The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today under the Boosting Innovation Growth Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE) Programme. Under the BIGEE programme, established MSMEs will be supported for innovation, growth, patent development and commercialization among others at the individual and group level at all stages of the firm cycle. Extension services providers, incubators, accelerators and tech transfer offices will be strengthened, providing MSMEs with more sophisticated services. BIGEE is set to benefit thousands of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Minister of Finance stated in his remarks, "The MSME sector which accounts for more than half of registered companies in Jamaica, is an area of policy focus for this government. The BIGGEE Programme will address key existing gaps in the depth and effectiveness of Jamaica's innovation eco-system; for example, deepening the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation; enhancing positive attitudes towards risk-taking in business, with the acknowledgement that business failure is sometimes part of the process; and democratising access to equity."
The BIGEE Programme will be executed under a Conditional Credit Line for Investment Projects (CCLIP) of which a total of US$50 Million will be provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) over a ten (10) year period. The CCLIP comprises two (2) investment loans, each in the amount of US$25 Million both with five-year durations.
Therese Turner- Jones, IDB country representative for Jamaica and general manager of the Country Department Caribbean Group (CCB) who signed the Agreement with the Minister of Finance, Nigel Clarke said that "we are very proud to continue our partnership with the Government of Jamaica and the Development Bank of Jamaica to support their vision to further spur economic growth by strengthening an ecosystem that promotes innovation in MSMEs and dynamic entrepreneurship. This initiative which is a scale up of a current Compete Caribbean Technical Cooperation and IDB Lab programme will further build on the resourcefulness and creativity of the Jamaican private sector, especially young entrepreneurs who are working towards a Jamaica that innovates, grows and creates new opportunities."
The Development Bank of Jamaica's (DBJ), Managing Director, Milverton Reynolds, underscored the importance of the BIGEE programme; as a number of MSMEs, scalable startups, new startups with high growth potential and entrepreneurs with sustainable business ideas, will be beneficiaries. Specifically he noted that the DBJ which is the executing agency will provide technical and financial support necessary for sustaining and expanding MSMEs.
The GOJ/IDB partnership continues to be solidified through the IDB's ongoing support of the GOJ's growth and development objectives. The finalization of this Loan Contract represents the IDB's commitment to the sustainable economic development through increased growth, patent development and commercialization among others of Jamaica's MSME sector.
For further information contact:
Communication & Public Relations Branch
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655
Contact: Elaine Oxamendi Vicet/ Daniel Passley