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'Women in business doing remarkably well'

Jamaica Gleaner / State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Fayval Williams, has hailed women who she says are making strides and moving past the subtle barriers in entrepreneurship in Jamaica.

Speaking at a women’s empowerment forum hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston last week, Williams said that the evidence is there to support her claim that women in business have been doing remarkably well despite the challenge.

Williams, the 2016 Businessuite Magazine Chief Executive Officer of the Year for the Caribbean, reeled off findings from studies which she argued is a signal to females that becoming an entrepreneur can be a fulfilling decision.

Among the findings Williams shared with her audience of mainly women, was that female-owned enterprises were doing well in comparison to those owned by men.

She, however, made the observation that most of the enterprises headed by females were micro enterprises

According to the state minister, it was critical for women to be given more access to capital so they can transition their enterprises from micro to small and medium size.

Williams further argued that maximising the potential of women entrepreneurship required a broad understanding of the businesses environment and the factors that drive business success.

“In 2015, women entrepreneurship study found that 50 per cent [of persons] living in Jamaica know a male entrepreneur, but only 40 per cent [sic] know a female entrepreneur,” Williams noted.

The state minister said improving that 40 per cent figure is one of the key issues that should be tackled, as forming alliances in business endeavours drive success.

‘Women can turn around the economy for the better’

Fayval Williams says that even though it is tough to enter the entrepreneurship sector, much perseverance is needed as there is a real chance that women can turn around the economy for the better.

“As women – I know – we want more than a job in an organisation. We want to create jobs, we want to create wealth for the stakeholders, we want to create solutions to social problems, we want to introduce innovations to help people live better lives, we want to launch new industries … .”

“That is what our souls yearn to do,” the state minister for finance and the public service says.

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