Fri | Aug 7, 2020

IDB assists JSE with crafting social enterprise financing framework for Jamaica

Published:Sunday | December 8, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Marlene Street Forrest (seated left), managing director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange and Therese Turner- Jones, IDB country representative for Jamaica and general manager for the Caribbean country group, sign the technical cooperation agreement for the enhancement of the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange. Looking are the representatives of various social enterprises.

The social services sector in Jamaica is expected to benefit from a technical cooperation agreement between the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and the Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) innovation subsidiary, IDB Lab, valued at US$420,000.

The agreement was signed at the IDB’s 50th anniversary launch held at its country offices in Kingston on Friday. The Combined Disabilities Association (CDA) also benefited from a $500,000 donation from the multilateral. 

Under the agreement, the IDB's innovation hub is expected to assist the JSE in developing an innovative financing platform for social enterprises seeking funding to execute their mandate.  

Further, the JSE is to assist social enterprises to build capacity so they can adopt and implement the kind of management framework that will allow them to attract funding via the social stock exchange (JSSE) that was recently launched.

According to Therese Turner Jones, IDB’s country manager for Jamaica and general manager for the Caribbean country group,“our plan is to develop an integrated platform for connecting donors and investors".

However, she said: "Ultimately, the goal goes well beyond financing to building capacity of these social services organisations to manage projects effectively, while measuring and communicating their results.”

The project is expected to benefit some 150 social service organisations across the island including churches, foundations, non-government organisations and social enterprises many of which are headed by female social entrepreneurs; and 10,000 poor and vulnerable persons are slated to benefit from the programme.

The total project budget is US$910,000, of which US$420,000 is being provided by the IDB Lab through the non-reimbursable technical co-operation agreement. 

Speaking at the signing, Marlene Street Forrest, JSE managing director stated: "We are confident will have significant long-term benefits for social enterprises as they seek to build capacity within their organisations, increase their governance structure, thereby increasing their options for financing their businesses and indeed the social sector ecosystem for social programmes and transparency." 

Additionally, Street-Forrest said the programme is "expected to directly strengthen the JSSE’s own delivery and positively impact all areas of funding access".