Jamaican firm wins entrepreneurial innovation award

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness addresses the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Friday, Sept. 23, 2016.
Associated Press / Craig Ruttle, File

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says a Jamaican firm is among three institutions from Latin American and the Caribbean to win the Inter-American Awards in Financial and Entrepreneurial Innovation.

The IDB said on Monday that the “Local Innovator Award” will be presented in Montego Bay, Jamaica to Bio-Tech Research and Development Institute during the 2016 Foromic Conference, the IDB’s leading event focused on financial inclusion and enterprise development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Foromic opened on Monday.

Bio-Tech Research and Development Institute is a Jamaican firm specializing in developing pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products derived from indigenous Jamaican plants, the IDB said.

The Washington-based financial institution said institutions from Chile and Peru will also receive IDB awards in Financial and Entrepreneurial Innovation.

Banco Estado Chile will receive the “Lifetime Achievement in Innovation” award for its innovations in inclusive financial products and services, such as its low-cost RUT account used by more than eight million Chileans for more than 76 million transactions every month, the IDB said.

It said Edpyme Acceso Crediticio, a Peruvian microfinance institution, will received the “Achievement in Emerging Innovation” award for offering innovative products and services to its microentrepreneur clients in the transport sector (taxi and truck drivers), such as loan products designed for converting vehicles to use cleaner natural gas.

The IDB said the theme of the 19th annual edition of the conference is “Creating Opportunities through Financial Inclusion.”

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness were expected to present remarks at the inaugural session.

Key themes of the conference include ethical banking, circular economies and corporate venturing.

The IDB said more than 1,200 experts in financial services, international development, entrepreneurship and other related fields from across the region are registered for the conference, which is being held for the second time in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Foromic is organized annually by the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

The IDB said Foromic 2016 also has support from the Jamaican Ministry of Finance and Public Service.

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