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Story Highlights

  • The Government is expected to provide $1 billion in loan financing to the micro, Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSME) this year.
  • The money is to be made available through the Self-Start Fund, which will now offer a new suite of loan products, customised to meet the needs of the MSME sector.
  • Minister Hylton argued that there are still too many small business people who are not accessing the capital and capacity building support services provided by the Government.

The Government is expected to provide $1 billion in loan financing to the micro, Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSME) this year, as it continues to increase support to the sector.

Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 21.

He noted that the money is to be made available through the Self-Start Fund, which will now offer a new suite of loan products, customised to meet the needs of the MSME sector.

This, as the Government reforms and repositions the critical agencies engaged in lending and financial advisory services for the MSME sector – the Micro Investment Development Agency Limited (MIDA), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), and the Self-Start Fund.

The Minister argued that there are still too many small business people who are not accessing the capital and capacity building support services provided by the Government, through these agencies.

He said the Government wants to make these entities the first points of reference for small entrepreneurs with good business ideas.

“We must give our MSMEs more than a fighting chance to become the multinationals of the future,” he said.

MIDA will therefore be 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.

In addition, he pointed out that the JBDC is no longer engaged in lending and will be focused on providing customised financial advisory services to its clients.

The Minister noted that the JBDC is being strengthened to enable it to better serve the needs of the MSME sector. This involves adapting elements of the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) Initiative, which is United States President, Barrack Obama’s signature measure to promote entrepreneurship, innovation and small business growth in the western hemisphere.

It is also expected that JBDC will gain Small Business Development Centre-status by the end of the second quarter of this financial year.

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