The governnment of Jamaica

Local Entrepreneur Sets Eyes On New Market Opportunity After Receiving SDC Grant


Myrthle Higgens, owner and manager of Miss Myrthle Old and More, is looking to expand into new markets now that she can boost production and meet demand thanks to assistance from the SDC Grant facility.

She has established a growing business producing all natural cold press castor oil and cold press coconut oil through her hobby and side hustle, which she learned from her aunt. She has received a small grant of $120,000 since December 2022, which she has used to purchase an industrial cold press machine and Jamaican castor, which are required to satisfy demand.

“I was a haulage contracting in my younger years but I had to give that up to take care of my mother fully time as she became sick and bed redden,  when was then out of a need to do find a hubby and a source of income that I started to practice my Aunts trade and improving on it over time. It was hard work and labour intensive but it help me to earn a little while being able to still take care of my mother full time,” share Ms. Higgens. “now that I have acquired new machinery  it has reduce the stress on my body as I get older, I am now able to produce 5 gallon more cold press castor oil for  from 10 pound of castor beans.” She added.

“I was a haulage contracting in my younger years, but I had to give that up to take care of my mother full-time as she became sick and bedridden. It was then, out of a need to find a hubby to pass the time when I got bored and a the need for a source of income, that I began to practice my Aunt’s trade, gradually improving on it. It was hard work and labour intensive, but it allowed me to make a little money while still caring for my mother full-time,” Ms. Higgens explains.  “Now that I have new machinery, I am able to produce 5 gallon more cold press castor oil from the same 10 pound of castor beans, which has reduced the stress on my body as I get older” she added.

With the growing interest in natural skin care and hair care products, Miss Myrthle Old’s product line fits ideally in the market with unique selling points.  Miss Myrthle Old products are available in sizes varying from 1oz to 4oz, 8oz to 12oz, providing a size and price for every market segment.

The SDC provided Local Economic Initiatives (LEIs) with not only grant money but also capacity development sessions, marketing and networking opportunities, and other required inputs for professional and business development through its Local Economic Development Support programs.

According to Mr. Mandel McKulsky, Public Relations Manager at the Social Development Commission, “the Local Economic Development Support Programme aims to build quality jobs for the current population, achieve local economic stability, and build a diverse economy and employment base.” Furthermore, it encourages the identification of one’s own resources/assets, which is the ultimate objective of economic growth of a geographic space.”

Ms Higgens stated that she has had overall good experiences with the SDC’s LEDS Program and has embraced the benefits she has received.

“It was in 2019 after being introduced to the SDC that I began to see my hobby as a business and began to take it more seriously, where I was encouraged to register my business as a sole trader. I have benefited greatly since being introduced to the SDC; I have since developed my company Plan and Business Model, allowing me more directions to grow my company and even access other sources of funding.  “I’ve benefited from additional training in marketing, bookkeeping, and most recently from social media management class,” Ms Higgens says. “I would encourage anyone with a skill who is not currently working or who wants to grow and experience that level of satisfaction to do so,” she added.

For more information on Miss Myrthle Old or to make a purchase, contact: Myrthle Higgens at Tel: 876 379-7694; or visit the company’s Instagram page at MissMyrthleOil.


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