20 MSEs to benefit from DBJ's IGNITE IIITuesday, November 30, 2021
THE Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has enlisted five of its business service intermediaries to facilitate the capacity-building of 20 micro and small enterprises (MSEs) under the IGNITE programme over the next 12 months.
The 20 MSEs will form the third cohort of the IGNITE programme, an initiative of the DBJ, and will interact with Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre, Jamaica Business Development Corporation, Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Sisters' Ink Jamaica, and Technology Innovation Centre at University of Technology, Jamaica.
“In 2015 the DBJ officially launched the IGNITE programme to undertake capacity development initiatives targeted at micro and small businesses. Under the initiative, the bank has supported Jamaican entrepreneurs with innovation business ideas to access grant funds to develop prototype or facilitate commercialisation. To date 50 MSEs have benefited under the programme,” DBJ Managing Director Milverton Reynolds explained.
“As we embark on the third cohort of IGNITE we are delighted at the partnership we have forged with these amazing BSIs, and we want to urge all MSEs to align themselves with one of these companies that will assist them in growing their businesses,” he continued.
As part of the programme, DBJ will provide MSEs with grant funding for the implementation of their projects over the next 12 months. At the same time, the BSIs will monitor the execution of the developmental and implementation plans that MSEs have been agreed on.
Participants in the programme will also benefit from exposure to mentors and advisors who will provide information on technology, financial management, sales and marketing, how to value and negotiate business deals, and restructuring of businesses.
The bank has invested approximately $152 million in the first two cohorts of IGNITE, according to Christopher Brown, general manager, Project Management Office, at the DBJ, under whose portfolio the IGNITE programme falls.
“We are very pleased with the success of the programme and the growth of the MSEs who have participated in the programme. So far, the success of IGNITE has not gone unnoticed,” Brown stated.
As a result, the initiative is now being financed under the Government of Jamaica Boosting Innovation, Growth & Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE), which has provided additional funding to enable an increase in the grant amounts.
Projects at the 'Seed Stage' can now access up to $3 million and others at the 'Early Stage' can also access up to $7 million, the DBJ noted.