Mr. Milverton Reynolds, Managing Director of the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited (DBJ), has announced that Actus Partners Ltd., a management consultancy firm focused on alternative private equity & venture capital solutions, based in London, England, has been selected to establish and manage a new Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Fund, based in Jamaica.
The company was chosen to be the sole manager after a recent ‘Call for Proposals’ from local and international private equity funds for fund manager(s) under the World Bank Access to Finance for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Project (A2F) for which the DBJ is the implementing agency.
Actus Partners’ team, which has more than 100 years of combined experience in global private equity has established the Jamaica Actus Small & Medium Enterprises Fund I (JASMEF) which will provide growth and risk capital financing to invest in high-growth SMEs in Jamaica, in addition to other investments undertaken in the Caribbean.
JASMEF will receive an investment of US$5 million from the DBJ, through a financing facility provided via the World Bank Group’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and will be required to raise additional funding of a minimum of US$10 million, in order to meet the DBJ’s objective of having a minimum level of funding dedicated to Jamaica-based SMEs.
According to its Managing Partners, JASMEF’s overall target is a fund size of up to US$100 million, investable in Jamaica and other eligible countries of the Caribbean region. The Fund’s objectives are aligned with the long-term vision of the Jamaican Government and the World Bank to encourage private equity investors to address the financing gap that is a significant challenge to local SMEs by increasing the supply of available long-term equity financing.
JASMEF will invest in sectors that particularly promote strong economic growth and development which include key sectors such as technology, climate & renewable energy, agriculture & food security, health & hygiene, tourism, logistics, light manufacturing, FMCG and business services. In addition to generating superior returns, the Fund also has the key objective of achieving measurable impact targets that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including an emphasis on decent work, economic growth, and gender equity.
The Fund will take a hands-on partnership approach with clients, which will entail the provision of technical assistance, where needed, to SMEs that have typically struggled in obtaining access to risk and growth capital.
JASMEF will provide equity financing for SMEs to achieve their growth objectives. Actus will introduce its international networks to Caribbean SMEs to help them expand their footprint across the wider region, North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and beyond, in order to become regional or global champions.”
The Fund is expected to begin operations in the third quarter of 2021 and will employ a variety of marketing tools to inform business projects and entrepreneurs of the availability of its financing.
In welcoming Actus Partners Ltd. to the DBJ’s a growing group of fund managers, Mr. Reynolds pointed out that JASMEF is the sixth fund in which the DBJ has invested and represents the continued expansion of the local private capital ecosystem, the growth, and development of which was established under the Bank’s Jamaica Venture Capital Programme.