Celebrating National MSME Month: empowering Bahamian businesses for a resilient economy

Created By:
Renzo Da Silva
November 1, 2023

The Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) proudly announces the proclamation of November as National Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Month for the second consecutive year. This significant initiative, endorsed by Prime Minister Philip E. Davis, serves to spotlight the pivotal role MSMEs play in the Bahamian economy, driving economic impact and fostering community development.

The global community faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and as signs of economic recovery emerge, the government of The Bahamas underscores the importance of celebrating and nurturing the thriving MSME sector. This commitment is demonstrated by the proclamation issued by Prime Minister Philip E. Da- vis, recognizing November as National MSME Month. This year's theme, "Empowering Bahamian Dreams", resonates throughout the month, emphasizing the role of strategic partnerships and empowerment in fostering the growth of Bahamian entrepreneurs and businesses. The Small Business Development Centre (SBDC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, will lead various events and activities throughout the month.

Samantha L. Rolle, the executive director of SBDC, shared her enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, "We are elated to spearhead this prestigious opportunity to celebrate businesses throughout The Bahamas. The journey of empowering Bahamian entrepreneurs and business owners to realize their full potential continues. This initiative, born out of the pandemic's challenges, inspires us to press forward, making a real difference in the lives of our fellow Bahamians."

In light of the pandemic's impact, the SBDC has, in the last eighteen months, doubled the number of approvals for its Guaranteed Loan Programme, and witnessed over 2,000 requests for funding programs, advisory services, and mentor- ship opportunities across twelve islands. As the SBDC expands its presence in the Family Islands, the organization aims to strengthen its service offerings, streamline processes, and build strategic partnerships, anticipating exponential growth in its client base.

Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis re- affirmed the government's commitment to supporting MSMEs, labelling them as the backbone of the Bahamian economy. The government's strategies include increased access to funding, policy program implementation, tax relief initiatives, and incentivized joint ventures between foreign and local investors.

Throughout November, National MSME Month will feature a series of events and activities dedicated to showcasing the accomplishments of Bahamian business owners. These events will culminate with an honorary celebration in New Providence on November 30th, symbolizing the successful conclusion of a month devoted to empowering Bahamian dreams.

Head of SME and Family Island Business at Aliv Chantelle Sands commented, "I am thrilled to announce our partnership with the Small Business Development Centre to launch National MSME Month. This collab- oration exemplifies our commitment to empowering and supporting micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises on their journey to success. MSMEs are the backbone of our economy, and through this initiative, we aim to provide them with the resources, knowledge, and innovations they need to thrive. Together, we can create a vibrant ecosystem that fosters innovation and growth for all business- es in The Bahamas."

Bahamasair's Marketing Manager Stephen Gay not- ed, "As we embrace National MSME Month, Bahamasair is committed to supporting the backbone of our economy, fostering growth, and driving economic impact, all while serving as a symbol of national pride. We are honored to be a part of the journey, connecting the islands and communities of The Bahamas."

The Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre encourages individuals to follow its social media pages @accessaccelerator to stay informed about the full month of activities and the impact of MSMEs on the Bahamian economy.

Robert Scott, JMEA treasurer and head of the mission, reiterated the significance of regional trade for mutual growth and prosperity. He remarked, “Export or die. These are the words echoed by our leaders. Our prosperity, wealth, and growth as a region will come from trading with each other."

This trade mission marks an essential step forward in Caribbean integration and promises a brighter economic future for both nations.

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Equipping and Empowering Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (“MSME`s”) in The Bahamas
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