DBJ announces Open Window for Innovation Grant Fund & two new areas of Focus – Climate Resilience & Women-owned/led Medium-sized Businesses

Kingston, Jamaica April 20 … The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is pleased to announce the opening of Cohort Three of its Innovation Grant Fund (IGF), a programme targeting medium-sized Jamaican companies.   The DBJ is also advising that there are two (2) new areas of focus – Climate Resilience (mitigation and/or adaptation) and Women-owned/led businesses.

The grant is valued at Twenty Million Jamaican Dollars (J$20 million) and is to be used to assist in the development and commercialisation of innovative products, services, and processes to grow and expand the business.

Invitation for concept notes will open on April 21, 2023. Information on the process for submission of concept notes and full grant application may be found online at  www.thinkbigee.com.

Anthony Shaw, Managing Director, DBJ, is confirming that, “the introduction of these two new areas of focus is as a result of additional funding of US$8 million received from the European Union (EU) and negotiated by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to support the five-year loan agreement signed with the IDB and the Government of Jamaica for the Boosting Innovation Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE) programme.”

Christopher Brown, Programme Manager, BIGEE, explained, “At the DBJ we are always innovating with a view to improve what we do and create considerable impact.  And so, specifically for these two new areas – Climate Resilience and Women-led medium sized businesses, we have reduced the minimum revenue criterion.  These companies are required to have annual revenue ranging between J$30 million and J$250 million.  To be clear, this is only for women-owned/led businesses and those focused on climate resilience. Other applicants outside of these focus areas must have minimum annual revenue of J$75 million to J$250 million.”

Lu’Shana Cheddesingh, Technical Coordinator, Direct Business, BIGEE, under whose portfolio the IGF falls states, “To date, we have awarded grants to twelve (12) medium-sized companies resulting in a total investment of Two Hundred Million Dollars (J$200 million).  The projects funded are all innovative within health, education, manufacturing, and service sectors.

The Innovation Grant Fund is a component of BIGEE, a programme funded by the Government of Jamaica through a US$25 million five-year loan, signed with the Inter-American Development Bank in 2021.  In 2022, the European Union awarded a non-reimbursable grant of US$8 million to further enhance BIGEE.