Caribbean Employment Inc. CEO says more jobs and SME growth go hand-in-hand
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — Strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will directly lead to more jobs in the Caribbean.
This is according to a new report undertaken by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in conjunction with IDB Invest.
However, it aligns with the opinion of regional economists and financial experts, who have likewise identified micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as central to employment within the region.
In no uncertain terms, the IDB report noted, “There is increasingly significant evidence that financial deepening can help create jobs.”
Even further, it said its research found “a positive and significant relationship between financial development and job creation in developing countries”.
Such development among SMEs in particular, the IDB noted, “led to decreases in unemployment and increased labour market participation, especially among low-skilled workers”.
SMEs provide a large number of jobs in the Caribbean
Commenting on the IDB’s findings, Caribbean Employment Services Inc. CEO Joseph Boll said it should come as no surprise.
“SMEs account for a notable number of jobs in the region,” said the CEO.
“Many of them are also our clients, taking advantage of our services to employ the best local talent in the market at any given time.
“While government jobs often account for the lion’s share, small, locally-owned and operated businesses also typically hire far more locals than large corporations, which tend to have a fair bit of expatriate workers.
“It absolutely follows that as those small businesses grow, more jobs will become available for residents.”
IDB investments to help encourage job growth
As a particular example, the IDB highlighted Jamaica, where SMEs provide an enormous amount of jobs for locals.
“In Jamaica,” it said, “small and medium-sized enterprises generate 80 percent of jobs, thereby contributing significantly to the country’s GDP, poverty alleviation, female employment and social stability.”
Additionally, the IDB has launched programmes in several Caribbean nations with the aim to support SMEs and encourage job creation and growth.
Notably, such programmes have been launched in Jamaica and Barbados, which have both recorded decreases in their unemployment figures since the start of the pandemic.