The Bell Ringing Ceremony saw SBAJ, CENUK and JSE participating in the symbolic opening of the market at 9:30 a.m. signaling a new phase of partnership between these three (3) organizations. The MOU among the three partners sets the stage by which a more focused approach will be taken in assisting SMEs to raise capital and list on the Exchange.
Recognizing that not all companies are at the same level, the SBAJ will be strategically placing companies in three categories of readiness in order to facilitate a structured approach to providing information and access to capital for these companies. For the purpose of ensuring the right solution, SBAJ’s members will be grouped in three working categories: A, B and C.
Group A will comprise those businesses which are near to list and will immediately begin to receive specialized and financial assistance through the JSE/MIF Project. This assistance will help Group A companies put in place an effective business plans, the proper corporate governance structure and audited financial statements to satisfy the regulatory and JSE’s listing requirements.
Group B will comprise fledging businesses that need other forms of assistance which may be accessed through the JSE’s programmes or other sources suited for this purpose.
Group C includes the startup companies, groups and individuals with good market ideas but need some hand holding and financing to get their business to grow.
Caribbean Enterprise Network (CENUK) will assist Group B and C companies by linking these businesses with investors within the Jamaican Diaspora.
“The Stock Exchange’s Junior Market is the home for SMEs and we welcome any partnership that will raise these companies and have them listed in order to propel them to growth and development,” Mrs. Marlene Streets Forrest, General Manager, said. She further stated that this initiative should be seen as building a pipeline way into the future having prepared the companies to access equity capital for growth.
According to Mr. Hugh Johnson, President of SBAJ, “Small businesses are unable to realize their full potential because of the lack of capital. The ability to raise inexpensive capital is the ultimate solution for any growing business and the Junior Market is the ideal platform for small businesses to thrive. We are delighted that there is this synergy taking place to give another boost to small businesses to raise capital.”
“The Diaspora has a great role to play in building Jamaica and the Diaspora members are always looking at avenues to assist in this role. What better way to do it than helping to finance the growth and development of small businesses,” expressed Mr. Denis St. Bernard, UK Spokesperson on Diaspora Business at CENUK. “Instead of the Diaspora sending remittances that are spent on consumables only, here is an avenue to make an investment into the Jamaican economy and receive tangible returns for themselves.”
About the Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ)
SBAJ is a private non-profit business organization registered in 1974 to foster the growth and development of businesses and professional groups and to represent the entire small and micro business sector. The SBAJ represents businesses that have an income turn over not exceeding Five Million US dollars (US$5M) per annum.
About Caribbean Enterprise Network (CENUK)
CENUK is a London based social enterprise focused on helping Caribbean businesses in the Caribbean and the UK to increase their competitiveness and export capabilities.
About the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE)
The JSE is one of the oldest and largest exchanges in the Caribbean with a track record of innovation and thoughtful leadership. The JSE’s principal mandate is the mobilization of capital, to facilitate the growth and development of the companies and by extension the economy.