JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Operators of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will soon have access to an online database that will provide information on sources of financing for their businesses.
  • A MoU to facilitate and create the database was signed on Thursday, September 11, between the DBJ and the Mona School of Business and Management.
  • The project is set to cost $14.4 million, with the MSBM providing $13.6 million, and the DBJ providing technical assistance grant funding at a cost of $8 million.

Operators of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will soon have access to an online database that will provide information on sources of financing for their businesses.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to facilitate and create the database, was signed on Thursday, September 11, between the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM), University of the West Indies (UWI).

The project is set to cost $14.4 million, with the MSBM providing $13.6 million, and the DBJ providing technical assistance grant funding at a cost of $8 million.

At the signing ceremony held at the UWI’s Mona Campus, in St. Andrew, DBJ’s Managing Director, Milverton Reynolds, said the project will help to address some of the challenges faced by small businesses in obtaining affordable financing for business expansion or providing key inputs.

He noted that while the DBJ has consistently provided lines of credit for the productive sector at the “very best interest rate possible throughout the country,” the lack of access to financing continues to be a major issue for small businesses.

“In some instances, it’s not that the credit facilities are inaccessible, it is simply that the people, who require the services, do not know what exists or where to find the financing that they need. This project is aimed at going a long way in fixing some of these problems,” Mr. Reynolds said.

He informed that under the MoU, the MSBM will undertake research to inform the material and complete the technical work on the website. The DBJ, he said, will, among other things, market the website, raising the awareness of SMEs and borrowers to its existence.

Director, Professional Services Unit at the MSBM, Dr. William Lawrence, said  the project offers “very important benefits” for MSMEs, including saving on time and cost in sourcing financing.

“It will save businesses time by providing a one-stop-shop when looking for sources of financing; it will save money and cost by allowing businesses to compare the features of the different funding options available and making the best choice that suits their own situation; and it will contain up-to-date information on what is available and where it is available,” he stated.

Dr. Williams informed that the project will include a feedback mechanism for users to provide useful information to improve the site.

The DBJ is wholly owned by the Government of Jamaica and is mandated to foster economic growth and development of strategic sectors of the Jamaican economy.

It was created in April 2000, from the merger of the Agricultural Credit Bank of Jamaica Limited and the National Development Bank of Jamaica Limited.