Approximately 30 entrepreneurs participated in the recently held Financing Fridays hosted by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) in partnership with banks, lawyers, accountants and government entities. The event was held at the JBDC’s Incubator & Resource Centre on Marcus Garvey Drive.
“Access to Financing and Financial Literacy remains integral to the sustainable development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Jamaica. As such, the JBDC is doing its part to support these businesses in building their capacity and preparing them to more comfortably navigate the existing financial market,” explained Melissa Bennett, Manager – Financial Support Services Unit, JBDC.
Through Financing Fridays, one of the JBDC’s more recent programme additions, the Corporation is facilitating a myriad of financial services including a financial hand-holding programme that prepares entrepreneurs to access funding through grants, equity and loans.
At the most recent hosting of Financing Fridays (held June 28), 15 entrepreneurs who completed the JBDC’s 12-week financial hand-holding programme were presented with certificates of completion. The programme saw clients gaining exposure to practical training in the areas of Personal and Business Planning, Basic Recordkeeping, Costing & Pricing and Break-even, Sales Forecasting & Budgeting, Reporting and Analysis, Tax Compliance, Financial Model, Business Valuation and Capitalization Table, Business Plan, as well as Pitch Deck Preparation.
Client consultation in progress… In the photo on the left, Cohort 3 Acceleratee Scott Edwards(l) speaks with Lawyer, Camille Facey. In the photo on the right, Client Natalee Thomas-Shorter consults with the representatives from Sagicor Bank.
According to Miss Bennett, “the event was also used as a platform to place clients in direct contact with professional partners such as Lawyers, Accountants and Strategists who have specialized knowledge in areas such as business turnaround, Corporate Governance, Risk Management and Intellectual Property Management. One of the high points of the day was the pitch session which saw 5 clients pitching to 6 investors for equity funding. Two of our advisors also participated in the pitch session.”
Among the lending institutions participating in the last event were Sagicor Bank, National Commercial Bank, JN Small Business Loans Limited, Scotiabank, COK Credit Union and First Global Bank. The Development Bank of Jamaica as well as Companies Office, Tax Administration Jamaica and the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office also provided support.
The second cohort of entrepreneurs in the hand-holding programme are already in place and will receive certification in September 2019.