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World Bank approves US$15m loan to boost access to finance

Published:Tuesday | January 30, 2018 | 11:35 AM

The World Bank board today approved a US$15 million loan to improve access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises in Jamaica.

Access to finance is one of the main bottlenecks for firms, and small and medium businesses play a key role for growth and employment, accounting for 90 per cent of the country’s jobs, the Bank said in a release.

“Private sector-led growth is a key priority for the Government of Jamaica. To support this agenda, the project will help diversify and expand financing mechanisms for small businesses to promote entrepreneurship and job creation,” said Galina Sotirova, World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica.

The “Access to Finance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises” project will strengthen the capacity of the Development Bank of Jamaica for leveraging private sector financing for small companies, the release said.

Specifically, more than 1,000 partial credit guarantees will be provided for loans to small and medium enterprises through an improved credit enhancement facility. In addition, an SME fund will mobilize $10 million in private financing and provide capital financing for those companies.

The project will also help create the right ecosystem for access to finance and business development services for SMEs, facilitate better risk management systems, and increase productivity and competitiveness, the Bank said.

The US$15 million loan has a 30-year maturity period and a 5-year grace period.

- business@gleanerjm.com