JMEA signs MOU to improve access to funding for SMEs


JMEA signs MOU to improve access to funding for SMEs

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with St Elizabeth Sloane & Company to secure better ways to access funding for its members, especially those within the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

St Elizabeth Sloane & Company, a business development company operating within the Caribbean and West Africa, will provide members of the JMEA with training in accounting and risk management free of cost and at discounted rates on its capacity-building services.

With access to funding in this current financial milieu proving to be quite elusive, Melanie Wynter, managing director of Elizabeth Sloane ,views it as an opportune time to partner with businesses in the smaller sectors to help them develop properly and address issues of financial management and literacy. “If we are to channel the business potential of this island and prepare it for the wave of investments pending, we must educate and do our part in assisting MSME leaders to become a stronger vehicle for sustainable economic growth. The MSME sector has the potential to increase Jamaica's gross domestic product (GDP), but we will not meet this possibility without targeting this key issue that stunts the growth of the majority of MSMEs,” she said.

It is believed that if businesses fail to get their financials in order, then they will find it difficult to enjoy critical access to finance needed to scale, expand and develop new products for business growth.

A release sent outlined that under the 12-month partnership, the JMEA will qualify for quarterly training by St Elizabeth Sloane in management accounting and risk management at no cost while 20 per cent discounts will be offered on the company's bundled management accounting service for MSMEs. This is a cost-efficient monthly solution with all the essentials to make timely decisions to precipitate growth.

Imega Breese McNab, executive director of the JMEA, was very appreciative of the much-needed partnership with Elizabeth Sloane & company.

“The JMEA has long understood the critical need to strengthen the capacity of small businesses as a chief engine of economic growth and job creation. The funding to enable their productivity and competitiveness continues to fall short due in no small part to infrastructural challenges such as managing and keeping good accounting records. Efforts are therefore ongoing to expose the JMEA's MSMEs to the mentorship, coaching and training that will improve their ability to attract financing to take full advantage of the local and international markets. This partnership is part of our commitment to those efforts,” she stated.

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