Speech by the Prime Minister

Official Re-launch of Sir Richard Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship



The Most Hon. Andrew Holness, ON, MP

at the

Official Re-launch of Sir Richard Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship

June 6, 2017


Thank you very much madam master of ceremonies.


Entrepreneurs are the agents of growth in any economy and the government recognizes this and I’ve been having many discussions. I see Milverton nodding his head in approval because I keep harping on this point. What are we doing to support new entrepreneurs? What are we doing to create the ecosystem to support young minds who are creative.


I know that the DBJ has been sponsoring many projects to support young entrepreneurs. I know that the IDB has been supporting the development of small, micro, medium sized businesses. I know that the United States Embassy through various projects have been supporting and as I look around I see the business development center. I see people from the University of Technology. I see many persons here gathered who are part of the Jamaican very sincere attempt to create an ecosystem for entrepreneurs, but I’m particularly pleased that Richard has decided to move this very important business development strategy to Kingston. I know you’ve done great work in Montego Bay and I’m happy to have you as well launching in Kingston.


I’ve met maybe three billionaires in my lifetime and what I can say about them is that they are not conventional. They think outside of the box and the comment you made a while ago is very true. Sometimes we’re very reserved about asking for advice that we can’t pick up the phone and call someone who we admire, who we see may have done something different, something unique.


I would like to say Richard that it is great that you have made yourself available for people to have access to you, to see you in operation but more than that to invest your own funds in developing an ecosystem to support the kind of mentorship that is necessary for the next billionaire who I’m not just hoping, but I have a certain confidence will be a Jamaican. And I suspect Richard that you would say that your greatest reward in life would be to help somebody to achieve this goal and I see that you are very sincere about this that you’ve made the time obviously. You could have chosen to be elsewhere to do other things but you’ve decided to be in Jamaica and to develop this system and support it.


The government of Jamaica is grateful, very grateful to you and we encourage other business persons to do this, to make this investment in creating entrepreneurs. The more entrepreneurs we have the more we will be able to achieve five in four and I see Paula here representing the Economic Growth Council and I’d just like to remind you Paula,  it’s now five in three so we definitely need more entrepreneurs.


Again my duty here is to make brief remarks but more importantly to endorse the work of the Branson Centre.


Thank you very much.