Scotiabank Women Initiative to advance women-owned businesses
Diane Edwards (left), president of JAMPRO, makes a point as Audrey Tugwell Henry (2nd left),president and CEO, Scotia Group Jamaica; Anya Schnoor, executive vice-president of ScotiabankCaribbean, Central America and Uruguay; and Milverton Reynolds, president of the Development Bankof Jamaica listen during the launch of the Scotiabank Women Initiative hosted at the AC Marriott Hotelin Kingston on Friday.

SCOTIABANK has launched The Scotiabank Women Initiative (SWI), a programme aimed at advancing women-led and women owned businesses in Jamaica. Acknowledging that female business owners face unique challenges, the bank through SWI is breaking barriers to increase economic opportunity for women to grow and develop professionally.

Jamaica is the second country within Scotiabank's global operations to launch this initiative, following a successful execution in Canada.

In Canada, the SWI has helped over 5,000 programme participants to date to grow their businesses, further develop their business acumen and hone their leadership skills.

The SWI is a three-pronged programme which is comprised of access to capital, business education and business advisory services and mentorship. The fund, valued at $3 billion, will be available immediately with the education and advisory components to be offered later in 2022. The loan fund will give eligible women-led and owned businesses access of up to $100 million at a launch rate of seven per cent along with waivers on applicable fees. In addition, these businesses will receive three months waivers on fees for merchant services and business online banking.

In the coming months, the bank will also launch a series of free education workshops aimed at elevating women's skills, gaining financial management and technical expertise. The final component will feature advisory assistance to further empower and mentor women in business in areas such as governance and commercial board readiness.

Speaking at the launch, Audrey Tugwell Henry, president and CEO of Scotia Group Jamaica, shared, “I am proud to be a leader in an organisation that acknowledges the particular challenges that professional women face and is taking deliberate action to address some of them. We truly believe that by helping to elevate women in business, we will also directly impact Jamaica's overall productivity and consequently a number of social issues.”

National Rums of Jamaica Ltd was one of three Jamaican women-owned businesses that participatedin the launch. Here, Gender Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange (centre), and Audrey Tugwell Henry (right),president and CEO of the Scotia Group, examine one of the products on display as Martha Miller, CEOlooks on
Dr Verna Reid, CEO of the The Woman's Place Radiology andImaging Centre, shares a moment with Gender Minister Olivia'Babsy' Grange (centre) and Audrey Tugwell Henry (left), presidentand CEO of the Scotia Group.
Audrey Tugwell Henry (right), president and CEO, Scotia GroupJamaica and Professor Verene Shepherd, social historian catch upduring the launch.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy