The government of Jamaica and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have signed a $50 million loan agreement to implement the Boosting Innovation, Growth, and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE) program over the next 10 years.

Nigel Clarke, minister of Finance and the Public Service, and Therese Turner Jones, general manager for the IDB’s Caribbean Group Country Department, signed the agreement during a brief ceremony Friday at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston.

The project will provide financial and technical assistance support for Micro-, Small- and Medium-Size Enterprises (MSMEs), scalable and new business start-ups with high growth potential, and entrepreneurs with sustainable business ideas. It will also benefit incubators, business support accelerators and academia focused on the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The project, to be implemented by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), will be executed under two five-year, $25 million Conditional Credit Line for Investment Projects (CCLIP) funding facilities.

The program components will include, among other things, provisions for engagements targeting innovation and growth for MSMEs — $8.35 million; scalable startups — $8.99 million; and high growth potential startups — $3.47 million.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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