Business

Does your business create social impact? Leap wants to fund you.

The Leap company Saffrey Suzanne Shaw Brown

The Leap Company’s Saffrey Brown, left and Suzanne Shaw, right.

One minute in Jamaica you can’t get backing for your startup; and now, The Leap Company are promoting a US$30m fund that doesn’t just invest in potentially profitable ventures, but those who can have a positive social impact.

Jamaica is now ready for social impact investment, reckons Leap’s Saffrey Brown. Having spent more than 10 years running the JN Foundation and championing social enterprises, while her business partner Suzanne Shaw chalked up energy and environmental projects for the likes of the European Union (EU), World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IADB); they are confident that now is the right time.

Confident that: A. there are enough good ideas to invest in; B. the local venture capital climate can actually support them; and of course C., that they have the combined skills to make a difference. Continue reading

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Business

How the Data Protection Act will change life for small businesses in Jamaica

data protection bill act jamaica

Many businesses might not yet know, but under the proposed Data Protection Act, they could soon have to comply with new measures to protect data privacy. The moment that a cook shop collects a name and mobile number for an order, then by virtue of collecting that information the law will view it as a “Data Controller”. It will then have to register, pay a fee, appoint a “Data Protection Officer” and file an annual report…or pay a fine!

In fact, we as a business will also have to! Our newest client, SlashRoots Foundation, specialise in ICT for development and so are advocating that the legislation better reflect everyday Jamaican realities. SlashRoots principal Matthew McNaughton presented to Parliament Tuesday using the cook shop as an everyday example to break down the implications; and to suggest how the Act could become more practical.

For a simple explanation and recommendations, read Matthew’s 3-minute post on Medium: The Jamaican cook shop: on the frontlines of the new Data Protection Act.

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