Development Bank of Jamaica to assist medium-sized companies through innovation grant fundFriday, September 04, 2020
The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has embarked on the implementation of a new product, the Innovation Grant Fund, to provide financial support for medium-sized companies looking to introduce or expand innovative processes, products, and/or services.
General manager for Strategic Services at the DBJ, Christopher Brown, said that the facility aims to assist entities fulfilling the eligibility criteria to create additional revenue streams and employment, through the provision of a maximum $14-million grant to fund innovation ventures.
The US$2.7-million grant facility is the first of six products being launched by the DBJ under the five-year US$25-million Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-funded Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE) Programme.
The initiative is a comprehensive undertaking aimed at building out entrepreneurs and stimulating more innovation from micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as well as strengthening the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Brown said that this grant product is designed to support medium-sized entities that have been registered for a minimum of seven years, are generating annual earnings of between $75 million and $150 million, and have a board of directors in place.
He advises that the BIGEE Programme also has a funding facility tailored for business start-ups and smaller companies, adding that, “Our aim is to have both products in the market to support companies at all stages.”
Brown said that under the two-stage Innovation Grant Fund application process, which opened on September 1, representatives of these entities are invited to log on to the project website www.thinkbigee.com; fill out the concept note/application form, which provides a basic outline of the proposed engagement; and submit same for evaluation.
Evaluations will be undertaken at the end of September or each month, depending on the number of applications meeting the criteria, until the 30 entities being targeted for support are identified.
Brown further stated that entities passing the concept stage will, thereafter, be invited to submit a comprehensive project proposal, detailing their engagements' main objectives/goals and how these will be achieved.
“A $300,000 grant, in the form of a voucher, will be available to assist each entity in preparing their comprehensive project proposals,” Brown said.
The DBJ general manager explained that the grant will enable them to engage the services of a member of the DBJ-accredited list of consultants to assist in writing the proposal “and really helping them to think through and design the project”.