Mona School of Business Management commenced its 3rd Annual Business and Management Conference on a high note with a special address by prominent businessman and Chairman of Sagicor Group, Richard Byles. The address was delivered during the opening ceremony of the conference which took place from 8th-10th November.
The conference was held under the theme “Driving Transformation, Finance, Enterprise Development and Wealth Creation”, and sought to analyze broadly the role and impact of finance in enterprise development, especially in the context of small developing economies. The event featured several locally and internationally recognized figures in business and academia and included a number of topical plenary sessions as well as a special Business Roundtable.
During his address, Byles explored several current and pressing issues of national interest including strategies for growing the Jamaican economy, the need for greater collaboration between the public and private sectors, as well as the importance for policies that result in the improvement of human capital in order to drive growth. “It is imperative that the government of Jamaica works in conjunction with the private sector. As a country without a large domestic market that can generate internal growth, we have to look towards the global marketplace. This means we have to be fit, ready, agile, and concentrate all our resources to therefore have an impact. We must also ask ourselves, what can Jamaica supply that the world needs and no one else is supplying”, Byles stated.
Noting that the improvement of Jamaica’s human capital within both the public and private sectors should be an essential part of national development and transformation plans, Byles explained “While in Jamaica we are lacking financial capital, we certainly aren’t lacking in human capital. For one thing, one of our major objectives in any development plan must be to educate Jamaicans, on any level, to be the best, no matter what career or job choice”. He further recognized that competition in human capital at the regional and international levels further necessitates the need to prioritize training and capacity building nationally.
Byles ended his opening address by imploring the audience to recognize the developmental challenges that face the country and region by extension, and encouraged the use of creative solutions to combat these problems, “by creating a vision and a map, for ourselves, our businesses, and our country; we can measure our journey and performance as we go along”.
Commenting during the opening ceremony, MSBM Acting Executive Director, Michael Williams stated that the conference’s aim was to encourage integral discourse on wealth creation and development in the Jamaican business sector, “I am pleased that continuation of this conference will serve to influence business education and vital research on Jamaica and the Caribbean region. MSBM has placed emphasis on the importance of practical solutions, and through this conference, we seek to highlight the need to address these issues, by creating forward thinking solutions”.
Conference sponsors included local financial institutions, NCB Group, JN Bank, Victoria Mutual Building Society, the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Other sponsors included Pearson, The Gleaner, Ernst and Young and Pioneer Manufacturing Distribution Company Ltd.