June 29, 2022
GoJ & IDB Sign Agreement for Grant Financing from European Union
Jamaican MSME to benefit through BIGEE
The Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Finance & the Public Service, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed a non-reimbursable grant agreement in the amount €uro 7.4 million (J$1.2 billion) that has been secured from the European Union (EU) for Jamaican MSME sector. The Development Bank of Jamaica is the executing agency, under the Boosting Innovation Growth & Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE).
Minister of Finance & the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke in delivering the keynote address opined: “For Jamaica to have economic growth we need to address the entrepreneurial ecosystems and put innovation at the centre of everything we”. The BIGEE programme is set up to ensure every Jamaica with innovative ideas are able to get the necessary support whether it is capacity building and financing. Today we are celebrating our partners and the beneficiaries under the programme to date”.
Speaking recently at the Visibility Ceremony for the Agreement signing, Anthony Shaw, Managing Director of the Development Bank of Jamaica stated; “The support that we are receiving from the EU (€uro 7.4 million) will complement the existing IDB loan programme for BIGEE – Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project –- by providing additional resources with a focus on women- led businesses, climate change and COVID-19 support. The focus of today’s agreement is:
- Female-led firms – helping them to build their capacity to contribute to the economy
- Climate-change mitigation & adaptation projects that contribute to resiliency and sustainability; and
- To assist MSMEs recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her Excellency Marianne Van Steen, EU Ambassador to Jamaica/Head of Delegation stated; “The EU funding to this programme aims to stimulate a profound cultural change in Jamaica that will create new gender-responsive opportunities for women and youth to participate in and benefit from the Jamaican economy. To this end, the EU’s grant will help to strengthen the provision of specialised advisory services for women entrepreneurs and enhance support available for COVID-19 recovery and climate change resilience. The EU’s contribution, which is funded by the EU Caribbean Investment Facility, will further cement the longstanding partnership between the European Union and Jamaica ’’
The IDB was responsible for negotiating the Grant Financing and will have oversight for its administration. Carmen Madriz, Acting General Manager, Caribbean Country Department, Inter-American Development Bank speaking at the event stated;
Over 20 high potential SMEs that have benefits under the BIGEE programme were on display. The companies included online educational services, personal care products, healthTech online media entity, and waste management projects.
In 2020, the Government of Jamaica and the IDB signed a five-year loan agreement under the programme BIGEE Boosting Innovation Growth & Entrepreneurship Ecosystems. Implementation was delayed somewhat because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in the last year substantial work has been done under the project by providing:
- Giving grants amounting to $78 million under the IGNITE programme to 21 micro and small enterprises to scale their businesses
- Issuing digital vouchers at a cost of $157 million to 225 businesses to help them recover from the pandemic by digitizing their operations
- Supporting 15 teams of student entrepreneurs at the tertiary level at a cost of $6 million
- Providing capacity development to 18 business development organisations and business services intermediaries at a cost of $6.3 million; and
Making grants amounting to $78.5 million under the Innovation Grant Fund, to six medium-sized companies with innovative products to help them increase revenue and create employment.
For further information, please contact,
Pauline S. Nelson /email@example.com
Boosting Innovation Growth & Entrepreneurship Ecosystems
Development Bank of Jamaica
11a Oxford Road
Telephone: 876-929-4000 ext. 4272