JIS News

The Micro Investment Development Agency (MIDA) has disbursed $1.71 billion in funding to approximately 23,000 micro businesses since its inception in 1991.
Board Chairman of MIDA, Anthony Freckleton, speaking at the agency’s 15th anniversary celebration held yesterday (June 20) at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, highlighted the work on the organization in the growth of the country’s micro business sector.
He noted that 36,517 full and part-time employments have been created and sustained through the work of MIDA.
Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce, Phillip Paulwell, in his remarks, described the agency as “a tremendous organization”.
“At 15 years of age, MIDA has indeed come of age. Established to provide a focused approach to the development of the micro enterprise sector, the agency, I believe, and I’m sure many will agree, has done a splendid job of providing the credit support necessary for the growth and sustainability of the sector,” he said.
The programme of MIDA, he noted, mirrors the current focus of the Ministry on small business development. “We believe that small-scale businesses are the future industrial strength of the country. We are therefore placing great emphasis on encouraging micro, small and medium-sized entities in every possible manner through credit, through the availability of technology and business support,” he pointed out.
Managing Director of the agency, Vivian Chin, said that in carrying out its mandate, MIDA, in 1993, established Community Development Funds (CDFs), in an effort to establish a clearly defined retail credit channel for delivering its loan funds to persons with the necessary pre-requisites and capabilities to start businesses, and those who wished to expand and sustain their ventures.
Speaking on the performance of the agency during the 15 years, Mr. Chin said that to date, the CDFs have some $500 million in assets, serving approximately 5,500 micro-business operators, while delivering approximately $200 million in credit over the last three years to 1,800 customers.
In addition, of the total number of loans granted, 55 per cent of these were given to women, while young people accounted for 31 per cent of the total numbers.
Recounting the early years of the agency, Maureen Webber, President of Development Options Limited, expressed her pride in being one of the founders of MIDA. “We created an idea, gave birth to it, and today, despite our challenges, we see all the opportunities and we will continue to grow,” she said. MIDA was established in November 1991 with its principal objective of facilitating the development of the micro business sector in Jamaica through the extension of loans to the sector. The establishment of MIDA was a deliberate strategy taken by the government to create employment and reduce the level of poverty in the country.
Interested persons can visit MIDA’s website at for further information on loans and the work of the CDFs.

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