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Micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) can now access EU funded programme

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– Positive responses to call for proposal after only 11 days

Kingston, August 26 After 11 days since the call for proposal for cost sharing business development services has been issued, 163 firms have so far responded to the call. The Project Management Unit of the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP) is reporting that this has more than doubled the target of 70 firms within this programme year.

Head of the PMU, Delaine Morgan is saying however, “This does not mean all the firms which have applied will be selected. There is a selection process and a clarification meeting will be held on Thursday, September 8 to assist applicants in ‘walking’ through the process of accessing the funds available.”

A total of J$68 million will be available for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises for business development support via cost-sharing grants of up to €40,000 (approx. J$3 million) per eligible enterprise.

The (PSDP), a European Union (EU) technical assistance programme, published a Call for Proposals on August 15, 2005. It invited eligible MSMEs to submit their application for grant funding, which will take the form of proposals outlining business development activities to be undertaken. These companies must be operating within the priority sectors/clusters of the National Industrial Policy and they are also required to demonstrate growth potential, particularly in the export market.

The funds will be granted under the Cost Sharing Business Development Services (CS/BDS) scheme, which looks at supporting activities geared at building firm-level competitiveness such as: plant and technology innovation, product development, human resource development, management information system development, quality systems and market development. The cost sharing inputs of this Scheme ranges from 75per cent support for the first €10,000 accessed, 50 per cent thereafter up to €25,000 and 40 per cent for the remaining amounts up to the cap of €40,000.

Beneficiary firms are required to contribute the difference for each level of funding, in order to satisfy the cost requirements for implementing business development initiatives.

This activity is in keeping with the PSDP objective of enhancing competitiveness of MSMEs. The overall programme involves twelve different activities in areas such as institutional capacity-building for private sector organisations and support institutions (PSOs), cluster/sector development assistance, access to financing and market penetration. The four-year technical programme, valued at €28. 7 (J$2.3 billion), is jointly funded by the European Union and the Government of Jamaica.

Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is implementing the Programme in conjunction with the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC) and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), with support from partners – the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) and the Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ).
Applicants will have sixty (60) days from the issue of the call for proposals, to submit their applications, and the Guidelines for Applicants which includes the application forms, will be made available by the Project Management Unit, located at JAMPRO’s Head Office. The deadline for proposals is October 14, 2005 @ 4:00 p.m. Grant contracts will be awarded to successful companies for the implementation of activities within the period November 30, 2005 to June 30, 2006. PSOs working closely with various individual firms are being asked to encourage these entities to submit applications while the call for proposals is still open.

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Written by jamarch