JMMB Bank, through its SME Resource Centre, this month opened applications to onboard micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to its Accelerator Programme.
The initiative is designed to provide MSMEs with the necessary expertise, training, coaching, and network and support services and aims to also scale and grow the sector. The bank, in its thrust to give more support to small businesses, has also moved to forge several partnerships, including the recent signing of an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Invest and EXIM-Bank to provide over US$65M in financing to the sector
“The Accelerator Programme is open to Jamaican and Trinidad and Tobago-based MSMEs that have been operating as a sole trader, partnership or limited liability company for at least two years, with revenue of between $15M and $75M, or the $TT equivalent. Additionally, these MSMEs should have a good credit history. The programme is open to all eligible MSMEs, including companies not aligned with the bank. The application period end on September 1,” a recent company release said.
“The growth of the MSME sector is critical to the recovery of the Caribbean economies, as it provides significant employment and is a major contributor to gross domestic product (GDP). In spite of the pandemic, in Jamaica specifically, we have seen an increase in the number of registered businesses, which suggests that there is a greater thrust towards entrepreneurship,” said Shani Duncan-Falconer, senior corporate manager of JMMB Group’s SME Resource Centre.
“We recognise that with the right support and partnership, we will be able to transition more MSMEs to fledging businesses and eventually household names. It is against this view that JMMB Bank decided to launch the Accelerator Programme,” she added.
MSMEs shortlisted for the programme will be exposed to a wide range of growth initiatives aimed at bolstering expertise and strengthening leadership skills. Each MSME is to be assigned a coach that will work in helping to tailor solutions to suit its business needs as it looks to grow through the programme.
“At the end of the two-year programme, we hope to provide entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge to enable the sustainability of their businesses and bolster their capacity so that these businesses can further scale and grow by attracting further funding through debt, equity or grant financing,” Duncan-Falconer said.
The JMMB SME Resource Centre was established in 2019 in Jamaica and last year in Trinidad & Tobago. Through coaching and a wide range of advisory services, the entity with the assistance of its partners and other organisations helps small businesses to improve operational efficiency and gain access to resources needed for growth.