The Development Bank of Jamaica’s (DBJ) two-year pilot programme, the Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE) was established to support operators of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the creation and growth of new innovative products and services from prototype to commercialization.
Under IGNITE, a grant of up to US$40K or 70% of the project cost will be provided to each beneficiary for implementing innovation activities that support the creation and growth of new firms. The grant funds being offered by the DBJ will be channelled through ‘Business Service Intermediaries’ which will assist the entrepreneur to develop and present their proposals to the DBJ and assist in the monitoring of the objectives agreed with each recipient.
It is expected that a total of 30 MSMEs will be selected with ventures which include software and IT projects; creative projects such as films, video games, fashion design using new materials or methods; the application of biotechnology to local agricultural production; knowledge-intensive business projects; and light-manufacturing using new materials, local materials and/or non-traditional methods.
DBJ will collect data to determine the impact of these ventures on the economy for the next five years. Indicators such as job creation, new investments and revenue growth in the new businesses will be tracked.