The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) says it has provided more than J$8 billion in funding support for Jamaican businesses since the start of the 2017/18 fiscal year in April.
DBJ managing director, Milverton Reynolds, said the funds have been made available through equity funding under the Jamaica Venture Capital Program (JVCP) as well as through capacity development and technical assistance initiatives.
Addressing the launch of the DBJ’s fifth National Business Model Competition (NBMC), on Monday, Reynolds said that between April 2017 and January this year, loans totaling J$6 billion had been disbursed to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
He said these included J$4.8 billion to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through approved financial institutions (AFIs), and J$1.2 billion to micro entrepreneurs through approved microfinance institutions.
He said that the DBJ issued 1,120 vouchers to entrepreneurs, which enabled them to access J$263.25 million and that under the “revolutionary” voucher program, hundreds of entrepreneurs are now able to access loans and other forms of funding, “because their businesses have been strengthened.”
Additionally, he said the DGJ facilitated 26 business start-ups under its Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE) program, which enabled those entities to access $60 million in grant funding, resulting in the creation of hundreds of new jobs.
Reynolds said that the DBJ has committed approximately US$2.25 million under the JVCP to three private equity and three private credit funds entities, along with over US$233 million from local and international investors for investment in local and regional businesses.