Jamaica Gleaner

Pen­gel­ley to de­liver restruc­tur­ing plan for mi­cro agen­cies

- Tameka Gor­don Busi­ness Re­porter tameka.gor­don@glean­erjm.com Business · Finance · Investing

THE BRIAN Pen­gel­ley-led mi­cro agency board is to for­mu­late a plan for the even­tual merger of t he Ja­maica Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (JBDC), the Mi­cro In­vest­ment De­vel­op­ment Agency (MIDA), and the Self-Start Fund (SSF) into one body.

The merger of the three boards, with Pen­gel­ley as chair­man, is just the be­gin­ning of the process, ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter of In­dus­try In­vest­ment and Com­merce An­thony Hyl­ton.

“What we are propos­ing is that all three need to fo­cus their ac­tiv­ity and work in sync to il­lu­mi­nate over­laps and have a seam­less set of sup­port to the MSME sec­tor,” Hyl­ton told

Sun­day Busi­ness.

“There is need to in­te­grate re­sources – hu­man and oth­er­wise,” he said.

The old­est of the agen­cies, the SSF, was de­vel­oped in 1983 to be the Gov­ern­ment’s “prime re­tailer” of fund­ing to MSMEs.

MIDA pro­vides whole­sale fund­ing to en­trepreneur­s along with busi­ness-sup­port ser­vices in net­work­ing and non-fi­nan­cial sup­port and was es­tab­lished in 1991.

The JBDC was es­tab­lished in 2003 to as­sist start-ups with

prod­uct de­vel­op­ment, tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance in craft­ing busi­ness plans and pro­pos­als, and con­sul­tancy ad­vice for es­tab­lished busi­nesses, among other things.

While the fi­nal struc­ture is still be­ing fi­nalised, the min­istry pointed to some goals of the merger.

“The ca­pac­ity of the Self-Start Fund would be im­proved to tran­si­tion from a trad­ing-based high-in­ter­est loans regime to a pro­duc­tive sec­tor-based low-in­ter­est loans regime,” it said.

The port­fo­lios of the lend­ing agen­cies are highly skewed and bi­ased against the pro­duc­tive sec­tor and in favour of trad­ing or com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, the min­istry added.

MIDA will ef­fec­tively tran­si­tion to a fund man­ager and would “also ex­pand the role of its Mon­i­tor­ing and Debt Re­cov­ery Unit (DRUM) unit to take on the debt mon­i­tor­ing and re­cover ser­vices of all gov­ern­ment mi­cro-fi­nanc­ing agen­cies.

The JBDC will fo­cus more on its busi­ness ad­vi­sory and pro­ductd-evel­op­ment ser­vices. It will also fa­cil­i­tate cer­ti­fi­ca­tion train­ing and stan­dards-based prod­uct de­vel­op­ment, the min­istry said.

“The merged board’s man­date is to ra­tio­nalise the ac­tiv­i­ties of the in­sti­tu­tions be­cause there were (over­laps),” Hyl­ton said.

“The ques­tion for the man­age­ment to now de­ter­mine is: What is the na­ture of the merger that takes place? Is it that we have one broad um­brella with sep­a­rate win­dows, or you have a full-fledged merger?” the min­is­ter said.

How soon the merger will hap­pen is un­clear. There is no set time frame, Hyl­ton said, as the new board will have to un­der­take a com­plete re­view of each agency.

 ??  ?? Brian Pen­gel­ley, new chair­man of merged mi­cro agency boards.
Brian Pen­gel­ley, new chair­man of merged mi­cro agency boards.
 ??  ?? An­thony Hyl­ton, min­is­ter of in­dus­try, in­vest­ment & com­merce.
An­thony Hyl­ton, min­is­ter of in­dus­try, in­vest­ment & com­merce.

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