The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ): Providing access to financing

The World Bank Access to Finance Project (A2F) is a US$15 million-dollar project that is being executed over a period of 5 years from January 2018 to January 2023, with the objective of improving access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Jamaica.

The project is being implemented by the Development Bank of Jamaica under a partnership between the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank.

There are 4 components geared towards the development of financial instruments/products that will support the MSME ecosystem.

Enhancing the Credit Enhancement Facility for guarantees to MSME Loans
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Supporting the establishment of an SME Fund for risk capital.
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Improving the enabling environment for access to finance and business development services for MSMEs (“Enabling Environment”)
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Project Management
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Generally, the DBJ is focused on delivering:

by ensuring that low-cost funds, in the form of business loans for projects and working capital, are available to all viable enterprises at all levels across the business spectrum – in the productive, creative, distribution, and trade sectors.

This takes place through:

The DBJ does not lend funds directly to individual or businesses. Instead, the Bank’s funds are channelled through a network of Approved Financial Institutions (AFI) and Micro Finance Institutions (MFI).

Increasing demand for development finance by strengthening the capacity of MSMEs to borrow, invest and expand. This is provided through several grant programmes that include:

    • The Voucher for Technical Assistance
    • Go-Digital Voucher
    • Innovation Grant
    • Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE)
    • The SIDECAR Fund
    • The Energy Audit Grant
    • The Jamaica Business Fund

The development and implementation of a viable and sustainable venture capital and private equity industry in Jamaica to provide access to long-term, patient financing required by high potential small and medium-sized enterprises and innovative start-ups, for sustained growth and development.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the Credit Enhancement Fund?
The Credit Enhancement Fund is designed to provide collateral support to MSMEs who may have no or insufficient collateral to access funding.
2. What is the SME Fund and how will it help MSMEs?
The A2F Project will support the establishment of US$ 15 million public-private SME Fund of 10 years extendable to 12 or 15 years, which would provide US$100K- US$2 million (US$750,000 average amount) in risk capital to established SMEs with high growth potential and with operations in Jamaica, but that have not been deemed investment worthy by private equity funds constraints.
3. What are the Eligibility Criteria for MSME’s under the CEF?
• Annual Turnover < J$425 million • Business should be in operation for 24 months • Start-ups in operation for over a year • Credit worthy companies or individuals (enterprises operating in Jamaica with at least 51 percent Jamaican ownership. • Company Registered
4. How much funds can MSME’s have guaranteed?
• 80% up to a maximum guarantee coverage of J$30 million for GENERAL MSME loans. • 90% up to a maximum guarantee coverage of J$10 million for small loans up to J$11 million for Small Loans. • 80% up to a maximum guarantee coverage of J$5 million for start-up enterprises.
5. What is the turnaround time for gaining the CEF for an entrepreneur?
An eligible MSME applying for the CEF should be approved within a week. This may vary based on MSME AFI.