The Development Bank of Jamaica has announced that it will be offering a series of training workshops for Jamaica’s Business Service Organizations (BSOs) in the area of Equity Financing, commencing July 2019. The training workshops are the culmination of a consultancy to develop a standardized curriculum - Introduction to Equity Financing - for BSOs, and are part of the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme’s (JVCP) mandate for establishment of a sustained venture capital and private equity industry in Jamaica.
Milverton Reynolds, Managing Director of the Development Bank of Jamaica explains; “As we look to building the entrepreneurial and early stage ecosystem in Jamaica, this is another initiative that is being undertaken through the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme that will ultimately benefit Jamaican businesses.
Our research, through consultation with stakeholders and in focus groups, points to the inconsistencies in terms of knowledge of financing options and the lack of “readiness” of businesses trying to access financing to either start or expand their businesses. It should be noted that this is a common global phenomenon,” Mr. Reynolds continues.
BSOs provide business advisory services and, in many instances, act as the intermediaries between the businesses and the finance houses, whether for debt or equity funding. Currently there is an umbrella group called CariBEN – Caribbean Business Enablers Network – comprising some 26 companies from Jamaica and the Caribbean.
Audrey Richards, Project Coordinator of the JVCP, explains further: “These training workshops are aimed at building the capacity of this critical group of business enablers who interface with, and, are at the forefront of assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses to develop and scale their operations. In 2018, a Call for Proposals for a curriculum specialist was issued. Three responses were received and, after assessment, the contract was awarded to DevSolutions Consulting, whose principal, Dr. Winsome Leslie, has had many years’ experience in entrepreneurship and business development.”
The workshops will be held in July and again in September, and will each run over three days. The curriculum – The Business Financing Guide - will cover topics such as Financing Options for SMEs; Introduction to Equity Financing; Angel Investing; Venture Capital and Private Equity; the Pitch – How do you Prepare and Alternative Financing Structures. There is also an accompanying Business Financing Workbook that corresponds with each module and will contain activities to reinforce concepts.
The workshops are hands-on and highly interactive, and consideration is also being given to recertification.
The DBJ is advising that space is limited and is on a first come basis.