BIGEE rolls out more funds for MSME growth

BIGEE rolls out more funds for MSME growth

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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The Government for the upcoming fiscal year has earmarked $485.8 million of additional funding to continue activities under the 'Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems' (BIGEE) project.

The BIGEE project since its inception is aimed at promoting sustainable and robust growth among micro- small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups in Jamaica. The project which was launched last year was implemented by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and supported by grant funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

As stated in the 2020/21 estimates of expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, this year's funding will go towards increasing the number of MSMEs accessing equity financing and capacity-building training; while also strengthening institutions providing support to these entities.

Among the other objectives, BIGEE also aims to promote sustainable and disruptive growth in scalable start-ups and create sustainable start-ups and a strong support ecosystem for entrepreneurship.

Last year during his contribution to the budget debate, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that the programme will provide a variety of products for MSMEs along the different stages of their development.

“These are the kinds of interventions that are going to support the development of businesses at the very base of the economy, at the root of the economy,” he said while speaking at the time.

The project which commenced to the tune of US$25 million or an equivalent of $3.1 billion was one designed to finance and aid innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth of this largely underserved sector.

“The intervention/activities that will be supported through the BIGEE initiative will be grants to MSMEs, and business intermediaries,” the prime minister also stated.

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