In 2014, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) introduced the Voucher for Technical Assistance (VTA) to help small businesses develop their operations to improve their creditworthiness. This is in keeping with the DBJ’s mission to provide opportunities to all Jamaicans to improve their quality of life through development financing and capacity building.
VTA Programme provides partial grants to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that operate specifically in the productive sectors.
Supporting emerging technologies at the early stage of commercialization,
Voucher for Technical Assistance (VTA) Categories
Micro Size Businesses with Less than J$15M sales/annual revenue
Small Businesses with More than J$15M, but less than J$75M
Micro and small entrepreneurs who operate businesses in all the traditional industries, as well as those operating in emerging industries, qualify for assistance under the programme.
It is important for the entrepreneur to be aware that the DBJ’s Voucher for Technical Assistance (VTA) Programme not only improves the business’ ability to access funding but also assists in maintaining sustainable business operations.
Instances where Vouchers are Used/Needed:
- When an entrepreneur applies for a loan at an Approved Financial Institution (AFI) their application may be denied because of gaps in their management capacity. The AFI loan officer may recommend assistance by way of a Voucher for Technical Assistance which may improve the client’s chances of accessing a loan.
- An entrepreneur who does not wish to access a loan but wishes to improve his/her business operations, or prepare for other types of investment, may apply for a voucher online on the DBJ’s voucher website (www.dbjvoucher.com).
How the Process Works?
- On the VTA website (www.dbjvoucher.com), follow the Create New Account process. After this is complete, an email will be sent you. The email will show your username as well as instructions on how to set a password. This will activate the account.
- After activating your account, you will be required to create a business profile with all infomation relevant to your business. You may add more than one business if needed. When this is complete, you will be ready to apply for a voucher either directly through the website or through your loan officer at the Approved Financial Institution.
3. Select BDO
- After application, the DB) takes 3-5 working days to process the application. During this time, the applicant should choose a Business Development Organisation (BDO) to carry out the business service applied for under the VTA programme and start a conversation with the organisation.
- A list of approved BDOs is available on the website (http://www.dbjvoucher.com/bdos).
3. Voucher Issued
- Upon approval, the Voucher is issued electronically. The Voucher will not be printed and handed to you. When a Voucher is issued, you will receive an automatically generated e-mail with a reference number. This should be taken to the BDO to access the required service. The BDO will be required to hold discussions with you to determine how the VTA will improve your chances of getting a loan or improve your business in general.
4. Voucher Redeemed
- The Voucher is considered redeemed after your 30% deposit has been made and the business service has been completed. The voucher covers up to 70% of the cost of specific services ranging from J$50,000 to $200,000. You are required to cover the rest of the cost as a deposit to the BDO. After the BDO completes the service, the BDO will then be able to request payment from the DB).
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