JIS News

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  • The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) approved over 9,700 loan applications, valued at $2.3 billion for the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) sector during the last fiscal year.
  • This was disclosed by General Manager of Strategic Services at DBJ, Claudine Tracey, during the launch of the Financial Information and Real-time Matchmaking (FIRM) expo on August 14.
  • The DBJ also facilitated a national business model competition and created an investor panel to evaluate and invest in businesses, which make proposals for venture capital funding.

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) approved over 9,700 loan applications, valued at $2.3 billion for the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) sector during the last fiscal year.

This was disclosed by General Manager of Strategic Services at DBJ, Claudine Tracey, during the launch of the Financial Information and Real-time Matchmaking (FIRM) expo on August 14 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

“We actually have a target of $3 billion this year and I’m happy to say that we are on track to achieve that target,” she said.

She said the DBJ’s three main strategies as it relates to developing the MSME sector are: the provision of development financing to drive growth, development and employment; strengthening the capacity of the MSMEs to actually access that pool of funds so that they can borrow, invest and expand; and the creation of opportunities for private equity and venture capital.

She informed that the DBJ staged its first ever venture capital conference last year, to “share information and to test the appetite for venture capital and private equity in Jamaica.”

The DBJ also facilitated a national business model competition and created an investor panel to evaluate and invest in businesses, which make proposals for venture capital funding.

“There are a number of funds that the venture capital programme wants to establish that can invest in high potential MSMEs in the country. Not every idea, every business is appropriate for credit, some need equity financing and it is important that the environment was built and that actually financing was put in place for the MSMEs to access that,” Ms. Tracey said.

FIRM is another initiative to assist businesses, which are unable to get funding from the traditional banking sector.

A partnership between the DBJ and the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s Growth Secretariat, it seeks to establish a public education and financial matchmaking model, geared towards assisting persons with potentially viable business ideas or established businesses, that lack the requisite collateral or market information, to access financing for their venture.

Its primary aim is to develop and implement a multifaceted public awareness model for entrepreneurial funding opportunities, which will be executed island-wide.

“It addresses the problem of asymmetry of information, it addresses the problem of building the capacity of SMES and of course, it addresses the problem of providing financing,” Ms. Tracey said.

The expo is slated for October 4 at the Karl Hendrickson auditorium on the grounds of Jamaica College in Kingston.

For registration and further information, persons may visit www.firmexpoja.com.