaica

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
USAID Press Office

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Agency for International Development today announced two new public-private partnerships in Kingston, Jamaica, designed to promote economic growth and increase educational opportunities for Jamaica's neediest people.

The Jamaican National Building Society, one of Jamaica's oldest banks, will work with USAID to create the Social Enterprise Boost Initiative, designed to create and incubate social enterprises in poor communities. The Initiative seeks to increase investment in poor communities and bring more people into the formal economy.

"Through this partnership with USAID, we are marrying the principles of economic growth and social service provision," said Earl Jarrett, chairman of the JNBS's philanthropic arm. "These profit-centric businesses can achieve primarily social objectives while ensuring sustainability."

USAID is also joining forces with GraceKennedy Ltd., a Caribbean food processing and distribution company. This partnership will provide computer and national job skills certification training to more than 1,000 young adults from urban areas in Kingston and Spanish Town. The partnership will also provide low-interest loans to micro-entrepreneurs.

These new partnerships follow USAID's recent announcement to join the British Prince of Wales' Foundation and a coalition of private sector partners, grow the economy and provide legal and reliable water and sanitation services in Kingston's Rose Town neighborhood.

"These new public-private partnerships are a powerful signal of the Jamaican business community's commitment to the country's long-term development," said Mark Feierstein, USAID's Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean. "No single donor can prepare young people for school, train new workers or make a community economically viable. We need private sector partners to make our efforts truly transformational."

Last updated: May 21, 2012

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