JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Government is seeking to provide some $1 billion in loan financing to Micro, Small, and Medium-size Enterprises (MSME), as part of plans to bolster the sector.
  • Minister Hylton made the disclosure on Wednesday, June 25, at the launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2013 Jamaica Report.
  • Mr. Hylton said the Ministry is working towards the restructuring of aspects of the MSME funding framework, as part of efforts to meet the needs of entrepreneurs.

Government is seeking to provide some $1 billion in loan financing to Micro, Small, and Medium-size Enterprises (MSME), as part of plans to bolster the sector.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, who made the disclosure on Wednesday, June 25, launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2013 Jamaica Report, said the MSME sector is vital for the nation’s economic progress, and hence, must be carefully nurtured and supported.

“The MSMEs are the best vehicles for inclusive growth in the country, to create local demand and consumption. While creating employment generation activities, they will also form a significant part of the logistics-centred economy,” he noted.

Mr. Hylton said in this vein, the Ministry is working towards the restructuring of aspects of the MSME funding framework, as part of efforts to meet the needs of entrepreneurs.

These changes, he said, will include reforming and repositioning three critical agencies that are engaged in lending and financial advisory services for the MSME sector, namely the  Micro Investment Development Agency Limited (MIDA), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), and the Self-Start Fund.

MIDA is being repositioned to play a critical role in risk and debt management, and to develop and effectively manage a micro-venture financing facility for the MSME sector.

Mr. Hylton noted that in regard to the JBDC, the entity will no longer be engaged in lending and will be focused on providing customised financial advisory services to its clients.

The Self-Start Fund, for its part, will now be offering a new suite of loan products that is customised to meet the needs of the MSME sector.

Meanwhile, the Minister said Government is also working towards the launch of a national network of Small Business Development Centres (SBDCs), to enhance the capacity to provide small business development and advisory services to entrepreneurs and small business clients.

Mr. Hylton pointed out that the Ministry will lead the initiative, and noted that the move is especially important to ensure that business start-ups and existing enterprises have a fighting chance to be successful, to increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment rates.

He said the programme will start with the JBDC, which is expected to gain Small Business Development Centre status by the end of the second quarter of this fiscal year.

The Minister said with the JBDC’s assistance, MSMEs will be in a stronger position to tap into export market opportunities, to better manage their client portfolios, and to leverage the research capabilities of the Small Business Network of the Americas.

“In moving forward, our MSMEs need to constantly innovate, both in terms of products and processes. Our MSME entrepreneurs must have a wide vision, so that they are able to spot new opportunities for their products or services at all times,” he argued.

Mr. Hylton said with the concerted efforts of all the stakeholders, he is sure that the MSME sector will become more globally competitive and continue to make significant contributions to Jamaica’s future economic development.