The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), through its Boosting Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Ecosystems (BIGEE) programme, is pleased to announce the opening of the application window for
entrepreneurs and small businesses to apply for grant funding and capacity building support under
The Innovation Grant for New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE) is the DBJ’s programme that
targets innovative Jamaica’s small businesses which are seeking to grow and scale. The Bank is
confirming that under IGNITE IV, the fourth edition of the programme, grant funding of up to Seven
Million Jamaica Dollars (J$7million) is available for successful applicants.
Christopher Brown, BIGEE Programme Manager, confirms that: “IGNITE was introduced in 2016, but
now falls under the ambit of the BIGEE programme, to date the initiative has helped in more than 70
micro and small enterprises to grow and scale their businesses. Over the years, we have partnered
with several Business Service Intermediaries (BSIs) that are responsible for monitoring and coaching
the MSE during the 12-month implementation. We are pleased to announce that we have approved
two new BSIs namely Kingston Creative and TBR Lab bringing our total number of partners to seven.
Under IGNITE there are two windows through which applicants may apply – Ideation and
Commercialization, with applicable amounts of J$3 million and J$7 million respectively. The Bank is
placing strong emphasis on projects/businesses in the following categories: Climate Change and
Gender; Tourism and Creatives; Manufacturing and Agriculture; Technology – Software and ICT.
Anthony Shaw, Managing Director of the DBJ, reiterates the Bank’s commitment to building and
growing the MSE sector emphasising that: “After three cohorts of IGNITE, the programme continues
to be successful and the original objectives of growing MSEs along their business lifecycle; enhancing
economic returns in terms of level of investment, revenue, employment and export; improving MSEs
business capacity, business processes and sophistication and importantly, increasing the number of
start-ups surviving past two years, remains strong.”
Lu’Shana Cheddesingh, BIGEE’s Technical Co-ordinatorfor Direct Business, has direct responsibility for
IGNITE. She says “We are encouraging innovators who have a concept and needs assistance in building
out their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to apply through the Ideation Window for up J$3 million.
For businesses that have been in operation for over two years and are seeking to scale their
operations, up to J$7 million is available under the Commercialization Window. We are urging all MSEs
with innovative ideas to contact one of our seven approved BSIs, who will assist them with the
preparation of their application.”
The BSIs include Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Caribbean Climate Innovation
Centre (CCIC), Technology Innovation Centre (TIC), Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association
(JMEA), Sister’s Ink Jamaica, Kingston Creative, and TBR Lab.
The IGNITE programme is funded under the Government of Jamaica five-year loan agreement with
the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and an accompanying non-reimbursable grant fund from
the European Union (EU), that is geared at building a robust and sustained entrepreneurship
ecosystem in Jamaica.