Noted management consultant and social enterprise advocate Dr Henley Morgan is challenging the Jamaican Government to grasp the significant opportunity presented by social enterprise.
Speaking at the recent launch of the sixth season of business growth strategy TV programme, The Innovators, Dr Morgan, who directs several initiatives under the umbrella of his Trench Town-based Agency for Innercity Renewal, has described social enterprise as “a potentially big idea” could take Jamaica into much needed safety and prosperity.
The erudite yet always passionate social activist offered the endorsement of two external sources on the immense value of a vibrant social enterprise sector and of the work he has been carrying out in the tough innercity community.
First, a salute from the UK Economist magazine in a May 14th 2016, in which the journalist described the work of Morgan’s Agency as a “global” model and one that offered hope for the nation’s redemption.
The other from Peter Holbrook C.B.E., Chief Executive Officer of Social Enterprise U.K., who painstakingly explained the experience of the U.K. and many other counties with social entrepreneurship and creation of what some people refer to as the fourth sector.
Mr. Holbrook expressed the belief, Dr Morgan pointed out, that there was an opportunity, for Jamaica to take a leadership role in the social enterprise space and, in effect, brand itself as “ the social enterprise country.”
He emphasized that social enterprises should not be viewed in a stereotypical manner, to be seen as “charities” or even cottage enterprises, but rather viable businesses that emphasize the needs of people over the demand for profit at any cost, and businesses which also operate with respect for the physical and social environments as a whole.
Here in Jamaica, the Jamaica national Building Society, in partnership with the USAID, launched its Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI) in 2012 to foster social enterprise and participate in the build-out of a social enterprise infrastructure. After an initial three-year pilot period, which saw some $37 million in revenues generated, the programme was extended earlier this year, with a commitment of additional funds from USAID to provide training, consultation and partnership development to the businesses in the programme.
The Innovators is a reality business programme hosted by renowned entrepreneurs Yaneek Page and Gary Matalon. Each season, 10 participants (known as assignments) are featured, one assignment per episode, going to The Innovators for their guidance and expertise. This season's theme is "The Community Innovators" and looks at helping businesses who already have an impact on their community as well as those who have the potential to have community impact.