The Jamaica Business Fund (JBF) is a product under the Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE) Programme to enhance the development of the productive sector, by supporting high potential business alliances to compete in regional and global markets. This will improve productivity of SMEs in the clusters, resulting in increased employment and income by promoting innovation and productivity among SMEs with high growth potential to enhance the competitiveness of exports and import-competing products.
The JBF support is available for two types of groups, both defined as “clusters” for this product: Horizontal Business Alliances and Vertical Business Alliances (Anchor Led).
Types of Groups Supported:
i. Horizontal business alliances (Associativity): This represents a group of at least four companies that come together to develop a project to face common challenges and or engage in collaboration to improve their productivity and competitiveness. Collective actions generally involve projects that aim to complement supply to serve markets, centralize purchases, specialize firms to improve productivity, and other initiatives.
ii. Vertical business alliances (Anchor-Led): This consists of the creation of an alliance between an anchor and its providers to develop a project that contributes to the improvement of productivity, thus improving the competitiveness of the value chain. In general, this involves projects that address challenges related to enhancing providers’ business performance and technology transfer in productive spheres.
Key to the design of the JBF is the recognition that Anchor firms present significant capacity to multiply outputs and increase incomes for all stakeholders in the supply chain. Anchor firms often work with a large number of SME suppliers and their co investments with these suppliers can accelerate the growth process in the supply chains, which provides increased market opportunities for the SMEs; and allows the Anchor firms to offer differentiated products of greater quality and value, giving all the market stakeholders/players a competitive advantage.
The Jamaica Business Fund will provide a maximum amount to a Cluster of US$300,000. The JBF grant will provide funding up to a maximum of 70% of the total project cost. The following terms outline the resources available for the two types of business alliances (i) vertical and ii) horizontal)
- If the benefitting firms/individuals are secondary or tertiary producers, the JBF will only fund 50% of the total project cost.
- Minimum composition of four (4) cluster suppliers (members) up to a maximum of ten (10) cluster suppliers (members) excluding the LEAD (buyer) firm;
- The Applicant’s cost-share balance/project contribution may contain in-kind commitments which should be presented as part of the total cost of the Project; in-kind contributions should not exceed 50% of the cost-share balance.
Eligible Entities are organizations that can apply for support on behalf of the cluster. They include anchor companies in supply chains, other enterprises and social private firms operating in Jamaica as well as universities, research centers, trade associations, community-based organizations, and cluster management offices.
Projects must be deemed ethical, legal and should address socioeconomic challenges stymying sustainable development of any of the following sectors: Agriculture, Agro-Processing, Food Health and Safety, Manufacturing, IT, Health, Community /Eco Tourism, etc. The project proposals should include a precise diagnostic of the cluster with an action plan which could include:
- Establishment of Common Facility Centers;
- Capacity development;
- International Certification (Social, Environmental and Health & safety);
- Environmental sustainability concerns, such as clean production, life cycles, natural products, eco-efficiency, green seals, waste recycling, and related issues, including ISO 9000, 14000 and 18000 certifications;
- The attraction of direct investments;
- Export promotion and marketing;
- Promotion of innovation, technological development, upgrading, and transfer;
- Integration into international value chains; and
- Workshops, seminars and forums for members of the proposed cluster and other stakeholders;
Technical Support Available
Technical support can be accessed by a cluster group from one of the JBF Approved Technical Grant Writers who can be found here.
When you click on Apply Now, you will be taken to a third party site - YouNoodle, you will be asked to create an account after which you will be taken to the application form