Prime Minister Andrew Holness today (Tuesday July 19) presented the Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneur (IGNITE) award to 27 entrepreneurs, at the Spanish Court Hotel.
The Development Bank of Jamaica’s IGNITE, is a pilot project under which up to $4 million (or 70% of a project’s cost) is provided to implement innovation activities in support of the creation and growth of new firms by entrepreneurs in the productive sector.
In his keynote address, Prime Minister Holness said that the government is committed to promoting new businesses. “Economic growth is not an accident, we do not just happen upon it but we do have it within us. The government plays the part of “Market Maker”.
He commended the DBJ for being a market maker, saying that they have paired talent with resources in creating a market to spur growth and job creation. “I want to congratulate the Board and management of the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited on this innovative idea to stimulate new businesses.’
Awardees were selected from a wide range of industries including agro-processing, information technology, spa and wellness, and education. Their projects have the potential to generate revenue of more than $1 billion and creating more than 200 jobs.
Grants are channelled through Business Service Intermediaries (BSIs) which will be responsible for directing the funds to the entrepreneurs and firms.