DBJ’s BIGEE to impact entrepreneurs
Christopher Brown, General Manager of Strategic Services at the Development Bank of Jamaica.
The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) recently launched its latest product, the Innovation Grant Fund, to increase or create revenue streams for medium-sized enterprises through the financing of innovative ventures that promote productivity.
The fund, which will provide grants up to $14 million per entity, is only one of several products being made available under the DBJ’s programme, Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem (BIGEE).
BIGEE, the latest in a series of programmes, which are financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is intended to support the growth of local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Christopher Brown, DBJ’s General Manager of Strategic Services, said, “The Innovation Grant Fund is tailored to medium-sized enterprises that have been operating for seven years, generate between $75 million and $150 million annually and have a Board of Directors in place. We hope that these companies will participate fully in the programme, particularly at this time when there are so many challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The projects that are eligible for grants under the Innovation Fund must be innovative and will receive assistance for technology assessments, prototyping, inputs and machinery, product upgrading, production of samples for market testing, specialised technical assistance, intellectual property or industrial property protection, and equipment purchase and maintenance, among several other areas.”
BIGEE is available to all sectors, with an emphasis on those that use technology, and includes other products that will be implemented over the coming months. They are the SEED Fund, for start-ups and smaller businesses that are seeking to test an innovative idea or evolve and elevate their position in the current market; Cluster Fund, for supply chains; the Sidecar Fund, to provide equity investments alongside Angel Investors; and the Institutional Strengthening Fund, for incubators and accelerators.
Milverton Reynolds, DBJ’s Managing Director, commented, “The DBJ’s mission is to facilitate economic growth and development by assisting the entrepreneurial class at all levels. We are extremely proud to be offering this kind of support that complements our other programmes such as the Voucher for Technical Assistance, the Credit Enhancement Facility and IGNITE. We encourage all entrepreneurs to make use of these opportunities to help grow and make their businesses sustainable.”