Tue | Sep 26, 2017

DBJ to launch Jamaica Private Equity and Venture Capital Association

Published:Thursday | February 11, 2016 | 2:00 AM
Development Bank of Jamaica’s managing director, Milverton Reynolds (second left), and Country Representative of the Inter-American Development Bank Therese Turner-Jones (second right) shake hands after the signing of the agreement. Looking on are: Audrey Richards, project coordinator, Jamaica Venture Capital Programme, and Chairman of the Development Bank of Jamaica Joseph Matalon.

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is to launch the Jamaica Private Equity and Venture Capital Association with membership drawn from the private sector, some public sector entities, and external stakeholders. This was announced by Joseph Matalon, DBJ chairman, at the signing of a $420-million technical cooperation agreement between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the DBJ on February 4, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

Speaking at the signing, Matalon explained that the agreement is valued at US$3,483,000, with the IDB-MIF providing US$1,198,750 (or approximately J$145 million) and the DBJ providing counterpart funding of US$2,284,250 (or approximately J$275 million). The project will be executed over three years.

"We are particularly enthusiastic about the support this technical agreement will give to building out the entrepreneurial ecosystem to ensure that there are supportive institutions through which our entrepreneurs will be able to develop their businesses and link with investors, creating a deal flow of investment ready businesses," he said.

TRAINING/CAPACITY BUILDING

"Important also will be our continued engagement with the private sector, and our empowerment of stakeholders through training and capacity building. A vibrant, sustainable venture capital market has ultimately to be private sector-led. The DBJ's role as a catalyst for this new industry would have been successfully accomplished once our private sector stakeholders take on the leadership of this industry," he noted. To facilitate this he said, the DBJ would be spearheading the launch of the association.

Speaking on behalf of her organisation, country representative of the IDB, Therese Turner-Jones, said that she looked forward to a successful partnership with the DBJ and pointed out that it was a perfect time for the agreement to be signed.

The agreement is aimed at building human capacity, awareness and information dissemination, as well as the financial resources for early stage ventures and entrepreneurs. It aims further at enabling the legal and regulatory environment to facilitate seamless cross-border venture capital and private equity transactions. It is the second technical cooperation agreement between the two parties for the development of Jamaica's venture capital ecosystem and is expected to impact more than 100 existing and potential, urban and rural, high-growth small and medium enterprises. Other beneficiaries will include regulators, service providers, investors and existing and new fund managers.