Allen knows how to network effectively. Very early in the business, he contacted Danny Williams, Chairman of Sagicor Group Jamaica, and managed to convince the renowned and influential businessman to be his mentor. With the DBJ/Sagicor loan, he recently signed a five-year exclusive partnership with Cable & Wireless to provide access to a wide variety of study materials for GSAT, CSEC and CAPE examinations to students across the Caribbean. Under the arrangement, One-on-One educational materials – video tutorials for full online courses, video lectures, past paper solutions, and other examination preparation materials – will be distributed through the Flow Broadband service. Allen’s other big victory is being selected one of the 24 young professionals for the 2016 Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative programme that US President Barack Obama announced on his visit here last April. Allen is Jamaica’s sole representative. “I am extremely delighted to have been selected as Jamaica’s first recipient of the Youth Leaders of the Americas Fellowship,” he says. “Dedication has certainly won. This award is a testament to the wonderful work and support of my team. DBJ has provided us with the working capital support, along with invaluable advice and mentorship that was instrumental in our success.” Allen says One-on-One is committed to advancing the education system and impacting future generations. “We’re on a drive to revolutionize the education industry in Jamaica and the Caribbean,” he explains, “and we’re thrilled that the DBJ supports us.” Click this link to LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
“We couldn’t have done it without you,” she said. The DBJ and Scotiabank have partnered in the past on MSME initiatives. In 2015, the DBJ loaned more than $785 million to 50 MSMEs through Scotiabank. Seventyone Scotia business customers got financial statements business plans and other services through DBJ’s voucher for technical assistance programme. The VTA is a DBJ capacity development grant that gives MSMEs access to specific business development products and services from an accredited list of business development organizations. The DBJ finances 70% of the cost up to $500,000 so that business can better access credit to grow. Tracey explained that Scotiabank issued DBJ’s first voucher, to Norsai Distributors, for a loan of $30 million. Norsai was then able to hire 60 fulltime and 130 part-time employees. “The DBJ will use the psychometric and business data derived from the firms to better position our intervention programmes to help MSMEs to expand, be more efficient, profitable and sustainable,” says Tracey. “We expect Scotiabank will use the psychometric credit scoring tool to enhance its credit appraisal system for MSME lending.” Other project partners in SERMaF include the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Institute of Law and Economics. Click this link to LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
The IGNITE project is DBJ’s newest option for start-ups, supporting development and commercialization of their innovations. The CEF addresses the recurring challenge of inadequate collateral for many businesses in Jamaica. The VTA helps MSMEs build capacity so they can expand and improve their access to financing. IGNITE helps to finance innovative start-ups, and targets new businesses through existing SME development and incubator programmes. IGNITE supports creation and growth of innovation in firms in the productive sectors. It has started as a two-year pilot to test the effectiveness of grant funding in such instances. The grants will support innovation activities to stimulate growth of 30 new firms in strategic sectors. Grants will be channeled through business service intermediaries (BSIs), selected in a transparent and competitive process. The BSIs will be responsible for getting the funds to the entrepreneurs and firms, and will help DBJ monitor the objectives agreed on with each beneficiary.
Speaking at the function at the bank’s Oxford Road office, the DBJ’s Reynolds noted that among the over 700 organisations that will benefit from the BSJ’s programme are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “SMEs are specifically targeted by the DBJ for assistance in accessing loans and other forms of financing and business development – to make them more structured, more efficient and more likely to survive,” he said. “And although the training will focus primarily on the manufacturing and services industries, it is easy to see that the ‘train-the-trainer’ approach to the delivery of the programme will have far-reaching effects across all the productive sectors and segments of the population.” He praised the BSJ for the development role of the programmes, pointing out that among the positive impacts they will have is the improvement of Jamaica’s standing among its regional and international counterparts. Hall said that the project fit perfectly with the DBJ’s growth strategies as it seeks to build a user friendly ecosystem for business.