A study commissioned by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has revealed that Jamaica’s micro business sector is now dominated by women with high-school education.
The impact study, which was conducted by the University of the West Indies-owned, LUMIN Consulting also showed that more middle-aged women operate their own businesses, with the largest portion of them being traders.
Despite the majority having secondary level education, the DBJ noted that females are “better educated than expected”. The institution also seemed pleasantly surprised that there are fewer millennial entrepreneurs than previously thought.
“The study also found that few of them [senior females] utilised E-bill payments, wire transfers and mobile money, although younger entrepreneurs adopted such services more readily,” the development finance institution said.
According to the DBJ, the impact study was conducted through five survey instruments and included 532 people, with an average age of 46.7 years. Eighteen per cent of the group was over 60. Two-thirds of the group were women. The survey also found that 72 per cent of the group had a relationship with a financial institution and that women borrowed more than men.
Traders dominated, with 35 per cent being in retail and 4 per cent in wholesale. Personal services represented 20.6 per cent, while farming was 16 per cent.
The impact study was an important component of DBJ’s Financial Empowerment and Technological Awareness project which targets 2,500 micro-entrepreneurs to focus on financial literacy as well as raising awareness and understanding of mobile money and other forms of electronic retail payment services.