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JBDC and Access Financial Services sign MOU

Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Chief Executive Officer Valerie Veira (centre) and Access Financial Services (AFS) Chief Executive Officer Hugh Campbell (second right) both sign the memorandum of understanding (MOU) as JBDC Deputy Board Chairman Steven Fong-Yee (left), JBDC Deputy CEO Harold Davidson (second left) and AFS Vice President of Finance Brian Salmon (right) all look on. The signing took place at the JBDC’s Incubator & Resource Centre on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston.

A new partnership between the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) and Access Financial Services Limited (AFS) is set to provide greater access to financing for micro, small and medium enterprises in Jamaica. The two entities formalized their agreement with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Wednesday, June 26. The agreement provides direct access to financing solutions for JBDC clientèle, as well as business development training for AFS business customers and staff of the micro-lender.

“This partnership was designed with the micro and small business operator in mind. For Access, it means not just providing loans for restocking and business expansion, but also tailored financial advice, capacity-building, marketing and other support services available through the JBDC. For us, this partnership will help us to help our business customers level up,” said AFS chief executive officer Hugh Campbell.

Noting that access to financing continues to be a major challenge for MSMEs, JBDC chief executive officer Valerie Veira asserted that the agency is working tirelessly to help financiers and entrepreneurs understand one another. “MSMEs are small, but highly complex, and given our close relationship with them, we are well poised to bargain on their behalf for services that are specifically designed to meet their needs. For this partnership, we are particularly keen on ensuring that entrepreneurs are in a state of readiness, and that Access Financial is ready to receive them,” Veira shared.

Pointing to the micro-lender’s ongoing campaign ‘Champion of Small Business’, the AFS CEO said there is alignment with the JBDC’s mission and its own commitment to fuelling the growth of MSMEs in Jamaica.

From left; Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Deputy Chief Executive Officer Harold Davidson, JBDC Deputy Board Chairman Steven Fong-Yee, Access Financial Services (AFS) customer and small business owner Geraldine Gordon-Fearron, JBDC CEO Valrie Veira, AFS customer and spa therapist Juliet Thompson, AFS CEO Hugh Campbell and AFS Vice President of Finance Brian Salmon. The group participated in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the JBDC and AFS for the development of MSMEs in Jamaica.

“The JBDC is also going to provide training for our business loans officers so they can better serve our business customers. The ultimate goal is to equip our team with the knowledge and know-how that will make them better champions of the small business sector, which is the backbone of our economy,” declared Campbell.

The two entities have agreed to stage three workshops for existing AFS business customers across the country who are ready to take their business to the next level. Training for AFS staff will be designed to help them better understand non-traditional business lines and the foundations of business development, a release outlined.

With a total asset base of $7.2 billion and a loan portfolio of $5.66 billion as at December 31, 2023, Access Financial Services is among the leading players in the local micro finance sector, serving MSMEs from 17 locations across the island.


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