Tuesday 17 September, 2019

JMMB Group Branson Centre join forces to provide training for SMEs

JMMB’s Shani Duncan-Falconer (right) is seen here signing an agreement between JMMB Group and the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean. Looking on are: (L-R, front row) Jerome Smalling, CEO, JMMB Bank, Lisandra Rickards, CEO, Branson Centre and her colleague, Dmitri Dawkins alongside, Gregory Hines, JMMB Group chief business support officer.

JMMB’s Shani Duncan-Falconer (right) is seen here signing an agreement between JMMB Group and the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean. Looking on are: (L-R, front row) Jerome Smalling, CEO, JMMB Bank, Lisandra Rickards, CEO, Branson Centre and her colleague, Dmitri Dawkins alongside, Gregory Hines, JMMB Group chief business support officer.

JMMB Group and the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean have inked a year-long agreement that will see select JMMB Group small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) clients benefitting from the training resources, and other virtual learning opportunities, provided by the Branson Centre. 

This agreement will also see JMMB Group being listed as one of Branson Centre’s preferred partners.

Through this agreement, JMMB Group will facilitate select SME clients, deemed to be in the growth and expansion phase of their businesses, to participate in workshops offered by the Branson Centre, at a discounted price.

In explaining further, Shani Duncan-Falconer, JMMB’s senior corporate manager, SME resource centre, outlined that through a careful selection process, JMMB Group will identify up to 150 clients, over the coming months, which the company believes could benefit from learning opportunities offered by the Branson Centre, via its online learning platform, and extend a special invitation to participate in these programmes, at a discounted price. This online training platform is currently only available through such partnership agreements.

Those entrepreneurs will be able to access training on a broad cross-section of areas that can potentially benefit their businesses and capacity building, including pitch coaching; business plan development; and vision development. Additionally, training, mentorship and investment readiness are umbrella activities provided by the Branson Centre, which will help to bolster the success of the entrepreneurs.

The Branson Centre’s virtual platform is the first online business training platform in the Caribbean and has been used by entrepreneurs throughout the region, through partnerships with various regional entities, like JMMB Group.

Lisandra Rickards, CEO of Branson Centre, lauded the partnership between the two organizations as another step toward creating dynamic Caribbean economies.  Adding, “as a scale-up business accelerator, the decision to utilize Branson Centre’s virtual resources, to bolster the development of SMEs, was a no-brainer. Our online training platform has already served thousands of entrepreneurs across the region and this alliance will only further that impact (for JMMB Group’s select SME clients).''

Investing in SMEs

Furthermore, JMMB Group will explore investment opportunities for entrepreneurs drawn from the Branson Centre’s Accelerator Programme, which caters to entrepreneurs, who are considered to have high-potential and scalable business models. This approach will help to address the often-cited challenge of the lack of available funding for small entrepreneurs. 

Duncan-Falconer outlined that, as such, JMMB Group will participate in the Branson Centre’s  deal room, along with other investors, to get a firsthand understanding of the companies’ business models, and to determine if there are any businesses that JMMB Group could partner with, and explore investment opportunities – whether through debt or equity. 

In providing investment opportunities, through this agreement, JMMB Group is seeking to be a trailblazer in bridging the gap between financial institutions and entrepreneurship and helping to generate growth and development in the region. The Branson Centre is also a pioneer, crafting unique methods tailored for Caribbean entrepreneurs, in order to boost their success.

This agreement is in keeping with JMMB Group’s strategic thrust towards building out its focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in line with its financial inclusion and integrated financial partnership approach.   As part of its strategy, the JMMB Group intends to add value to its SME clients, through the provision of the financial partnership, resources, innovative financial solutions and a network, throughout these SMEs businesses’ life cycles; thereby, providing necessary support for the growth in the  sector and filling the gaps that currently exist in the financial sector.

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