Executives of five Business Service Intermediaries (BSIs) under the DBJ’s IGNITE III programme pose with Executives of the Development Bank of Jamaica Left – Right: Nigel Cooper, Incubator Manager, Technology Innovation Centre (TIC) Utech, Paula Hagley, Manager, Business Development & Special Projects, Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association (JMEA), Christopher Brown, General Manager, Project Management Office, Development Bank of Jamaica, Opal Levy, Director, Sisters’ Ink Jamaica, Milverton Reynolds, Managing Director, Development Bank of Jamaica, Valerie Viera, Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica Business Development Corporation, Adrian Nelson, Legal Officer, DBJ, LuShana Cheddesingh, Technical Coordinator, Direct Business Support, DBJ and Carlinton Burrell, Executive Director, Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre.
The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) today (Tuesday, November 16th) signed Agreement with five business service intermediaries (BSIs) to build the capacity of twenty Micro and Small Businesses (MSEs) over the next 12 months, and represents the third Cohort of the Bank’s IGNITE programme.
The BSIs are: Caribbean Innovation Climate Centre (CCIC), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association (JMEA), Sisters’ Ink Jamaica, and Technology Innovation Centre (TIC) at UTECH.
“In 2015, the DBJ officially launched the IGNITE programme to undertake capacity development initiatives targeted at micro and small businesses. Under the initiative, the Bank has supported Jamaican entrepreneurs with innovation business ideas to access grant funds to develop prototype or facilitate commercialization. To date 50 MSEs have benefited under the programme,” explains Milverton Reynolds, Managing Director.
“As we embark on the third cohort of IGNITE, we are delighted at the partnership we have forged with these amazing BSIs, and we want to urge all MSEs to align themselves with one of these companies that will assist them in growing their businesses,” Mr. Reynolds continues.
Over the next twelve months, the DBJ will be provided the MSEs with grant funding to implement their projects, while the BSIs will monitor the execution of the developmental and implementation plans that have been agreed on. The participants in the programme will be exposed to mentors and advisors who are industry experts who will provide useful information and guidance in various areas to include; technology, financial management, sales and marketing, how to value and negotiate business deals and restructuring of businesses.
“Since the inception of the programme in 2015, the DBJ has invested approximately J$152 million in two cohorts of IGNITE,” states Christopher Brown, General Manager, Project Management Office, at the DBJ under whose portfolio the IGNITE programme falls. We are very pleased with the success of the programme and the growth of the MSEs who have participated in the programme. So far, the success of IGNITE has not gone unnoticed. The initiative is now being financed under the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) Boosting Innovation, Growth & Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE) which has provided additional funding to enable an increase in the grant amounts.
The Bank has confirmed that projects at the Seed Stage can now access up to $3 million and Early Stage are now able to access up to J$7 million.
The participants of IGNITE III are categorised into two stages – Ideation and Commercialisation. Projects in the Ideation Stage are: Consolidated Environment Research Laboratory, STEM Builders Learning Hub, My Business Peer to Peer Lending Technology, Kalilah Reynolds Media, InterFin AML, WALCONAR Construction & Drafting, Jamsol Technologies Limited, Herbal n’ Noble, Awganic Inputs. Commercialisation Stage projects are: Elsa’s Blend, Smart Technologies Jamaica Limited, Nichole Crawford-Thompson, De La Enzie Essentials Limited, Haul and Pull Up Limited, Shavuot International Holdings Company Limited, Outland Hurders Creamery and Farmstead, Inspired by Jaden, JB Haulage & Equipment Limited, Think Brite Solutions Limited, Linga Ya Farms Limited.
The DBJ is a wholly owned Government institution that provides development financing, capacity building, public-private partnership, and privatisation solutions in keeping with Government policy.
DBJ is the executing agency of a Government of Jamaica US$25 million 5-year loan from the Inter-American Development Bank that is aimed at Boosting Innovation Growth & Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE).
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The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is described as Jamaica's "Business Ministry." It's mandate is to lead the development of policies that will create growth and jobs, while achieving social inclusion and consumer protection. The Ministry, working its stakeholders is primarily responsible for business policy development, monitoring and evaluation, while giving direction and oversight to a cluster of implementing departments and agencies.
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