DBJ Discounts Supply Chain Grant

DBJ offices located along Oxford Road in Kingston. (Photos: Karl Mclarty)

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), in giving more support to entrepreneurs and small businesses, said it is currently in the process of reinstating a supply chain grant which it plans to offer very early in the coming year.

According to Christopher Brown, program manager of the bank’s Boosting Innovation, Growth & Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE) project, the grant – an extension of the Jamaica Business Fund (JBF) – will help growers boost sales while increasing local productivity, by stimulating exports and helping them access new markets.

The intention, he said, is for all stakeholders, including primary, secondary and tertiary producers, to forge closer ties by working together to create a more efficient supply chain at the local level, by particularly following the continued fallout and unavailability of raw materials and commodities since the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a grant that supports all actors in the supply chain and through which the entire supply chain can access up to $45 million, or roughly $300,000 in funds. This grant is expected to be ready by February 2023,” Brown said during a Jamaica Observer Business Forum recently held at the bank’s Oxford Road offices in Kingston.

In previous rounds of the JBF, grants as low as $20,000 and as high as $350,000 could be awarded per supply chain application.

The JBF was first introduced to the market around 2016 as part of the Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth (FCG) project which was created to promote economic development through inclusive growth in high-intensity supply chains. potential.

The objective of the fund was to improve the productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the supply chain by transferring cost savings and increased production to medium and larger buyers/flagship companies while downgrading customers and improving the competitiveness of export and import-competing products.

Key to the design of the setup is the recognition that lead companies exhibit significant capacity to multiply productions and increase revenues for all players in the supply chain.

The idea is that anchor companies work with a large number of SME suppliers and, through their co-investments with these suppliers, help accelerate the process of supply chain growth. This, in turn, should increase market opportunities for SMEs while allowing anchor companies to offer differentiated products of superior quality and value, thereby giving all market players a competitive advantage.

“While we plan to continue similar interventions [of the JBF] the goal is to have at least five suppliers involved in a relationship,” Brown said, referring to Jamaica Broilers’ relationship with its chicken farmers as one of the model concepts he seeks to model.

“Having a strong supply chain is what we are also trying to bring to more industries,” he added.

The DBJ, funded by the government and international agencies, has since its inception offered support in the form of loans, grants, business support services and other forms of technical assistance to MSMEs as part of its support at different stages of their development.

Through the popular BIGEE program, under which a number of grants fall, including the Innovation Grant for New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE) project, the entity has helped a large number of MSMEs grow and grow their businesses, offering a significant access to financing. while strengthening production capacity.

The recent launch of a patent grant fund now aims to unlock opportunities for inventors and entrepreneurs, giving them access to financial support for a new $100 million facility.

“It’s great for people who are looking for support for their inventions, especially if they’ve invented or created something new that would meet the requirements for a patent…we’re here to provide support on that.” “, said Natalie D’Oyen, technical co-ordinator of intermediary relations for the BIGEE programme.

Under the facility, a maximum of $4 million will be provided to inventors, researchers and entrepreneurs who successfully file patent applications locally and internationally for their products or inventions, with the fund covering up to 80% of the total cost. of the project.

Christopher Brown, BIGEE program director, gives the reporter an update at a forum on December 7.

Natalie D’Oyen, technical coordinator of intermediary relations, BIGEE program

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