FAQs and Help

General FAQ's
What is the Guaranteed Loan Programme?
The flagship programme of Access Accelerator is also known as the guaranteed loan programme which offers startup and existing businesses access to grant, loan and equity funding. 
Is a business plan mandatory?
All of our programmes and initiatives have their own set of requirements that vary based on what is being offered.

For our flagship programme, one would need a business plan to access capital. However, if a potential client does not have a business plan, we have tools in place to assist with the development of these businesses. 
How many islands have benefitted from the services of Access Accelerator?
The Access Accelerator has funded clients on 15 islands in The Bahamas. These include:

1. Abaco

2. Acklins

3. Andros

4. Berry Islands

5. Bimini

6. Cat Island

7. Crooked Island

8. Eleuthera

9. Exuma

10. Grand Bahama

11. Inagua

12. Long Island

13. Mayaguana

14. New Providence

15. San Salvador
Access Accelerator Flagship Programme
What is the flagship Access Accelerator Programme?
The flagship programme of Access Accelerator offers startup and existing businesses, on all islands of The Bahamas, access to grant, loan and equity funding. 

The Government of The Bahamas allotted $25 million for a period of 5 years ($5 million per year) to the Guaranteed Loan Programme. Through our partnerships, entrepreneurs also have access to up to $250k in equity investments and up to $20k in matching grant funding.  

The primary purpose of the funding is to guarantee (not disburse) loans approved under this programme with the aim to help entrepreneurs fund, launch and grow their businesses in a variety of industries.
Which financial institutions are Access Accelerator Funding Partners?
1. Bahamas Development Bank
2. Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund
3. Fidelity Bank
4. Royal Bank of Canada
5. Simplified lending
6. Yoko Limited
I need a business plan. Does Access Accelerator help with that?
To help clients meet some of the critical requirements for the Access Accelerator programme and to gain a better understanding of the business they intend to launch or expand, these supplementary services are available:

1. A self-pace do-it-yourself Business plan builder: Business development course through SBDC University

2. Assisted business development through our Business Plan Writer Programme: Business plan writer collaboration

3. Assisted business development through our BICA partnership: Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) accountant financial statement compilation.
Standalone Grant FAQs
What is the Access Accelerator Standalone Grant Programme?
The Access Accelerator (A2) aims to guide the development, funding, growth, and evolution of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in The Bahamas. By equipping and empowering MSMEs with the resources necessary to succeed. The government has committed to providing the A2 with $500,000 in funding to provide MSMEs within the Bahamas with grant funding.
Do I have to be an Access Accelerator client to apply to the Standalone Grant?
No, this programme is open to all entrepreneurs within The Bahamas.

If I currently have a loan, can I apply for this Standalone Grant Programme?​
Yes, you can still apply for this programme, however, the loan could not have been a part of funding through the Access Accelerator.
If I'm already signed up for the regular Access Accelerator Programme, am I able to apply for the Standalone Grant?​
If you are a client signed up for the regular Access Accelerator Programme and  have not yet received funding, you can apply for the standalone grants and still  continue with the regular programme.
Please note, however, that if you are awarded funding with this current grant  programme, you will only be eligible for debt and equity funding going forward and cannot access any other standalone grants.
Is the Standalone Grant Funding guaranteed?​
The grants are based on the amount of available funds provided per round of the  programme. We received requests far in excess of our available funds. Selecting  grant recipients from an outstanding group of applicants means that everyone who applied will not be able to receive funding. Over the coming weeks, the Access Accelerator will continue to introduce new programmes that you may apply for once you meet the eligibility requirements.
Who is eligible to apply for the Standalone Grant Programme?​
Eligible start-up or existing businesses that apply through A2; majority Bahamian-owned businesses; gross annual revenues less than $5M; fewer than 50 employees; a valid business license from the Department of Inland Revenue (DIR); have not been awarded any prior funding through any Access Accelerator programs are eligible to apply.
How do I add my signature on the Standalone Grant Application?​
If you are using a desktop or laptop computer, use your mouse to mark your signature. If you are using a touch-screen device (phone, tablet etc.) use your finger or stylus to mark your signature.
Can I only submit one invoice from one vendor?​
No. If you are requesting products or services from multiple suppliers, you can submit multiple invoices, as long as the funding request total does not exceed $5,000.
Is the Standalone Grant open to all islands?​
Yes. This programme is open to all businesses on all islands, as long as the company meets the requirements of the programme.
Where do I submit my required documents?​
Your documents need to be uploaded with your online application form. Failure to do so would deem your application incomplete.
Kindly scan or take photos of your hard copies to upload when prompted.

File formats accepted: .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .pdf
Maximum file size: 5MB

Please do not email your documents separately from your application to the organization’s email addresses unless explicitly instructed to. There is also no need to bring us physical copies as we are not able to accept them.
What are the requirements for the Standalone Grant Programme?​
Required Application Documents (A²)
∙ Complete the Executive Summary Template on the application form
∙ Proof of citizenship (Passport or Voter’s Card)
∙ Business License
∙ Invoices/Quotes/Estimates and Vendor Wire Instructions
∙ Use of Funds (Must explicitly match invoices & payment instructions)
∙ Entrepreneurship Seminar Certificate (Seminar Link will be provided)

* Other documents will be listed on the checklist provided with the application.
Can I change my invoices after approval?​
Yes. If you are approved, you will receive an approval letter and a "What to Expect" Pamphlet from the Disbursement Team. This will detail the process of submitting new invoices.
How do I know when the payment has been made to the vendors?​
Notifications are sent weekly via email after confirmation that the transaction was successful.
My items are limited and I have a deadline to purchase, Can I purchase my items and get reimbursed?​
Reimbursements are processed on a case by case basis and only for purchases made after the application window opened.
What method of payment do you use for vendors?​
Payments to vendors are made via wire transfer only.
What bank details should be included on a vendor's invoice?​
Local Banks:
∙ Beneficiary Name (Vendor Name) - clients must verify the name on the company’s bank account in order to avoid the payment being returned and the client incurring additional bank fees
∙ Beneficiary Account Number
∙ Beneficiary’s Bank Name
∙ Branch
∙ Transit Code

International Banks:
∙ Beneficiary Name (Vendor’s Name)
∙ Beneficiary Account Number
∙ Beneficiary’s Bank Name
∙ Beneficiary’s Bank Address
∙ ABA Code (a 9-digit number)
∙ SWIFT Code
Royal Caribbean Programme FAQs
What is the Royal Caribbean Programme?​
The Access Accelerator has partnered with Royal Caribbean Group to provide funding and training opportunities for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the tourism sector. This programme is open for entrepreneurs on New Providence, Grand Bahama and Berry Islands.
Who is eligible to apply for the Royal Caribbean Programme?​
Eligible existing businesses that apply through A2 with the following criteria:

∙ Must offer products and services for domestic and foreign tourists, Including but not limited to:
∙ Accommodations
∙ Tour Experiences
∙ Taxi Services
∙ Vehicle Rentals
∙ Boat Charters
∙ Food and Beverage
∙ Locally made Souveniers
∙ Cosmetics made with natural materials
∙ Native textiles and prints
∙ Performing Arts

∙ Must service the islands of New Providence, Grand Bahama or the Berry Islands;
∙ Must earn annual gross sales of less than $1 million;
∙ Must be Bahamian-owned;
∙ Provide all documents listed under the Application Requirements section; and
∙ Must complete 5 hours of mandatory online training.

Consideration will be made to whether or not a business has previously received funds facilitated through Access Acclerator.
What are the requirements for the Royal Caribbean Programme?​
Required Application Documents
∙ Executive Summary (To be completed in the application)
∙ 2-Minute Pitch Video
∙ Current Business License (Mandatory at the time of application)
∙ Business Filings
∙ Clean & Pristine Badge
∙ Valid Passport Photo Page
∙ Valid Driver’s License
∙ NIB Card
∙ NIB Registration Certificate
∙ Voter’s Card or Utility Bill no older than 3 months
∙ Official Vendor Invoices (The total value of invoices submitted should not exceed the funding threshold)
∙ Vendor Wire Instructions (Vendor payments will be executed via wire transfers to business bank accounts only. Credit card, check, or cash payments are not allowed.)
Group A
Earning Annual Sales of less than $250,000 can apply for a combined loan & grant funding up to $5,000

Group B
Earning Annual Sales between $250,001 and $500,000 can apply for combined loan & grant funding up to $10,000

Group C
Earning Annual Sales between $500,001 and $1,000,000 can apply for combined loan & grant funding up to $15,000
How do I gain access to the mandatory 5-hour training sessions for the Royal Caribbean Programme?​
You will receive an email after submission of the application, with a link to the virtual training videos. If for some reason you do not see this email, sometimes unfamiliar emails can be flagged as spam. Kindly search all folders for an @sbdcbahamas.com sender's address. If you still haven't received it, visit our Help Centre and submit a ticket.
What if I run into a technical issue with the application?​
Please visit our website www.accessaccelerator.org and click the "Help Centre" tab, submit a ticket, and let us know how we can help.
What format of documents can I upload?
You can upload documents in .doc, .jpeg, and .pdf.
Do you pay for the landed cost of goods?​
For consideration for customs and brokerage payments, you must provide an estimate or quote from your brokerage company or an estimate with details on how the funds are calculated. This should be uploaded as an invoice and a value inserted that counts towards your total funding.
If approved, how do I receive Royal Caribbean Programme funds?​
Vendor payments will be executed via wire transfers to business bank accounts only. Credit card, check or cash payments are not allowed.
Do I have to be an Access Accelerator client to apply to the Royal Caribbean Programme?​
No, you do not need to be an Access Accelerator client, but you must be an entrepreneur with an existing business on Berry Islands, Grand Bahama and New Providence.
What are the eligible purchases for the Royal Caribbean Programme?​
Under the Royal Caribbean Programme, applications will be approved to cover
business costs related to:
∙ Inventory
∙ Supplies
∙ Packaging
∙ Uniforms
∙ Marketing (including branding and advertising)
∙ Public Liability Insurance Coverage
∙ Permits and Licenses
∙ Accounting Software
∙ Training
∙ Equipment
∙ Leasehold Improvements
∙ Vehicles (including registration and insurance)
Excursions Liability Insurance
What is Liability Insurance?​
Liability Insurance coverage provides protection for the insured from risk of liabilities imposed by lawsuits and other claims.
Excursion liability insurance is required to allow small business tour and activity operators to be recommended to work along with cruise lines and hotels. Before a cruise line can determine which business to recommend or endorse, the following liability insurance requirements must be met.
What is Contingent General Liability?​
Contingent General Liability, also referred to as Third Party or Public Liability, covers bodily injury and property damage to tourists in your care, custody and control while participating in an excursion tour. This coverage excludes auto, aircraft and motorboats. Non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks, canoes, sunfish, etc. are included. This does not replace any business property or liability coverage placed locally.
What is Contingent Auto Liability?​
This coverage is excess auto liability over and above your local compulsory automobile insurance and includes coverage for owned, hired and non owned vehicles.
What is Contingent Watercraft Liability (Motorized)?​
Contingent Watercraft Liability (Motorized) similar to the Contingent Auto Liability, this covers owned, hired and non-owned watercraft having a motor that carries passengers for hire.
What are the benefits of having Liability Insurance?
∙ The insurance protects the business owner and guests from any risks associated with tour activities.

∙ Worldwide jurisdiction insurance will allow cruise passengers and hotel guests the benefit of filing a claim or suit from anywhere in the world if injured or suffering losses.

∙ Your business will be recommended by cruise lines which will increase your revenue.
What is the minimum coverage required by cruise lines?
A minimum of $1,000,000.

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