Mighty Gully now ready for the world

Jamaica Gleaner - - SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH COUNCIL - Ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

LAST FRI­DAY, a proud group of bud­ding en­trepreneurs grad­u­ated from the United States Agency For In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment (USAID) pro­gramme at the Old Har­bour New Tes­ta­ment Church, which saw two groups team­ing up for a short while with the Mighty Gully Sculp­tors.

Ian McKnight, chief of party with USAID Comet II, ex­pressed pride in the grad­uands, stat­ing that he lit­er­ally saw the group go­ing through a trans­for­ma­tion. “Phe­nom­e­nal” is how he de­scribed work­ing with them. McKnight said he was in­tro­duced to the group by the So­cial Devel­op­ment Com­mis­sion and the po­lice.

“They told me they had a group of peo­ple with raw tal­ent who needed help, and we were able to come in and pro­vide that as­sis­tance. So what was just a ca­sual group has now mor­phed into a set se­ri­ous about mar­ket­ing its prod­ucts out there,” he told Ru­ral Xpress.

Now that the train­ing has ended, McKnight said they are fully equipped to start their own busi­nesses.

“Some will start as sculp­tor, some will do the ceram­ics oth­ers the pa­pier mâché. We hope that they would do some niche mar­ket­ing, par­tic­u­larly where the ceram­ics are con­cerned,” he shared.

McKnight said he was cog­nisant of the many chal­lenges that would be fac­ing them and noted that they would have to work hard to get their prod­ucts out there.

He said they were al­ready off to a good start if the rave re­views the group en­joyed at the re­cently held Ac­kee Fes­ti­val in Lin­stead was any­thing to go by as they also at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the in­ter­na­tional me­dia present at the event.

“They were one of the lead­ing com­mu­nity groups,” he shared, adding that the in­vest­ment for the train­ing pro­gramme was ap­prox­i­mately US$16,000 ($2,070,000).

Ac­knowl­edg­ing that it was not a quick fix and that it would take some time for things to set­tle since they were in com­pe­ti­tion with other im­ported ceramic prod­ucts, McKnight said he was help­ing them to de­velop unique mar­ket­ing plans that would take them to higher heights.

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