The Scotia Vision Achiever Programme empowers participants in much the same way the DBJ helps businesses to build capacity. So it was a ‘no brainer’ for the DBJ to throw its support behind the programme this year.
Partnering with Scotiabank Group and others, the DBJ gave the SVA a $500,000 special business consultancy grant. The funding is intended as an incentive to enhance the programme for the 25 participating SMEs.
The DBJ’s sees its involvement with initiatives like the SVA as part of its mandate to help support MSMEs, and ultimately to expand the economy. The DBJ aims to facilitate growth and development in all viable enterprises in the productive sectors.
The SVA is designed to improve core competencies required for running a profitable business. The programme provides 17 weeks of intensive coaching to 25 selected SMEs. Divided into seven modules, the coaching is led by International Business Coach Marcia Woon Choy.
DBJ executives say those that successfully complete the SVA programme will add to the business ecosystem it is nurturing. Comments from the top three participants in the 2015 SVA seem to support this view.
Haedi-Kaye Holmes - Principal of Creative Kids Learning Academy “I am actually a business woman now and not a Principal…I learnt to implement systems that made my school more efficient and effective.”
Patria-Kaye Aarons - CEO, Sweetie Confectionery “I learnt things outside the realm of marketing about growing business in order to hit targets. It’s all well to sit and dream, but if you don’t DO something about your dreams nothing will ever manifest.”
Jonathan Watt - Managing Director of Copy Cat “You are part of a group of people who are going through the same thing. I was able to hire more staff, add to the bottom line and increase revenue by 50 per cent.”
The DBJ sees its partnership with Scotia as a seamless part of its role in helping business. “We are pleased to be a part of the Scotia Vision Achiever programme and the capacity it brings to business in Jamaica,“ says Managing Director Milverton Reynolds.
The DBJ’s relationship with Scotiabank extends beyond the innovative SVA Programme. DBJ and Scotiabank have improved access to credit for MSMEs over the last 3 years through 75 loans valuing JMD 857 million. This has resulted in investments of just over JMD 1.7 billion and created 187 new jobs.