Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE)

 

The DBJ’s targets include job creation and supporting new business, therefore a new product was created which offers grants for innovative new ventures through existing business development organisations and incubator programmes.  This grant programme, aptly named IGNITE, is expected to aid the accelerated growth of a group of innovative business ventures by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to create additional jobs and generate tax revenues for the government.

 

How it Works

  • A grant of up to J$4.0M (or 70% of a project cost) will be provided for implementing innovation activities to support the creation and growth new firms in strategic sectors.
  • These grants will be channeled through entities which we will call Business Service Intermediaries (BSIs) after a transparent and competitive selection process.
  • DBJ will then sign a 2 year MOU governing the relationship between the BSIs, DBJ and the grant beneficiaries.
  • These BSIs will be responsible for: assisting with the presentation of proposals; channeling the funds to the entrepreneurs; and assisting DBJ in the monitoring of the objectives agreed with each individual beneficiary.
  • It is expected that a total of 3 BSIs and 30 MSMEs will be selected.

 

Selection of Innovations to Receive Grants

An evaluation committee will be formed, made up of industry experts and DBJ personnel to choose projects to be funded.  The MSME’s will have the following characteristics:

  • Company registered no longer than 2 years
  • Have a viable business model and growth potential
  • Have export potential Has the potential to employ at least 2 persons within the next 2 years

 

The types of ventures we are looking for will include:

  • Software and IT projects
  • Creative projects – Films, video games, fashion design using new materials or methods)
  • Application of biotechnology to local production-New varieties of seeds, pesticide-free fertilizer
  • Life sciences – For example, production of medicines
  • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) – Big data apps to solve real-world problems
  • Knowledge intensive business projects – New payment methods, enabling access to finance or new architectural designs etc.
  • Agricultural products with export potential – New exportable agricultural goods,
  • Light-manufacturing – New products such as small furniture etc. using new materials, local materials and/or non-traditional methods
  • Products and services aimed at satisfying demand of the tourism and hotel sectors – For example, new import substitutions for goods or services used in hotels.

 

Once approved for a grant, beneficiaries will be invited to sign a Grant Agreement and their progress will be monitored for 2 years to keep abreast of their achievements during the period and the outcome of their ventures.