Venture capital funds by 2016

THE Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) aims to get two venture capital funds started by 2016.

It is focusing on removing the barriers faced by investors wanting to pool their funds and invest in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and has already secured the backing of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The IDB is putting up US$150,000 ($14 million) to match DBJ's US$128,000 for a project focused on the establishment of a "venture capital (VC) ecosystem".

"We anticipate [that] within three years, with the IDB's help, we will have launched two venture funds, provide capacity-building for some 100 SMEs, with at least 30 being market-ready, and at least five receiving financing," said DBJ Managing Director Milverton Reynolds.

But a lot of work needs to be done between now and then.