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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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Scotia Bank Jamaica has removed a number of barriers to funding for women entrepreneurs under the recently launched Scotia Women Initiative. Details were shared at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation’s (JBDC) Virtual Biz Zone webinar held on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 in celebration of International Women’s Day and recognition of March as Women’s History month. The session was held under theme, ‘Advancing Women, Advancing Business’.

Mrs. Kaysia Johnson Vaughn, Senior Manager, SME Professional Partnerships, Caribbean North and Central presented on the thrust of the initiative that is aimed at developing women-led and women-owned businesses. She said the mission of the initiative is “breaking down barriers to increase economic opportunities for women to be successful now and in the future.”

Detailing the fundamental pillars of the Scotia Women’s Initiative, she said “We are aiming to provide unbiased access to capital with tailored solutions, bespoke specialised education as well as holistic advisory services and mentorship.”

Mrs. Johnson-Vaughn added that “Scotia has been making deliberate steps to helping women to achieve success in their businesses. We know access to capital is imperative and we have launched a $3billion fund to help women-led and owned businesses to access assistance.”

Continuing she said, “Our aim is to provide equal access to financing for women in business. We want to give women tools, resources, that will elevate their skills, financial confidence and technical expertise. The initiative will provide womencentric advice and development opportunities.”

Mrs. Kaysia Johnson Vaughn, Senior Manager, SME Professional Partnerships, Caribbean North and Central

Speaking about the fund launched in January, she said “women can access capital with a 7% interest rate. Ladies interested in accessing this fund will receive a full waiver on their application fee and a 50% discount on their commitment fee.”

Johnson-Vaughn noted that the loan limits are a minimum of 2 million and maximum of 30 million Jamaica dollars for small business and $100million for mid-market businesses. The initiative provides resources, tools and opportunities for women who lead or own various business ventures. “Scotia is creating a safe haven for women businesses to feel comfortable and take their businesses to the next level,” she added.

Through this month-long women entrepreneurs series on the Virtual Biz Zone, JBDC hopes to equip and empower women entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills to invest in their businesses. The second webinar in this series is titled “Taking Stock; Women meet ROI” (Return on Investments) where women entrepreneurs will learn about investments with JBDC’s partner, Barita.

Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira

Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira says she is heartened that Scotia Bank has sought to focus on women entrepreneurs, noting that the JBDC’s clientele is 53% female and it speaks volumes to the fact that women are taking up space in business.

“The theme for International Women’s Day is indeed appropriate, as it is time to ‘Break the Bias’. There are some female entrepreneurs who have to balance managing business and home, which is a tall order when you take spouse and children into consideration. It makes hurdling through entrepreneurship more challenging. They should not have to also fight to receive the same level of support and I thank Scotia for this initiative which will certainly advance women in business,” she said.

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



The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) was established in 2001 as the premier government agency providing business development services to Jamaican Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)…’From Concept to Market’, JBDC provides guidance for business start-ups and expansion, offering business advice and consultation, research services, business monitoring, training and capacity building, project management services, financial advice, design and product development as well as market penetration support and access. The organisation which operates within the ambit of the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce (MIIC), strives to continually fuel the local economy through its services and programmes designed to support the growth and development of the MSME sector.

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