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JMEA, Elizabeth Sloane partner to improve access to finance for SMEs

The burgeoning private equity landscape, and public/private debt financing partnerships provide an option to capitalize Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

However, access to this critical financing can be elusive as no investor or financial institution is willing to fund a business that doesn’t understand its financial position.

The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with St Elizabeth Sloane & Company, a business development and deal origination company that operates within the Caribbean and West Africa, to provide members of the JMEA with training in accounting and risk management free of cost, and discounts on its capacity building services.

The 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index ranks Jamaica at 13 of 24 countries within the region, and among the highest on average Startup Skills and Product Innovation. Our spirit of innovation has resulted in significant business potential with substantial investments being earmarked by local and overseas investors to promote small businesses.  

Led by Melanie Wynter, Elizabeth Sloane is a business development and deal origination firm, with operations in the Caribbean and West Africa.

Related article :Video: Elizabeth Sloane steers firms on growth path

Unfortunately, funding isn’t the only thing that has been lacking in the ecosystem, in fact, none of these investors are willing to put money into businesses that are not properly managed. Starting a business in Jamaica has become easier, but sustaining the business is a challenge at which many small businesses fail. Companies that don’t have their financials in order, find it difficult to enjoy the critical access to finance to scale, expand, and develop new products for business growth.

“For years this has been a persistent problem, with funding bearing the brunt of the blame for the failure of small businesses. But while funding continues to be a challenge, it is paramount that we shed light on the silent killer of businesses, lack of proper financial management. If we are to channel the business potential of this island and prepare it for the wave of investments pending, we must educate and do our part in assisting MSME leaders to become a stronger vehicle for sustainable economic growth,” said Melanie Wynter, Managing Director of Elizabeth Sloane.

Executive Director of the JMEA, Imega Breese McNab agrees.

According to Breese-McNab, “The JMEA has long understood the critical need to strengthen the capacity of small businesses as a chief engine of economic growth and job creation. The funding to enable their productivity and competitiveness continues to fall short due in no small part to infrastructural challenges such as managing and keeping good accounting records. Efforts are therefore ongoing to expose the JMEA’s MSMEs to the mentorship, coaching, and training that will improve their ability to attract financing to take full advantage of the local and international markets. This partnership is part of our commitment to those efforts.”

Under the Partnership, signed October 16, 2019 for twelve months in the first instance, members of the JMEA will qualify for quarterly training by Elizabeth Sloane in management accounting and risk management –  free of cost.

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