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Leadership Conversations

The Junior Stock Market & The Keys To Unlocking Our Country’s Entrepreneurial Spirit.



Mr. President, this Bill to reinstate the tax incentives for companies that list on the Junior Stock Market (JSM) of the Jamaica Stock Exchange has my full support.

Mr. President in 2009, Minister Audley Shaw and I piloted the Bill to establish the Junior Stock Market with great anticipation that the Junior Stock Market would be one of the keys to unlocking our country’s entrepreneurial spirit. Having reviewed its performance over the last 7 years I believe that it is on track to achieving that objective. The 29 companies listed on the Junior Market were able to raise 5.38 billion from the market as at August 2016 and their shares had a market value of 88.2 billion Jamaican dollars.

Growing the GDP through SME Sector

The Jamaican economy has been plagued by GDP growth rates of less than 3% from as far back as 1991. In order to achieve the 5% growth in GDP by 20/20, commonly referred to as the 5 in 4, more focus will have to be placed on growing small and medium sized businesses. Junior Markets provide a capital market facility for SMEs to raise equity capital, which is extremely important for growing their business. The London Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange are examples of the success of having a Junior Stock Market.

Mr. President, all around the world, and it is the same for Jamaica, the SME sector is a major engine of growth. Typically, SMEs account for more than 90% of all firms, 60% of employment and 40-60% of output in most economies.

One of the major challenges that has faced SMEs is the inability to raise capital through commercial loans because they lack the necessary security and expertise.

Mr. President, lack of access to credit has contributed to the very high failure rate of the SME sector. It is estimated that 80% fail within their first three years of operations. This high failure rate is by no means solely a result of a lack of access to credit. Even where credit is available, SMEs are more prone to fail because of the following common mistakes:

  • Poor initial planning including: failure to plan cash flow needs, failure to implement proper controls, little understanding of cost and pricing of products.
  • Weak financial management, including improper monitoring and improper debt structure.
  • Informal rather than strictly business based client relationships
  • Absence of specialist skills resulting in: weak marketing capacity and failure to manage growth.
  • Lack of corporate governance.

The discipline attached with listing on the stock exchange will result in the mitigation of a number of the mistakes I mentioned. Businesses that list on the exchange must have a Board of Directors and appoint a mentor to act as a compliance adviser to the Board. The mentor must be approved by the JSE and is tasked with advising the entity about fiscal discipline and good corporate governance. For the purpose of transparency, annual statutory audits, quarterly and annual reports are required of each business.

This structure and discipline has allowed the Junior Market companies to demonstrate their ability to grow the local economy by creating established and transparent businesses, jobs and ultimately, economic confidence.

Success of Junior Stock Market in growing the GDP

Mr. President, when it comes on to tax incentives the perception is that the government losses revenue. However, this is not supported by the fact that during the initial incentive period NIS, NHT, PAYE and GCT payments made by businesses which listed on the Junior Market increased substantially over time. Up to August of this year the figures are as follows:

  • There was a 96.54% increase in PAYE
  • NIS went up by 120.07%
  • NHT payments increased by 86.79%
  • And GCT payments were up by 336.80%

1297 permanent jobs were also created by businesses which listed on the JSM since its launch and there was a significant increase in their revenues up to four digit percentages.

Mr. President, the tax breaks provided for in this Bill will be a win-win for the government and businesses. The government will collect more taxes while businesses can reinvest profits in capital expenditure.

Mr. President, another concern with the incentive regime is that the Junior Market may be used for tax relief rather than equity expansion. Mr. President we shouldn’t stop a good thing because there are risks entailed. What we have to do is mitigate against the risks by ensuring that the regulations and rules surrounding the operation of the Junior Market are effective in deterring abuse.

The JSE has maintained a stellar record of vigilance in the enforcement of the Junior Market Rules and I am confident that they will continue to do so.

Mr. President, Members of this Honourable House will recall that the JSE’s number one ranking by performance- among 92 markets tracked by Bloomberg caught the world’s attention last year.

Technology and Economic Growth

Mr. President, new technologies are impacting the way we live, work and interact with one another in what has been dubbed as the early days of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Technology is changing the world in terms of business opportunities.

  • The world’s largest taxi company owns no taxis (Uber).
  • The largest accommodation provider has no real estate (Airbnb)
  • The largest phone companies own no telecoms infrastructure (Skype)
  • The world’s largest movie house owns no cinemas (Netflix)

We must respond to the changes that are taking place by finding ways for our young entrepreneurs who are technology savvy and have developed good business ideas to unlock their entrepreneurial spirit and potential.

The Junior Stock Market is important for getting capital into the hands of these young entrepreneurs while creating investment opportunities for individuals.

Mr. President, the Junior Stock Market has been a success and I am very proud of the achievements of all the companies that have listed on the Junior Stock Market since its inception. I commend all the stakeholders that have worked hard to make it a success.

I would like to encourage businesses who qualify to list on the exchange to take advantage of this great opportunity to take their businesses to the next level.

And finally Mr. President my challenge to the Jamaica Stock Exchange is to double the companies listed on the Junior Stock Market to 58 by 2020.
Thank you, Mr. President.

Presentation To The Senate On The Income Tax (Amendement) Bill, 2016 By
Senator Don Wehby December 2, 2016

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Leadership Conversations

A Sector-Specific Mechanism To identify And Develop New Tourism Businesses And New Tourism Ideas.



With the onslaught of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Tourism, has been strategizing the recovery of Jamaica’s tourism industry. The goal of this recovery, however, is not to resume the traditional way of doing business, but to use this opportunity to re-imagine and re-invent our tourism product and value chains.

By doing so, we have championed the Blue Ocean Strategy as the theoretical underpinning of this plan of action. This strategy can be defined as the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open new market spaces and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby rendering competition irrelevant.

It is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not set in cement and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players. To implement a Blue Ocean Strategy, we must re-evaluate the premises that inform our understanding of the industry’s assumptions and shape new business models. We must re-evaluate our understanding of the tourism industry, re-assess what we think our customers need and what we offer them. The goal is to expand the value chain and identify completely new products and markets.

To that end the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) is tasked with establishing a sector-specific, mechanism to support the identification and development of new tourism businesses and new tourism ideas. We are moving to establish the TEF’s Tourism Innovation Incubator.

This Tourism Innovation Incubator is a business development centre for individuals or entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas that can impact the tourism sector. This Incubator will provide a unique and highly flexible combination of services, including business support services, infrastructure; this Incubator will also nurture these entrepreneurs and support them through early stages of development and execution.

I look forward to the successful establishment of this key initiative and the impact that it will have on the future of our local tourism industry.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett

Click for more information on the Tourism Innovation Incubator

BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant. It is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not a given and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players.

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Leadership Voices

Keith Duncan and Christopher Williams have two different views on opportunities in the Caribbean. Which one is correct or are they both correct?



“The Dominican Republic is firing, and now Trinidad is firing up. The Trinidad economy has been recovering very nicely and JMMB Bank T&T continues to grow at a faster rate than market. We are really confident that we have a good team in place to drive that growth. We continue to look at opportunities in Central America and the Caribbean; that’s a pipeline that we continue to actively work, and we are hoping for good things,”
JMMB Group CEO Keith Duncan




Proven Group Limited plans to avoid acquisitions this year due to global uncertainty, but will continue to develop real estate projects. It’s the second time since the onset of the pandemic that the firm has adopted a passive approach.

“We want to preserve capital. We operate throughout the Caribbean and there are varying levels of downturn. None has been significant as a percentage, nothing greater than three or four per cent, but there is definitely a slowdown right across the Caribbean, interest rate hikes, inflation and supply chain challenges. So we are not looking for any acquisitions as a result; we are just sitting tight and making the best of our existing portfolio.”
Proven CEO Christopher Williams

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Leadership Conversations

How Jamaica Producers Group Has Been Organised To Generate Revenues From A Diverse Range Of Business Lines



Jamaica Producers Group Limited has been organised to generate revenues from a diverse range of business lines and, importantly, a diverse range of markets. Our Food & Drink business includes premium and travel retail products, as well as everyday snacks and basic food items. These businesses are aligned to general consumer trends such as the focus on health, convenience and provenance, and they serve markets as diverse as the Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora, Northern Europe, North America and Caribbean travel retail and hospitality.

Our logistics businesses, also operating in Europe, the USA and the Caribbean, handle a wide range of commodities and service a large number of origin and destination markets. Services provided range from shipping and freight forwarding to stevedoring, terminal operations, cold storage and logistics.

We see the diversity of our business as a strength. We are of the view, however, that inflation, supply chain shocks and disruptions to business confidence arising out of war, health-related restrictions, logistics challenges and adverse macroeconomic conditions all present general business challenges in the short term. Our strategy is to build on our core business capabilities in Food & Drink and Logistics & Infrastructure through active engagement and strategic alignment with key customers, efficiency enhancing capital investment projects and selective acquisitions. Core capital investments in our terminal, cranes and warehousing at Kingston Wharves are designed to expand capacity, gain market share and drive
efficiency in our logistics businesses.

Investment in food grade packaging lines, information technology systems, efficiency and hygiene, and health and safety are all expected to bolster the Food &Drink Division in the months ahead.

Based on our acquisition strategy, we will continue to identify other logistics services that support trade with the Caribbean, and Food & Drink businesses in markets that present definite new growth opportunities for the Group. With shareholders’ equity of $18.4 billion (an increase of 9% relative to the prior year) and cash and investments of $10.9 billion, we believe that the JP Group has the balance sheet strength to support this strategy.

C.H. Johnston Chairman Jamaica Producers Group Limited

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Leadership Conversations

Pathways to Transformational Leadership



Leadership is a mysterious blend of managerial acumen, strategic vision, operational efficiency, performance management, tactical planning, emotional intelligence, and the capacity to inspire others to marshal all of their abilities in support of a common mission. Leadership is the nourishing ingredient that can ignite an organization to flourish or stifle to the point that it languishes in a sea of mediocrity. Characteristics attributed to effective 21st-century leaders are skills like:

 The creation of an organizational vision such that people share it and work tirelessly to bring it to fruition, or;
 Fostering communication networks and a culture that breeds trust, confidence, and commitment, or maybe;
 Stirring personal motivation so that people exert deliberate effort to achieve organizational goals, or what about;
 Building teams that tap into synergy, interdependence and performance excellence, and;
 Understanding that organizations are social systems which require tapping into emotional intelligence; or perhaps,
 Making calculated risks within the framework of an overall organizational strategy, and
 Nurturing strategic collaborative relationships that support organizational goals and function as a catalyst for creating opportunities for goal achievement.
Leadership and management of organizations have shifted from transactional functioning, the old “step and fetch it” mentality; to an essential need for transformational cultures that fully engage and encourage the participation of workers at all levels. No longer can performance excellence be achieved in autocratic climates, with orders and assignments dished out without any consideration for the motivations, interests or personality of the individual holding the plate.

In simplistic terms, phenomenal leaders choose, create, communicate, collaborate, convince, coach, calibrate, cause, and calculate, always mindful that leadership is not a system. While certainly, a leader must be intimately acquainted with management theory and its practice, becoming a leader by practice and not merely by position, results from no standard recipe. Impactful leaders are as memorable as are the results they foster are monumental; the path to this pinnacle for everyone is uniquely their own.

Generally, leaders convey five basic leadership personality styles; destructor, procrastinator, caretaker, preparer or accomplisher as they are challenged on a daily basis by four major factors in leadership; personal leadership savvy, the individuality of the followers, the situation and inherent communication networks throughout the organization. This is the case no matter if the organization is corporate, non-profit or faith-based.

Leadership perspectives commonly reflect a structural, human resource, political, or symbolic framework. Structural framework leaders rely heavily on structure, strategy, environment, implementation, experimentation, and adaptation; typically focused on positions and duties as detailed on the organizational chart. Human Resource framework leaders focus on engaging staff, being accessible and visible, sharing information, increasing participation, and spiraling communication and decision-making throughout the organization. Political framework leaders use persuasion, negotiation and ultimately coercion to lead, based upon what they want, what they believe they can get, the political lay of the land, as well as interests; while symbolic framework leaders use compelling language and imagery to convey a vision, and as a means to marshal support.

It is said that competitiveness has been lost by countless organizations as a result of more emphasis being placed on structural, political, and symbolic frameworks, instead of human resources. You see, no matter how significant the financial, product and services, technological or facility resources of an organization; in the end, the social systems, which are the people that comprise any entity, and certainly a truism in the world of organization development, are the key inputs of creativity, innovation, effort and ultimately results.

To lead, one must have a destination in mind, and a path to get there. I believe there is a pathway to leadership, and for those leaders who have the courage to discover and honor their gifts and talents, choose to work with a spirit of excellence laced with personal values, while refusing to play organizational games or allow naysayers and detractors to derail them, achieving their leadership potential is possible. From my work, and shared experiences, I would like to suggest that there are ten pathways to leadership greatness, each linked to a leadership skill that whether or not innate, can be learned.

Pathways to Transformational Leadership
Leadership PATH 1… The Roots of Leadership… Knowing and Leading Self
Leadership PATH 2… The Heart of Leadership… Servant Leadership
Leadership PATH 3… The Mind of Leadership… Visionary Leadership
Leadership PATH 4… The Soul of Leadership… Strategic Leadership
Leadership PATH 5… The Spirit of Leadership …Inspirational Leadership
Leadership PATH 6… The Practice of Leadership… Process Management Leadership
Leadership PATH 7… The Intent of Leadership… Focus Leadership
Leadership PATH 8… The Revolution of Leadership… Change Management Leadership Leadership PATH 9…The Revitalization of Leadership …Transformational Leadership Leadership PATH 10…The Hope of Leadership …Legacy Leadership

Through these competencies, each of us has the potential to unleash the leadership greatness within; expand the understanding and practice of the essential leadership tools that effective leaders embody while gaining personal and organizational leadership insights that enable us to model and coach the cornerstones of synergetic leadership to others.

John Maxwell, in his work, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, sums it up well in what he calls the “Law of the Lid.” Maxwell says that no organization’s effectiveness will ever surpass that of the leader, and for those of us who choose to embrace this mindset, it becomes clear, that in the absence of transformational leadership, an organization will merely flounder. Transformational and authentic leadership is the hope for the future, for, without it, organizational chaos will continue to burgeon.

©Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe, a thought leader, a Leadership and Organization Development Solutionist, an International Social Entrepreneur, Management Consultant Business Development and Quality Management expert, holds an earned doctorate in Organization and Human Development. She has over 20 years of experience motivating, coaching, inspiring and transforming organizations, youth and adults. She has crafted and implemented myriad programs aimed at assisting organizations and people of all ages to discover their inner greatness and unique strengths. The CaribVoice Radio Host is the author of a personal and leadership development curriculum for girls entitled, Soulful One: For Girls on the Pathway to Greatness; and three books, A Woman’s Guide to Soulful Living: Seven Keys to Life and Work Success; Tropical Escapes, a novel; and Follow Her Lead: Leadership Lessons For Women As They Journey From the Backroom to the Boardroom.

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Leadership Conversations

Is fake it until you make it the worst advice EVER?



In the “Material World” of the 1980’s and 1990’s, appearances trumped authenticity. So if you could pretend to be successful, you could hoodwink people into believing you were. So there was a time when “Fake it until you make it” was advice that actually worked for people (until they burnt through all their money and had to return the house and car).

Today, there’s 4 big reasons that this is the worst advice ever:

Reason One: No one judges you anymore on “what you do”. Everyone is more interested in “who you are”. So being your true self is the No.1 most important asset you have.

Reason Two: There was a time where “what you knew” as a teaching teacher – whether a lecturer, doctor or lawyer with a “body of knowledge” – was what people valued. It took time to acquire. Today, when thing are moving so fast (and all knowledge is easily accessible online), “what you’re learning” as a leading learner is far more important than “what you know or knew”. You can be a leading learner in whatever niche you’re most passionate about from the moment you choose to commit to it – without faking anything.

Reason Three: “Faking it” was all about what you “pretended you owned” – the big houses and the fast cars. Today, AirBnB, Uber, and all the crowdsourcing sites erase the need for “ownership”. We now live in a culture where what we experience and what we express is far more valued than what we own.
Reason Four: No one wants to work for or with someone trying to be what they’re not..
Don’t fake it until you make it. In fact, don’t even make it. Just be it.

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Sourced from the internet – Roger James Hamilton

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