Jamaica Venture Capital Programme to be Launched in September

Photo: Melroy Sterling Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) Chairman, Joseph Matalon (centre), emphasizes a point during Wednesday’s (August 14) media briefing at the institution’s New Kingston offices, where he outlined details of developments pertaining to the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme’s (JVCP) implementation, being undertaken by the DBJ; and the upcoming conference in September, where the initiative is slated to be launched. Listening keenly are DBJ Managing Director, Milverton Reynolds (left); and JVCP Co-ordinator and Manager, Audrey Richards.

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Venture Capital Programme (JVCP) is to be launched on September 9
  • The JVCP will provide alternative financing sources for high potential SMEs
  • The IDB will provide $14 million and the DBJ putting up $12 million

The Jamaica Venture Capital Programme (JVCP) is to be launched on September 9, during a special conference being hosted by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston.

Chairman of the DBJ, Joseph Matalon, says the activities being undertaken by the institution for the programme’s implementation over the next three years, will be unveiled during the one-day conference, being held under the theme: ‘Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Seeding Tomorrow’s Opportunities’.

The JVCP is a Government of Jamaica (GoJ) initiative, aimed at developing the environment to mobilize long term equity funding to enable greater access to alternative financing sources for high potential, small and medium size (SME) enterprises, and entrepreneurs.

Its implementation is being made possible through a technical co-operation agreement, signed by the DBJ and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in February this year.

The agreement sees the IDB providing some $14 million (approximately US$150,000) in grant financing under its Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) facility, with the DBJ putting up counterpart funding totalling $12 million (approximately US$128,000).

Speaking at Wednesday’s (August 14)  media launch for the conference at the DBJ’s New Kingston offices, Mr. Matalon said the team piloting the JVCP’s implementation, led by Programme Co-ordinator, Audrey Richards, has to date completed a number of activities .

These include: a market review and analysis of the local investment community;  a strategic and implementation plan, currently being reviewed by the Project Steering Committee; and a review of the legal, regulatory, and tax framework for venture capital.

The DBJ Chairman advised that recommendations for an “appropriate regime” for the local venture capital market are currently being developed.

Mr. Matalon advised that Brazilian Consultant, Patrícia Freitas, who worked on the JVCP’s development over the past eight months, will present the strategic plan during the conference.

She is one of several scheduled speakers for the forum, which the Chairman said aims to heighten awareness about the venture capital industry, and the potential opportunities it presents for local participating stakeholders.

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, is slated to speak during the opening session, which will have Professor of Investment Banking at the Harvard Business School in the United States, Josh Lerner, as the keynote speaker.

Mr. Matalon informed that Professor Lerner has written several books on venture capital, and is “widely consulted” globally on the subject.

Also speaking will be Principal Investment Specialist, Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Susana García-Robles, who has  had extensive experience in guiding the development of venture capital programmes throughout Latin America.

Mr. Matalon said several Jamaican representatives are also scheduled to speak and participate in discussions, “to give us insight into their own experiences, whether as fund managers or entrepreneurs.”

They include: Chief Executive Officer, First Global Financial Services, Stephen Whittingham, and principal in the firm, Portland Equity, Marion McIntosh.

Additional information on the conference can be obtained by contacting the Development Bank of Jamaica at 929.4000; e-mailing them at mail@dbankjm.com; or logging on to their website at: www.dbankjm.com or the JVCP website at: www.venturecapitaljamaica.com .

JIS Social