MSMEs Urged to Take Advantage of Positive Economic Climate

Story Highlights

  • President and Chief Executive Officer of First Global Bank, Mariame McIntosh Robinson, is encouraging small business operators to take advantage of the positive signs in the economy to invest in the expansion of their operations.
  • The senior banker said the economy is “on a secure, sustainable growth path”, and “there is no better time than now” for micro, small and medium-size enterprise (MSME) operators to invest.

President and Chief Executive Officer of First Global Bank, Mariame McIntosh Robinson, is encouraging small business operators to take advantage of the positive signs in the economy to invest in the expansion of their operations.

These indicators include a stable currency, low inflation, lower energy costs, strong net international reserves, heightened business and consumer confidence, and multilateral agency support, together with strong fiscal prudence and management by the Government.

The senior banker said the economy is “on a secure, sustainable growth path”, and “there is no better time than now” for micro, small and medium-size enterprise (MSME) operators to invest.

“We need entrepreneurs to step up, take the risk to create wealth for your family, and our great nation,” she added.

Mrs. McIntosh Robinson was addressing a technology conference held on September 28 at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) in St. Andrew.

She noted that MSMEs can access low-cost loans for a wide range of services.

She cited equity financing as one option that more operators need to utilise. This involves raising capital through the sale of shares in an enterprise.

Mrs. McIntosh Robinson noted further that Jamaica has developed a venture capital financing system, which is like “no other in the Caribbean”.

Venture capital is private equity capital provided as seed funding to early-stage, high-potential, growth companies (start-up companies) or as growth funding.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative for Jamaica, Dr. Constant Lonkeng Ngouana, in his contribution agreed that now is the time for entrepreneurs to invest.

He said that given the type of environment that Jamaica is seeing, “young entrepreneurs should be capturing the benefits”.

Dr. Lonkeng Ngouana, in the meanwhile, said he is encouraged by the “ownership” of the Precautionary Standby Arrangement (PSBA), where all the “stakeholders have acknowledged that fiscal discipline is to be maintained”.

Under the three-year PSBA, which replaces the Extended Fund Facility, Jamaica can access approximately US$1.7 billion, if needed, for current account support in the event of unforeseen economic shocks.

The UCC conference was held under the theme ‘Innovation, Technology and Leadership: A Paradigm Shift’.

JIS Social