Funding is available to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), through services offered by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), says Manager of Investor Relationship, Paul Chin.
Addressing the second of a two-part webinar, hosted by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) on May 17, Mr. Chin noted that the DBJ interacts with MSMEs through financial intermediaries, including microfinance institutions (MFIs), approved financial institutions (AFIs) and business development organisations (BDOs).
He shared that the services of the DBJ, including marketing plans, financial services, training courses and business process improvements, are “pushed” through these intermediaries, which will interact with MSMEs and businesses in general to gain access.
Mr. Chin added that the products of the DBJ fall within three main categories –grants, loans, and a credit guarantee scheme.
“The grants are primarily used for business support services. The DBJ, through its ‘Voucher for Technical Assistance (VTA)’ grant, provides entrepreneurs with a book voucher that can be taken to a BDO to procure the type of service that is needed. The grant will pay up to 70 per cent for the value of the service, starting at a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $300,000,” he explained.
Each MSME is eligible for one voucher every two years along with one go-digital voucher, he added.
Persons interested in accessing the voucher, may do so through a commercial bank or apply online through the DBJ web portal at www.dbjvoucher.com.
=Citing the loans offered by the institution, the Investor Relationship Manager shared that “the DBJ generally provides 90 per cent financing of the project cost for MSMEs and 70 per cent financing for very large projects”.
To qualify for a loan, Mr. Chin said that MSMEs must be registered and operating in Jamaica, be tax compliant, must be technically and financially viable and have an equity injection of 10-30 per cent.
Loans are available to operators in the agriculture, agri-business, construction, and manufacturing sectors, among others.
Mr. Chin said that part one of the series, which focused on using research to identify new market needs, was timely, as research plays a vital role when seeking funding for businesses.
“Research is also important as it relates to funding, as you [entrepreneurs] must know how and where to look to find money for your business. It is not going to fall into your laps; you have to go out there and seek it,” he urged.