Written by Shekinah Ade-Gold on behalf of Budget Leaf
Starting A Business In Jamaica
In order to start a profitable business locally, you would need to have an idea of how you would like to operate, and the legal requirements that would need to be met, if necessary. Jamaica is heavily reliant on services, and is known to have a tourist-dependent economy as well as a thriving BPO sector. Many who make money in Jamaica also do so in the informal market, such as by selling home-made goods, being domestic workers, etc. Therefore, starting a business really depends on what you would like your focus to be, as well as the resources you may have available to do so.
According to “How To Start A Small Business in Jamaica” written by Fraser Sherman for Bizfluent, “Before starting a business in Jamaica, you or your company’s representative must apply to the Jamaican Ministry of Labour for a permit allowing you to work there. Next, apply to the Companies Office of Jamaica to register your business, whether as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a company, as corporations are called in Jamaica. You should also register your business name, though there are exceptions to that requirement.”
Vacation Homes/ Airbnb
If you are able to rent out a property, then you can market your room/home as an alternative to staying at a hotel for when visitors arrive. Once all legal protocols are acknowledged and the rates decided upon, you can see a steady stream of visitors and find yourself amassing continued income from such a venture. The more places you are able to rent, the more money you will be able to make.
If you are able to offer the services of taxi men/bike riders, you would stand a good chance of making money in the area of delivery. With covid-19 lockdown restrictions in place, you can cash in where lack of movement is causing an inconvenience for many people. It is now common to see companies advertising vacancies for riders, and even if you are just an individual with a motorbike and free time, you can find gainful employment in this way.
Jamaicans spend a lot of many of food products. If you are able to capture the attention of your local market with items such as cooked food, hot dogs, ice cream and even treats like gizzadas and peanuts, you will find that there are consumers willing to support your venture. This takes into consideration your environment and reach, as being in a location with high traffic and visibility is necessary to get the process going. Once you can deliver, then word of mouth and online advertising can do the rest.
More often these days, we are seeing an increase in citizens who are interested in farming their own produce. You can choose the crops you would like to grow, and can even go into rearing chickens, pigs, cattle and goats for sale on the local market. Once you are able to protect your goods and maintain the quality of your food products, you can stand to make a substantial living off the yields of your harvest. Being able to supply a hotel or a restaurant, for example, can count for a significant amount of your earnings.
Tun’ Hand Mek Fashion
Since many tourists come to Jamaica, you can also make money by creating jewelry, wooden carvings, and other trinkets that can be sold as memorabilia to interested consumers. There are people interested in getting their hair locked/cane-rowed so this can be a stream of income as well, once you are skilled and can manage to schedule your customers efficiently. Some people are able to create a fun and exciting experience, and so being a tour guide is a job that suits them well. For others, it can be entertainment, using our various art forms to bring joy and pleasure to our viewers. If you are able to harness any of your creative skills and talents and market your services well to those who are visiting as well as those who live here, you stand a good chance of making a profitable business out of it.
Once you are certain that you are not breaking the law in any way, there are a variety of business that can be started in the local market. Some ideas will require more capital than others, and it is always a good idea to ask people involved in your industry of interest about how they operate and what you would need to do to be successful. In Jamaica, there is always a way to be successful in business.