The venture capital programme, being developed by the Government, will provide the opportunity for local technology experts to access funding to develop their innovative ideas into sustainable business ventures.
State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, said that there are a number of creative young people, who will not be able to access loans from traditional lending institutions because “they simply don’t have the collateral to access funds.”
Through the venture capital fund facility, they will be able to use their innovative ideas as collateral for funding.
“The target group that we want to attract is youngsters, some of them are in high schools, some in tertiary institutions…the Government, through our Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), has begun work on developing a venture capital ecosystem that will provide the institutional framework to facilitate private funding of venture capital,” he stated.
Mr. Robinson informed that a consultant has been engaged for the initiative, and “by the end of the year or next year, the programme will be launched”.
The Minister, who was addressing the recent opening of International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) conference in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, said the Government continues to give priority to Information Communication Technology (ICT) as a key plank in the development process.
ICT, he said, is “a vital area that will shape our future development, and allow for significant economic growth. We have a vision for Jamaica being a knowledge-based society, and in order to get there, the Government is engaged in a number of important initiatives to move our country in that direction.”
Venture capitalis financial capital provided to early stage, high potential and high risk start-up companies. The venture capital fund makes money by owning equity in the companies, in which the investment is made.
The Jamaica Venture Capital Programme will provide a conducive system, focused on facilitating the legal and structural imperatives, capacity building of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and fund managers, and the establishment of a Venture Capital Park.
The programme will also give focus to the establishment of an initial private sector-managed fund, with a target of $1 billion for investment in high potential SMEs.
It is agreed that the availability of venture capital through the provision of long- term equity financing to new ventures and new entrepreneurs with good ideas, can contribute to the creation of jobs and greater economic growth.
Contact: Garfield Angus