Strong Performance Indicators for JN Small Business Loans Limited

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The JN Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL) is reporting increases in the number and value of loans disbursed during the financial year ended March 2008. Some 34,258 loans were disbursed valuing $1.43 Billion, which represents an increase of 10.5% in the number of loans and an increase of 34.2% in the value of loans disbursed in the previous year, according to JNSBL general manager, Frank Whylie.

He said that performance reports from the micro lender also reveal an increase in the number of persons who accessed funds to start businesses; just over 2,400 persons applied for BizStart loans, a 53% increase over the 06/07 figures of 1,607.

“More persons also borrowed to expand their business, and the average size of each loan increased from $20,630 in the previous period to $22, 800,” Mr. Whylie disclosed.

“Our portfolio at risk over 30 days was 2.56 per cent, and as in previous years, we bettered the internationally accepted best practice of 5 per cent arrears,” he added.

During the period, the loan company also introduced a new product: BizBoost, which offers funding to small business operators involved in value added activities.

“And we also administered the Tourism Enhancement Fund Small Hotel Product, which was developed by the government to facilitate relief for operators of small hotels, villas and attractions that were damaged by Hurricane Dean in August last year,” the general manager informed.

The passage of the hurricane also created challenges for JNSBL clients mainly on the island’s south coast Whylie said. “We provided emergency financial assistance to help most of them get back on their feet,” he added.

According to Mr. Whylie, the robust performance of the lending agency is due to the unique approach to lending and the support services provided for borrowers.

“We realise that the success of the lender is the success of the borrower; therefore, we ensure that our Field Officers work closely with our clients and we provide information and business development training which helps to grow their business,” Mr. Whylie stated.

He explained that the business development services are available at no cost to the borrower, and some 3,200 entrepreneurs took full advantage of the opportunity to enhance their management skills during the year.

He said that of these, 81 per cent were women: “Women also account for 75 percent of the loan portfolio; and based on our experience, they are traditionally better at servicing loans than their male counterparts.”

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