JMMB's SME resource centre to be launched in November


JMMB's SME resource centre to be launched in November

Observer Business Reporter

Friday, September 20, 2019

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With the Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) 'Resource Centre' already having a 'soft launch' some time ago, the group made the formal announcement at its recent annual general meeting that the official opening of the centre is to take place on November 9. This, as the company seeks to make a difference to the underserved Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) sector.

JMMB's Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Keith Duncan was buoyant in his statement that the time is now right for this to happen, as his Group over the last few years has been working at finding a solution.

“In leading the charge, we at JMMB need to find that value proposition for the SMEs that will deliver profitably through solutions.

“We still need to figure it out but we have been doing the work over the last two to three years. We have long been working in this regard, that's when the resource centre idea came up and we have been working on it and it is coming to fruition. It will be launched November 9 of this year for our SME solution”, he disclosed.

He added that with SMEs adding significant value to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) via production and employment, this sector only gets a small percentage of financing.

“SMEs as at December 31, 2018 got only 10.7 per cent of available credit through the banking sector. This provides a banking opportunity of which JMMB will take advantage,” he noted, while stressing that “there is a real need for this in Jamaica, especially if we are going to achieve our vision 2030 goal”.

Duncan then stated that the underdevelopment of the SME community over the years has largely led to them being unaware of what it really takes to develop as a profitable businesses.

“What we find is that SMEs don't necessarily have a high level of awareness of what's available across the platform, they are also not as sophisticated as SMEs in global markets because the area has been underdeveloped.

Therefore, we want to put in a resource centre right across the group — to connect, to train, to support, to nurture SMEs and to connect them with the eco system”, he shared.

“We'll establish relationships with the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), the Branson Centre and First Angels to give them understanding of business planning, tax advisory, among other relevant issues.

“We want to guide our SMEs and support them in understanding how they can achieve their objectives and that's where we are providing a lot of focus,” he added.

He indicated that when these SMEs come to the JMMB, they will have access to a full suite of support services, including internal coaching from JMMB's bank specialists and ecosystem partners, who will offer resources to accelerate the growth of their businesses.

“They can be prepared for their businesses; they can put in governance, they can become compliant, a lot of SMEs lack financial statements; they don't have their tax things.

“So we need to support them, grow them, nurture them, educate them and give them financial literacy. After which, we can now provide them with a holistic set of solutions consistent with financial partnerships such as loans, bank accounts, pensions, payroll, insurance, private equity, and initial public offers. That is how we intend to target this group,” he noted.

“We have a specialised team in place; we have to ensure that our credit adjudication process works.

“You can't bank as an SME the same way you bank as corporate; their structures and balance sheets are different and they require different kinds of product sets to be able to access finance. That's the focus we have and we have done a lot of work around the credit adjudication models, more work will be done as we roll out and develop,” the JMMB CEO said.

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