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Jamaica’s Finance Minister says Foromic 2016 Is Key to Unlocking Capital for Small Businesses

Aug 31, 2016

Urges entrepreneurs to register for Foromic 2016, taking place in Montego Bay October 24-26, 2016

The Honorable Audley Shaw, Jamaica’ s Minister of Finance and the Public Service, says that Foromic 2016, Latin America and the Caribbean’s most important conference on microfinance and entrepreneurship, will play a key role in increasing access to financing for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and create opportunities for greater financial inclusion among these small businesses. During his keynote address at the press launch of Foromic 2016 in Kingston on August 30, Minister Shaw noted that the development of the financial infrastructure for SMEs is crucial to enabling “the potentially dynamic sector to grow and provided needed jobs.” Minister Shaw emphasized that, “The Government of Jamaica is relying on the private sector to be the engine of growth and prosperity, and therefore, the relevance and importance of Foromic 2016 being held in Jamaica cannot be overstated.” 

Spearheaded and organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through its Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), Foromic 2016 will be held from October 24 to 26 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre under the theme: “Creating Opportunities through Financial Inclusion.” Experts in micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), representatives from financial institutions, entrepreneurship associations, government officials, civil society leaders, and academics from more than 40 nations are expected to travel to Jamaica to attend Foromic 2016. 

Finance Minister Shaw urged local entrepreneurs to take advantage of this major conference, which is being convened for the first time in Jamaica: “I encourage all SME interests in Jamaica to register for Foromic 2016 and benefit from the phenomenal business opportunities that will be made available.”

In reference to this theme, Minister Shaw noted that the financing gap for small businesses can be filled by microfinance institutions ensuring them access to capital.  Of particular note, Minister Shaw announced that “Jamaica will soon be embarking on a National Financial Inclusion Strategy. The purpose is to create the environment in which underserved Jamaican citizens and SMEs are given the relevant knowledge and access to financial institutions, which will enable them to save, invest, and build economic wealth.”

Minister Shaw concluded his remarks by stating: “It is my wish that Foromic 2016 will reveal innovative ways in lending to aid in advancing the growth agenda of the Caribbean and Latin America region. It is my further hope that specific financial services and products are marketed at Foromic 2016 that will promote financial inclusion and entrepreneurship development for women and youth.”

When the first Foromic conference was held in 1998, the Latin America and Caribbean region had approximately 200 microfinance institutions serving 1.5 million clients. In large part due to the work conducted by the Multilateral Investment Fund and other multilateral finance organizations, the region has developed one of the most productive and well-regarded microfinance sectors in the world, consisting of more than 1,000 institutions serving an estimated 20 million clients, and providing more than $37 billion in loans annually.

For more information on FOROMIC 2016, visit the website at

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. The IDB is the leading source of multilateral financing for Latin America and the Caribbean.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund is the innovation lab for the Inter-American Development Bank Group. It conducts high-risk experiments to test new models for engaging and inspiring the private sector to solve economic development problems in Latin America and the Caribbean. The MIF addresses poverty and vulnerability by focusing on emerging businesses and smallholder farmers with the capacity to grow and create economic opportunities. Learn more at

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