Jamaica will bolster the private sector by fostering productivity and innovation with a $50 million conditional credit line with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The first individual operation for $25 million will promote sustainable and robust growth among startups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Jamaica.
Jamaica’s productivity growth and innovation challenges requires a long-term vision of identifying and promoting high-growth potential opportunities, as well as flexibility to accommodate to the rapidly changing technological environment that is affecting the private sector globally.
The project aims to promote innovation and productivity among established MSMEs with high growth potential; promote sustainable growth in scalable startups; and create a sustainable pipeline of high-growth potential startups. This will allow MSMEs to use inputs and factors in more productive ways (improving productive processes, creating new products, and adopting more efficient technologies, among others), enabling faster growth.
“New businesses make an economy more vibrant,” said Therese Turner- Jones, IDB country representative for Jamaica and general manager of the Country Department Caribbean Group (CCB). “This injection of funds will help build Jamaica’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, unleash the creativity of the people, and contribute to economic growth as well as improve the lives of Jamaicans.”
The beneficiaries of the project will be MSMEs, scalable startups, new startups with high growth potential and entrepreneurs with sustainable business ideas, who will receive technical and financial support to accelerate operations and technical assistance to scale-up services (outreach to markets, mentoring and governance, among others). The program will capitalize a Sidecar Fund providing matching grants for ventures that are supported by an angel investor according to the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited Venture Capital and Private Equity Investment Policy. The Venture Capital Fund will be managed by a Fund Management Firm, selected through a competitive process.
In addition, it will benefit public and private institutions that conform the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem such as incubators, accelerators, business support accelerators, academia and technological transfer offices, that will be strengthened with the program.
The program will involve innovation in emerging technologies such as Manufacturing 4.0, electronics, artificial intelligence, big data, cyber security and biotechnology among others will be prioritized, as well as subprojects with potential to solve problems in areas such as climate change and gender inclusion and diversity.
The IDB credit line loans are for 25-years terms, with a 5.5-year grace periods and an interest based in LIBOR. The executing agency will be the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited.
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.
IDB Project Team Leader
Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems Programme