Launch of the MPDC Terre Agua Business Centre

On Monday, July 9, 2012, the Manchester Parish Development Committee, continuing on the new thrust to ensure its sustainability as a NGO through the creation of various revenue streams, officially launched its business incubator facility.

With the emerging trends in entrepreneurship and the effects of the global economic downturn of 2009, small business owners were forced to close their offices to reduce overhead expenditures. This has now created the opportunity for the Manchester PDC to open its business incubator that will be opened to the general public.

This facility features four (4) work stations and offers business support services to small community projects and other private small business and start-ups. These services include internet access, printing services and so on.

The official launch was attended by 19 persons (11 female 8 male), including partner agencies from the community:  JSIF-REDI, SDC, CUI, MPDC, MPC, 20Twenty Strategies Consulting, Manchester Chamber of Commerce and development areas (Porus, Newport, Cross Keys, Mile Gully, Asia and Alligator Pond).

The Launch

Mr. Miller introduced the project as “an income generating” venture. He thanked partners from the JSIF and CUI. The MPDC intends to be here for quite a while to come he stated.

Mrs. Beverly Boothe, Parish Manager of the Manchester Social Development Commission congratulated the MPDC on this move and endorsed it. It has also outlined its support going forward.

Stephanie Hutchinson-Ffrench of Project Manager, Jamaica Social Investment Fund-Rural Enterprise Development Initiative (JSIF-REDI) spoke to their financial support of over $1 million in training in addition to online reservation service software. The funds left-over were requested to create a business incubator. “I’m sure the PDC will be charging for its services”. JSIF would like to see the impact on businesses that this venture will have on communities.

CUI representative and Country Manager, Mr. Phil Rodriques spoke to and endorsed the MPDC’s Business Incubator. He extended The Canadian Urban Institute’s (CUI) congratulations to the Manchester PDC on the momentous launch of its ‘Terre Agua Business Centre’. He alluded to the timeliness of this venture given the current economic realities in Jamaica and the need to support those individuals and communities with the entrepreneurial spirit. Mr. Rodriques recognised the MPDC’s foresight to ensure its own sustainability by offering aspects of the organisation as a ‘for-profit’, a direction that would be part of the solution to keeping its doors open. He expressed his hope that the new ‘Terre Agua Business Centre’ would contribute in a meaningful way to: i) employment creation ii) fostering communities’ entrepreneurial spirit iii) diversification of local economies and iv) creation of direct and spin-off opportunities. He ended by saying that the CUI through funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is happy to have supported this venture through the leveraging of funding with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund-Rural Enterprise Development Initiative JSIF-REDI and continues to standby the MPDC going into 2013.

Mayor Brenda Ramsay spoke to the partnership with the MPDC and how mutually benefitting this partnership has been. She also spoke to the MPDC’s out-of-the-box-thinking such as the Manchester LSDP. She spoke to the public relations component and pledges the Council support going forward and extended its congratulations.

Angella Edwards spoke to the history of ‘Terre Agua’ and how it has gotten to this point… through the connecting the dots – observing market trends, economic realities, etc.

Wendy Freckleton, chairman of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce endorsed the incubator. She spoke to the implementation of the Manchester LSDP and about tackling land use – commercial versus residential. We must find a way to use this centre to invest in young entrepreneurs. The Chamber desires to work with the MPDC and extends its hands to continue this partnership. Mrs. Freckleton also mentioned the birth of the PDCs.

Jamaica Creative Cooperative (JCC), Mrs. Maxine Donovan – “Creativity Tun Up” – one of the community groups spoke to the launch of the business incubator and how the timing is impeccable for that business edge and competiveness.

Custos Sally Porteous brought not only greetings but endorsement for this venture and spoke to lack of facilities such as the ‘Terre Agua’ business centre. She thanked both JSIF and CUI for their contribution.

Mr. Myers stated that the MPDC was grateful to have two of the parish’s leading ladies (Mayor and Custos) present at this juncture. He also thanked JSIF and CUI for their contribution and formally welcomed everyone to the opening.

The launch then ended with the invited guests going to the business centre for the official ribbon cutting that was done by Mayor Ramsay, Custos Porteous, Mr. Clarence Myers and Mrs. Stephanie Hutchinson-Ffrench. Everyone was then able to have a look on the inside of the space and use the computers. It was also an opportunity to mix and mingle.

Terre Agua Business Centre

The Terre Agua Business Centre is conveniently located in Central Mandeville.  The Business Centre provides business services and conference space to new enterprises and community groups at affordable rates.

The services offered include the following:

  • Internet access
  • Business plan writing
  • Print and fax services
  • Fax and phone services
  • Resume compilation
  • Software access
  • Proposal writing
  • Copy and scan services
  • Conference room
  • Research/networking

Mission Statement

To promote economic development for communities in Central Jamaica by providing affordable business support services solutions to community groups and the MSME sector.

Vision Statement

Terre Agua will become the premier leader in providing businesses with the key ingredients and services platform on which to gain a competitive edge in their respective markets.

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