Learning from Jamaica and the Caribbean

Jamaica Business Development Corporation to support
Villages as Business Programme


The mission is for communities to benefit directly from their assets built on unique cultural and human capital.


Mandeville, Jamaica. December 13, 2011. The official launch of the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network (CCTN) and National Best Community Foundation Villages as Businesses Programme was successfully launched yesterday, December 12, 2011, at the Mandeville Hotel, Manchester with a sample of representatives from 360 communities island wide.


The morning session opened with Seymour Heron, Street Evangelist/Saxophonist played cheerful music of the season. Hugh Shim founder of Drumming for Peace, accompanied by the Mighty Beestons Mento Band performed Drumming for Peace, a presentation on Jamaica’s culture.


This set the backdrop for the Resource Village Rukus dancers and Western Hospitality Institute Community Tourism Students to perform a cultural item.


Diana McIntyre-Pike, President, Countrystyle Community Tourism Network and Alison Massa, Lead Consultant, CCTN/Villages as Businesses Programme presented an overview of community tourism and the Villages as Businesses Programme in Jamaica, which included training programmes and collaborative work with partners Western Hospitality Institute and International Community Tourism Institute.


The mission is for communities to benefit directly from their assets built on unique cultural and human capital.


She called for a collaboration with TPDCo. to provide training in communities.


Alison Massa made reference to lost opportunities – a world bank project involving Bath St Thomas of the Apostles, the oldest botanical gardens in the Western Hemisphere with medicinal plants and curative mineral spa and firmly stated that such community projects featuring natural & cultural assets will no longer meet the same fate.


For the six visiting delegates with the Sustainable Rural Regenerative Enterprises for Families (SURREF) from Alabama, USA led by Euneika Rogers- Sipp, the launch event provided an introduction of Community Tourism in action with a content rich agenda. Presentations were made by Clive Taffe, Consultant, Jamaica Tourist Board; Paul Smith, Tourism Specialist, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF); Jacqueline DaCosta, Chairman/Founder National Best Community Foundation (NBCF); Marline Stephenson-Dalley, Co-ordinator, Spruce up Jamaica Programme, the agency responsible for registering community tourism attractions and accommodations; Gillian Rowlands, President, Hamilton Knight and Associates facilitated the career development and wrap up session.


During the lunch time presentation, Valerie Viera, CEO, Jamaica Business Development Corporation seized the opportunity to speak frankly to community entrepreneurs asking them to prepare themselves for the rigours of operating a business in a profitable way. She promised the founders of the CCTN/Villages as Business Programme her agency’s support in the training and development of entrepreneurs; saying that money was no barrier for application. The key was the output from the enterprise and its impact on the value chain.


Euneika Rogers-Sipp Founder and Chief Regenerative Officer of Sustainable Rural Regenerative Enterprises for Families (SURREF), a social enterprise organization that promotes community-based livelihood opportunities through regenerative enterprises (such as the use of clean and renewable energy and culturally sound development practices) spoke on the overall objectives of the organization, presented a video of its background & projects. SURREF is the recipient of a four-year Ford Foundation Grant assisting poor communities in the south. She indicated that SURREF’s innovative approach to sustainable rural regeneration is the key to their success.


Rogers-Sipp said “the group’s learning journey would allow interactive learning from the villages business program, looking at the network of CCTN how it got started, support, kinds of investment and also look at wealth capacity. SURREF contextualizes wealth in seven forms: Natural, Built environment, Political, Intellectual, Social, Financial and Economic.” The SURREF founder has a keen interest in CCTN’s training expertise and is also interested in the National Best Communities Foundation and its use of incentives to empower people to channel sustainable practices within their communities, such as beautification, heritage preservation and sustainable development.


The Alabama-based community tourism group will be touring Jamaica’s South Coast on an exciting itinerary which inludes: An indigenous Rastafarian lifestyle with Angel & Honey – community hosts; Resource village lifestyle & heritage tour – coordinated by Valerie Dixon (Marketing consultant, Resource Village, Manchester); Beeston Spring Village tour; Black River Heritage Tour and ends with a visit to BREDS Foundation, a model for community tours in Treasure Beach.


For South African Partners of CCTN and of IIPT contact or

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