An agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce, the JBDC is Jamaica’s premier business development organisation working collaboratively with government, private sector, as well as, academic, research and international communities.



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The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is seeking to improve on the $99 million in funding which it assisted entrepreneurs to access during the previous fiscal year.

Valerie Veira, chief executive officer of JBDC who was speaking at the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with microlending agency, Access Financial Services on June 26, said her agency is taking the lead in developing mutually beneficial relationships between financiers and Micro, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) aimed at increased funding.

The signing of the MOU which took place at the JBDC’s Incubator & Resource Centre in Kingston, will see the JBDC providing training to Access’ staff to better understand non-traditional business lines and the foundations of business development.

The two entities will also collaborate to conduct a series of three workshops for existing Access’ clients to sensitise them on the services of the JBDC. Additionally, they will refer clients for business development services and financing respectively.

Veira explained that in taking on the task of training both the financier and the entrepreneur, the JBDC is acting as a ‘network broker’ within the MSME ecosystem, “Wherever the resources are, JBDC will be going there and pulling it together to ensure our clients get the full and most appropriate services.

JBDC serves as a broker on both sides of partnerships. We talk to our clients and we prep them for the relationship and take them to a stage where they understand what is required and how they prepare for making a link to the other side.”

According to Veira, strategic partnerships form a significant part of the JBDC’s strategy to deliver on its mandate to provide business development services to Jamaican entrepreneurs…From Concept to Market.

“Our mandate is to develop the MSME sector and our group spreads right up to the ones who are exporting and accelerating. It means that the sector has a mixed bag of needs and the JBDC cannot do it alone,” she pointed.

Access to affordable and appropriate financing has been a longstanding problem affecting the growth and sustainable development of the MSME sector.

Challenges in accessing capital and the associated issues such as the availability of appropriate and adequate collateral for borrowing; the higher-than-normal interest rates, and the inability of the enterprise to manage the financing, are often cited as fundamental constraints to MSME development.

Hugh Campbell, CEO of Access Financial says, “the MSME sector despite their contributions to the formal economy remain largely underserved by traditional providers. JBDC knows all too well the issues entrepreneurs face with developing and growing their businesses with limited options to affordable financing, not enough expert guidance to understand their weaknesses”.

Campbell pointed out that Access Financial clients who have a capacity building gap, challenges accessing financing or desirous of scaling their business will be referred to the JBDC under this partnership.

Areas of focus include: (i) Assessment, Training and provision in business development, management and support; (ii) Pre- Financial Services and Guidance (iii) Research & Marketing Support; and, (iv) Product Development Support.

Source: Our Today –


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