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First MSE awardees of DBJ’s Innovation Grant receive over $37 million

KINGSTON, JAMAICA: The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) awarded three medium-sized enterprises (MSEs) with over a total of $37 million on Thursday, August 26, 2021, during a virtual press briefing and signing ceremony. The three companies, which were selected under the Bank’s Innovation Grant Fund, were Bare Nutrition, which
received $14 million, Intermed Company, which received $13.5 million, and Sherwood Forest Coffee, which was awarded $9.27 million.


“Over the next 12 months, there will be implementation of the innovative changes each company has committed to and the DBJ will be monitoring the changes closely to ensure that the milestones and goals that were set at the beginning of the projects are actually achieved,” said general manager of the DBJ Project Management Office,
Christopher Brown. He noted that Bare Nutrition, Intermed and Sherwood Forrest Coffee were the first companies selected under the Innovation Grant Fund, which is the first product launched under the DBJ’s programme, Boosting Innovation Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE).


DBJ Managing Director Milverton Reynolds said, “These three companies that are being awarded grants today are among the first to have applied to the Innovation Grant Fund when we launched it back in September 2020. Applications are still open and we are encouraging other innovation medium-sized firms to apply via our website –
www.thinkbigee.com.”

Bare Nutrition, formed in 2010, brings healthy alternatives to the juice market and is seeking to become the first CARICOM manufacturer of fruit puree baby food. Intermed, formerly Windward Medical, has provided health care for over three decades, particularly to lower income persons. Their current project is focused on digitizing the health care experience to provide information and access while Sherwood Forest Coffee is now exploring the adoption of new products such as mushrooms and micrograins to their suite of products.The virtual event was attended by dozens of other interested business persons who commended the DBJ and the awardees and asked questions of their own.

The Innovation Grant Fund, which provides grants up to $14 million in value, promotes the increase or creation of revenue streams for MSEs through the financing of innovative ventures that promote productivity. Through these grants, the DBJ aims to support the development of new products and services, implementation of new business models and entry into new or an expansion of existing markets. It is expected that new employment will result from the growth of the companies. Businesses must be registered for a minimum of five years and earn between J$75 million and J$250 million to qualify. Interested persons may visit www.thinkbgee.com for more information.

The DBJ is a wholly owned Government institution that provides development financing, capacity building, public private partnership and privatisation solutions in keeping with Government policy.

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