Our Business and Finance Editor, Kalilah Reynolds, was at this afternoon’s launch.

Small and Medium Enterprises in Jamaica will now have access to another $US40 million in equity financing.

Sagicor Investments today launched the SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund, which seeks to invest in local companies with high growth potential, that haven’t been able to get other types of traditional financing.

SEAF is a global company based in Washington DC.

They’ve invested some 1-point-3 billion US dollars in 28 countries around the world, and are now bringing their expertise and money to the Caribbean, with their partnership with Sagicor and a new Jamaica office.

SEAF and Sagicor are looking to invest 3 to 7 million US dollars each, in up to fifteen Caribbean SMEs.

They’ll be providing equity financing, which means they’ll be seeking a substantial stake in the companies, in exchange for their cash investment.

CEO and Co-Founder of SEAF, Bert van der Vaart, says they’re also bringing their expert track record to help these companies grow.

Sagicor and SEAF are starting the Caribbean fund with $US40 million, but that’s expected to increase to $US100 million in a few years.

Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke says the fund is filling a void.

The President and CEO of Sagicor Jamaica, Chris Zacca, says they also have other things in store to help small businesses.