Home News When It Comes to Expanding Its Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Sector, Trinidad and Tobago Hopes to Learn From the Jamaica Stock Exchange

When It Comes to Expanding Its Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Sector, Trinidad and Tobago Hopes to Learn From the Jamaica Stock Exchange

When It Comes to Expanding Its Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Sector, Trinidad and Tobago Hopes to Learn From the Jamaica Stock Exchange

The Trinidad and Tobago government say it is using the “very successful” model implemented by Jamaica with its Junior Stock Exchange (JSE) to develop its Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) that will be administered by the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE).

Finance Minister, Colm Imbert, addressing the launch of the SME Mentorship Program and SME Market Place, said it is noteworthy that Jamaica has been very successful with its JSE, noting that “where we have just two companies on the SME Tier of our market, both of which have struggled in recent times, Jamaica has 46 active companies listed on its Junior Market.

“So, we decided to see what was different in Jamaica that we could incorporate here. The key difference was the presence of mentors. In Jamaica, by strategically developing their competencies, and acting as a compliance advisors, mentors directly contribute to a company’s growth, innovation, and overall strategy, thus improving customer and investor confidence in the company.”

Imbert said that these mentors are expected to act with due skill and care and be responsible for advising the board of the Junior Market Company on the establishment of adequate procedures, systems, and controls, in order to comply with good standards of corporate governance.

He said these include the holding of regular board meetings, the establishment of appropriate committees of the board including an Audit Committee and a Compensation Committee as well as the carrying out of appropriate due diligence before it enters into any material transaction.

Imbert said good fiscal discipline, such as the keeping of proper accounts and records, good human resource and industrial relations practices, and compliance with statutory obligations are also necessary.

Imbert told the launch that complementary to the tax incentives and to ease the operational burden of listing, the government in collaboration with the Central Bank and the Stock Exchange has designed a similar mentorship program that will provide support to the SMEs and close the gaps of insufficient documentation, as well as ensure adherence to compliance and corporate governance standards.

He said the proposed SME mentorship rules were published by the TTSE in June this year and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in August.

“This SME mentorship program demonstrates the willingness of the TTSE to work with the government to invest the time and resources necessary to assist companies to operate efficiently on the stock market.

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