The Government of Jamaica and the Development Bank of Jamaica, in association with the World Bank, is announcing today that a new Caribbean SME private equity fund, the Jamaica Actus Small & Medium Enterprises Fund I, has been established, with the first closing of the Fund completed.

JASMEF’s team was the sole winner of a global competition to elect private equity fund managers for a new Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) fund based in Jamaica. This competition was part of the Jamaica-World Bank Access to Finance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Project.

JASMEF will seek superior returns for its investors through providing growth capital for qualified well-established SMEs with high growth potential. The GOJ, DBJ and World Bank’s vision – that JASMEF shares – is to encourage global private equity investors to address the finance gap that is a significant challenge to local SMEs so as to increase the supply of available long-term equity financing.

JASMEF is receiving seed funding from the Development Bank of Jamaica (provided by financing from the World Bank Group) and Victoria Mutual Investments Limited (VMIL), part of the VM Group, a leading Caribbean financial group. The Fund’s final closing target is $100m, investable in eligible SMEs in Jamaica and certain other member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM): Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, the Dominican Republic as well as the Dutch Caribbean are also in scope.

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Whilst generalist in nature, JASMEF will invest in sectors that promote strong economic growth and development. Key sectors of interest include Technology, Climate & Renewable Energy, Agriculture & Food Security, Health & Hygiene, Tourism, Logistics, Light Manufacturing, FMCG and Business Services.

In addition to seeking to generate superior returns, the Fund will adhere to the ESG and impact frameworks of the DBJ and the World Bank and will be guided by relevant United Nations Sustainable

Development Goals, including an emphasis on decent work, economic growth and gender equity. “JASMEF is honoured to collaborate with the DBJ, VMIL, and the World Bank, as well as with our networks of other Caribbean and global collaborators, to invest growth capital in Jamaican and other Caribbean SMEs. We’re excited about introducing our global networks to local SMEs to help them expand their geographic footprint across the wider Caribbean region, North America, Latin America, Europe and MENA and beyond in order to become regional or global champions”, said Murat Taşçı, JASMEF CEO & President.

“Our team has a strong background in private equity as well as a keen focus on providing ESG, technical assistance (in areas such as digital technologies and corporate governance), strategic foresight and other expertise to help our investee SMEs not only achieve their ambitious growth goals but also enhance their positive impact on their business ecosystems and wider communities”, said Zhan Li, JASMEF Vice President.

Source: Press Release

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