JIS News

Managing Director of the Micro Investment Development Agency (MIDA) Vivian Chin, has said that the agency will be seeking to access funding through the Petro Caribe agreement to increase lending to the micro business sector.
He was addressing a special 15th anniversary function held recently at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego Bay.
While noting the recent capital injection of $150 million through the National Insurance Fund (NIF), Mr. Chin said MIDA “has not yet been successful in accessing the type of developmental micro enterprise loan funds to grow all its Community Development Funds (CDFs).”
“We believe that this (Petro Caribe) is the ideal fund to develop the micro enterprise sector because it is long-term, and the interest rate is very low and will be similar if not lower than the National Insurance Fund at 10 per cent,” he stated.
“This is the fund, I believe, that will guide MIDA into establishing the network of CDFs to be sustainable and independent,” he added.
In the meantime, he informed that the agency has disbursed $22 million of the $150 million from the NIF, and urged CDF managers to continue to educate and inform persons within the sector about the availability of funds.
MIDA was formed in 1991 as a deliberate strategy by the government to create employment and reduce poverty through the development of the micro enterprise sector.
Since its inception, MIDA has disbursed approximately $1.71 billion in loans to benefit more than 22,000 businesses in agriculture, manufacturing, services, cottage industry, among others, with some 36,500 full and part time jobs created.
Over the last six years, approximately $1.1 billion was disbursed to fund 10,111 businesses. “Interestingly, businesses headed by females accounted for 57 per cent of the total number of loans granted,” he said, noting that 77 per cent of these loans went to services, with 63 per cent of the businesses in this sector headed by women.
Meanwhile, Senior Director in the Ministry of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce, Reginald Budhan, noted that the development of the micro business sector provided the solution to many of the nation’s social problems, including the rural/urban drift.

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