Disney Cruise Line, SBDC celebrate model partnership, embark on new initiatives

Created By:
Renzo Da Silva
November 9, 2023

The Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre (SBDC), in collaboration with Disney Cruise Line (DCL), is set to launch a social media campaign this week, aiming to highlight the triumphant strides of their partnership since 2020. With shared aspirations to uplift Eleuthera's entrepreneurial spirit, this partnership has been monumental for the small business sector.

The Eleuthera Busi- ness Hub, an exemplar of collaboration between the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce, SBDC, and DCL, has been a cornerstone for small businesses and entrepreneurial development in Central and South Eleuthera. DCL's dedication to this

venture shines through with

an investment of over $1 million across three years. This funding supported the establishment of the Eleuthera Business Hub and has aided various business development services, facilitating startups and small enterprises as the slate of Eleuthera's developmental projects continues to grow.

In collaboration with DCL, the SBDC has channeled over $175,000 in grants, impacting 34 businesses spanning various industries in Eleuthera.

Samantha Rolle, executive director of the SBDC, said, "We're thrilled about our ongoing collaboration with Disney. Through our flourishing partnership, we've launched programs like the Disney Grant and the Eleuthera Entrepreneurial Training Programme. These initiatives have championed 69 businesses, providing them with the resources and know-how to start and grow."

Joey Gaskins Jr., Disney Cruise Line's regional public affairs director, The Bahamas & Caribbean, said, "Disney Cruise Line's collaboration with SBDC over three years has been a resounding success. We've always aspired to uplift Eleuthera beyond job offerings, aiming for a stronger local economy and proprietorship opportunities for Eleutherans. Our engagement revealed a dire need for training, advisory, and financial services. Aligned with our corporate social responsibility pillars - community, culture, conservation, and economic opportunity - our joint venture with SBDC remains pivotal for fostering economic prospects. Looking ahead, as the opening of Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point is on the horizon, we believe our strengthened bond with SBDC will lead to more impactful results for small businesses in Eleuthera."

As both organizations continue their shared mission of fostering Bahamian ownership and fortifying the small business landscape, this partnership stands as a testament to what collab- oration, commitment, and community-driven goals can achieve. It remains a model that other communities might emulate to cultivate their entrepreneurial ecosystems.

To learn more about the programs and strategic partnership opportunities available through the SBDC, contact their offices at 461- SBDC (7232) or email info@ sbdcbahamas.com.

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