Project reference


Contract duration

 2016 - 2020


(plus management of Grant Fund of USD 4.5m)




 Industry & private sector development

Management of the Jamaica Business Fund (JBF)

The Jamaica Business Fund (JBF) operated under the Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth (FCG) Project. The JBF was financed under a loan agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank). Component 3A of the FCG, within which the JBF was funded, provided support directly to SMEs by funding a combination of supply chain learning, skills upgrading, and financing (total grant fund: US$5 million).
The overall objective of the FCG Project was to strengthen the business environment in Jamaica for private sector investment. The objective of this specific contract was: The successful management of the Jamaica Business Fund, which offered matching grant funds to SMEs in value chains within various sectors (notably in agriculture sectors: e.g. coffee, pepper, ginger).
The purpose of the JBF was to promote economic development through inclusive growth in high-potential supply chains. This improved productivity of SMEs in the supply chain and passed cost savings and increased output through to medium and larger buyer (anchor) firms, and their downstream clients, enhancing the competitiveness of exports and import-competing products.
In addition to direct firm-level productivity improvement grants, the Fund also provided two types of technical assistance: sector expertise to help firms identify problems along a supply chain and develop appropriate business plans for requisite skills upgrading needs, and public-private dialogue support to continue initial group problem-solving processes to work with public counterparts as well to resolve broader policy/regulatory or coordination constraints affecting a given supply chain. Furthermore, the JBF conducted several sector studies and disseminated its findings in the sector.
As part of the Fund Operations, an effective communications strategy and outreach program was developed and implemented. To achieve this, a Communication Officer was engaged to cover Fund-related PR and marketing. The communication activities included the design, development and management of the JBF website:
Eligible supply chains included all productive sectors that could generate high job multipliers from invested resources and, ideally, sustainable and growing foreign exchange earnings through exports and/or foreign exchange savings through import substitution. Initial supply chains identified as having potential for productivity upgrading included agriculture and agro-processing, light manufacturing, and hotels and tourism linkages.
Implemented projects included, for example:
  • Developing a Sustainable Supply Chain for the International Pepper Market (Hot Pepper sub-sector)
  • Long Term Development of the Jamaican Ginger Industry (Ginger sub-sector)
  • Connecting Artisanal Fisher Folk to Global Supply Chains (Lobster sub-sector)
  • Improving exports through the acquisition of market driven skills and supply chain development (Condiments sub-sector)
  • Upgrading the Quality and Market-Readiness of Local Artisan Supplies to Sandals Hotels (Tourism sector)
  • Multi-Crop / Indigenous Products Supply Chain (Fresh Produce)


 Particip (Lead), GFA