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DBJ SET TO LAUNCH INNOVATION GRANT FUND FOR ENTREPRENEURS

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Paul Chin, Manager of Investment Relations Unit at the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) says the DBJ is set to launch a new Innovation Grant Fund which sees innovators accessing up to J$20 million in value. Mr. Chin was speaking at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation’s (JBDC) Virtual Biz Zone Webinar on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in the second of the agency’s Research and Innovation Series held under the theme: Innovation: Funding new Business/Product Ideas.

Mr. Chin noted “The Development Bank of Jamaica is one institution that entrepreneurs must consider as they seek out funding options for their business. The DBJ has a number of funding options for MSMEs, our products fall under three main categories. We have grants, loan products and a credit guarantee scheme.”

Mr. Chin added “DBJ grants are primarily used for business support services, and we have various grant programmes to assist MSMEs with innovative and new ideas. The DBJ will launch the Innovation Grant Fund on May 20, 2022 for persons in business for at least 7 years.” Mr. Chin noted that the DBJ considers innovative businesses as “businesses with new, original and more effective products or services that break into the market or society. The grant will provide participants with up J$20 million in value and is geared toward Medium-sized enterprises that earn an annual revenue between J$75Million to J$150Million.”

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Manager of Investment Relations Unit at the Development Bank of Jamaica, Paul Chin.

The DBJ will also launch its Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE) in July 2022. The grant is broken down into two sections and provides up to J$3Million for businesses in the idea stage and $7million for businesses within the commercialisation stage. Interested persons are encouraged to visit the DBJ website for more details.

Continuing, Mr. Chin added that there are other grant funding options, such as the Voucher for Technical Assistance (VTA) and the Energy Audit Grant. The VTA specifically provides thirty (30) business development services for entrepreneurs. The Voucher for Technical Assistance can help small businesses with business plan preparation, business process improvement, financial statements, marketing plans, digital transformation and other training courses. The value of the vouchers starts at $50,000 and goes up to a maximum of $300,000.

In keeping with the JBDC’s theme of Research and Innovation, Mr. Chin said “Research is important as it relates to funding, you have to know where to look and how to look to find money for your business, money won’t simply fall into your laps you must go out and find it.” He noted the important role the DBJ plays in start-ups and businesses within the MSMEs.

Concluding, Mr. Chin encouraged participants to explore the general funding options and explained the pros and cons of each. He went on to share on the variety of sources of funds for businesses and listed self-financing, bootstrapping, loans and business competitions as ways small businesses can secure funds to move their businesses forward.

The JBDC Virtual Biz Zone webinars are geared toward stimulating entrepreneurs within the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) sector. The webinars are held on Tuesdays at 10:00am via Zoom. Interested persons are encouraged to join by registering at www.jbdc.net. The sessions can also be watched on JBDC’s YouTube channel.