Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), through its Corporate Finance Broker (CFB) Unit, has partnered with the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) to facilitate potential capital injection into small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the Junior Stock Exchange.
The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Wednesday (July 1) at the JTI, to signal the start of the initiative.
The MoU will seek to enhance and grow the small business sector, and allow for participation in the Junior Stock Exchange, which encourages domestic investment in entrepreneurship, employment and economic development.
Endorsing the partnership, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, pointed out that the MoU allows for the strengthening of the process through which SMEs can access capital.
“Capital is easily the most restricting feature of the running of a business, the expansion or starting up of a business and to provide this linkage between the CFB Unit and the Junior Stock Exchange, is one more avenue that will be available to young, budding entrepreneurs or existing small businesses who are in need of capital,” the Commerce Minister said.
President of Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), Robert Gregory (seated left) signs a copy of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will provide assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to list on the Junior Stock Exchange, while General Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), Marlene Street-Forrest (seated right), prepares to sign. Looking on are: Head, Delegation of the European Commission, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi-Alemanni and Deputy President, JTI, Lisa Bell. The MOU was signed on July 1 at the Trafalgar Road offices of the JTI in Kingston.
Highlighting the importance of the partnership, President of the JTI, Robert Gregory, pointed out that the initiative is part of the ongoing efforts of the CFB Unit to substantively assist SMEs with the financial issues that are essential for their sustained growth and development.
“Given the difficulties faced by the SME sector in raising capital to grow their businesses, the CFB Unit plays a crucial role in galvanising greater economic activity, support and development for entities that require financing, but often lack the appropriate documentation,” Mr. Gregory highlighted.
He noted that with a Junior Stock Exchange, the possibility of not only opening up equity to new, upcoming innovative businesses, but to see them graduating over time to be among the new listings on the Stock Exchange market was evident.
Through the partnership, the CFB Unit is expected to refer qualified clients to the JSE, or its member dealer, for listing on the Junior Market. The Unit will also work with applicants who want to list on the Junior Market, but currently lack the appropriate organisational structures to be successful.
On the other hand, the JSE may refer prospective clients from the SME sector to the CFB Unit for business and financial assessment and assistance, as well as other business development services that will make them ready to successfully list on the Junior Stock Exchange.
The CFB Unit is one of the 12 components of the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP), an initiative co-funded by the European Union and the Government of Jamaica. The JTI is the main implementing partner of the PSDP.