PSOJ readies second Access to Finance panel workshop

PSOJ readies second Access to Finance panel workshop

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

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With its first Access to Finance Facilitation Panel for SME's workshop gaining traction within the business sector, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica's (PSOJ) is indicating that its second workshop, to be held on November 22, will focus on the practical efforts needed to create lasting changes in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) ecosystem.

The workshop, themed 'Fit for Purpose', will be a technical one where participants will collaborate and seek alignment on impending changes in the legislative environment.

This will include discussions surrounding the enhancement and use of supporting infrastructures that are required to improve SME access to financing, and the engagement of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica in creating an islandwide network of professionals to become independent agents to help in the collection and verification of data on SMEs.

The aim of the workshop is to design products, solutions, processes and platforms 'Fit for Purpose', which means each strategy must be designed to accommodate the cultural, educational and financial realities of the local ecosystem.

The first workshop, held on July 3, 2019, focused the financial institutions, regulators and SMEs on the key issues blocking SMEs' access to finance. This resulted in a very lively exchange as the SMEs used it as a platform to share their challenges and agreed to work towards applicable solutions.

“While there were many sceptics, the feedback at workshop one was overwhelmingly positive, and over 60 recommendations came out of individual breakout groups that focused on addressing various issues that are impeding access to finance. We have consolidated the recommendations and identified the highest priorities with the most significant impact. We are beginning to embed tangible solutions that are 'Fit for Purpose' and are now ready for workshop two,” president of the PSOJ Keith Duncan was quoted in a press release.

With the new wave of thinking and improvement in the ecosystem that is expected to come out of the workshop's initiative, Jamaica is expected to draw closer to achieving its national financial inclusion objective.

The second instalment of the workshop will include commercial banks, credit bureaus, Development Bank of Jamaica and Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Sponsors for the event include Jamaica Bankers Association, National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited, Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited, Joan Duncan Foundation, and JMMB.

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