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MIF and Jamaica Stock Exchange partner to increase access to equity financing for small and medium businesses

Jan 21, 2015

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB), has recently approved a technical cooperation of US $563,750 for a project with the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE). The project will increase access to equity financing for Jamaican small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by improving the framework of the JSE’s Junior Market and providing 25 SMEs with capacity-building so that they can meet the requirements for listing on the Junior Market. This Junior Market model is a stock exchange specifically designed for the needs of smaller enterprises using a simplified regulatory framework to allow these businesses to access growth capital.

The JSE’s Junior Market was launched in 2009. To date, over 20 companies have listed on the Junior Market with most being medium-sized rather than small businesses. The project will increase awareness among SMEs, investors and other stakeholders about the benefits and utility of the Junior Market. It will enhance JSE functions, amplifying product and service offerings and streamlining processes and procedures, such as the monitoring and supervision cycle.

Prospective SMEs will benefit from capacity-building to prepare and comply with the Junior Market requirements and to implement the necessary steps to file their listing, especially with respect to corporate governance. The project will also support activities to strengthen Junior Market mentors and brokers so that they are better equipped to handle the various requirements for smaller enterprises.

In the long term, this project will establish a benchmark model to address the lack of equity financing for SMEs by demonstrating the potential of an alternative stock exchange and providing an example which can be replicated or adapted by other stock exchanges in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The total project budget is US$1. 4 million, of which the MIF will contribute US$563,750 and JSE will contribute US$574,800.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefiting low-income populations and the poor—their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory—experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks to build and support successful micro, small and medium business models. More information can be found at www.fomin.org.

About JSE

The JSE was incorporated as a for-profit private limited company in August 1968 and commenced operations in February 1969. The JSE is regulated and supervised by the Financial Services Commission (FSC), and its mission is to “promote a fair, efficient, ethical and transparent market through which investors can invest and companies can access capital for the growth and development of the nation.” The JSE seeks to provide a market where more enterprises can take advantage of equity financing, widen the public awareness of this form of financing, and increase the number of participants investing in the equity market. More information can be found at http://www.jamstockex.com/

 

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