JIS News

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  • Operators in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector could soon benefit from improved access to financing to enhance their business operations.
  • Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said the task force, appointed to address challenges affecting the sector, “is currently looking at putting in place a plan that is expected to improve access to capital”.
  • The Minister was speaking at the media launch of the sixth Caribbean Microfinance forum on April 30 at the Citi Jamaica Building in Kingston. The event, organised by the Caribbean MicroFinance Alliance (CMFA), will be held from July 6 to 9 in Miami, Florida.

Operators in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector could soon benefit from improved access to financing to enhance their business operations.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said the task force, appointed to address challenges affecting the sector, “is currently looking at putting in place a plan that is expected to improve access to capital”.

He informed that the plan includes repurposing and recapitalising the Self Start Fund and the Micro Investment Development Agency (MIDA), to ensure greater efficiency and cost reduction.

The Minister was speaking at the media launch of the sixth Caribbean Microfinance forum on April 30 at the Citi Jamaica Building in Kingston. The event, organised by the Caribbean MicroFinance Alliance (CMFA), will be held from July 6 to 9 in Miami, Florida.

Turning to other initiatives to benefit MSMEs, Minister Hylton cited the move to license and regulate privately-owned micro financiers, under the Micro Credit Act.

He noted that the micro financing sector remains largely unregulated and this hinders the development of the sector.

“The Micro Credit Act, therefore, proposes that a regulator be established with the authority to issue directions or standards on transparent lending practices, credit administration and other matters relating to operational issues, and will determine whether to accept or reject and revoke registrations,” the Industry Minister said.

Minister Hylton hailed the work of the CMFA, noting that the agency has, over the years, proven itself as a leading advocate for the provision of effective and sustainable microfinance services to poor households in the Caribbean.

He said the organisation has been fulfilling this mission through capacity building initiatives, financial education programmes, and yearly performance reports on the regional microfinance sector.

Chairman of the CMFA, Ramesh Persaud, informed that this year’s forum will focus on microfinance solutions for inclusive growth.

He noted that access to finance continues to be one of many challenges encountered by MSMEs within the region and has gained significant attention from policy makers region wide.

“Inclusive growth principles are intended to focus on wealth creation for members in all strata and society. The forum will focus on access to finance issues in this regard. In doing so, emphasis will be placed on policy making locally, regionally and globally, financing for inclusive growth, and meeting the needs of our youth population,” Mr. Persaud said.

The CMFA currently has 25 members from nine countries, with members investing over US$34 million to serve some 22,000 micro entrepreneurs within those markets.