DBJ's IGNITE programme reopens with $7 million available for entrepreneursSunday, March 28, 2021
The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has opened applications for Cohort III of its Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE) programme with an increased funding cap of up to $7 million available to micro and small enterprises.
This announcement was made during the recent IGNITE Cohort II graduation ceremony.
Keynote speaker, Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service said, that the IGNITE grant is a very important part of the ecosystem to foster the growth and development of micro and small enterprises.
“The good news is that for the third installation of the IGNITE programme, the grants are going to increase in size. The seed grant will go from a size of $2.5 million to $3 million and the early-stage grant has grown from $4 million to $7 million,” Clarke said.
“Over the past few years, we have launched a series of initiatives that have been geared towards the formation, the growth and the expansion of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME),” he said, noting that 2020 had the most business incorporations in the history of Jamaica despite the ongoing pandemic.
“In my budget presentation, I was very pleased to announce the latest initiative geared towards stimulating activity in the micro, small and medium-sized sector and that was the abolishment of the customs administrative fee on exports valued at less than US$500 million,” the finance minister said.
DBJ's Managing Director Milverton Reynolds commended the IGNITE graduates as well as the DBJ's business service intermediaries, which include the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre, the Technology Innovation Centre at the University of Technology and Sisters' Ink.
“They play a crucial role in building the businesses,” said Reynolds. “It is their commitment and desire to see growth in the MSMEs and their businesses that sustain this initiative. We are grateful for the support that has been given to the IGNITE programme since inception.”
IGNITE provides funding for MSMEs to assist in the development and commercialisation of new products, innovation ventures, new business models and their entrance into new markets. The funds may be used for project preparation, prototype development, marketing and working capital.
Any business in operation for less than seven years with revenue under $75 million per annum may apply for the IGNITE grant. Applicants are encouraged to present innovative ventures, bearing in mind that the fund prioritises businesses that address climate change and gender inclusion and make use of emerging technologies.