SBDC Leads Delegation To The Capital

Created By:
Renzo Da Silva
May 19, 2023

Nassau, Bahamas: Interim Deputy Executive Director of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC), Phyllice Bethel, led a delegation to Washington, D.C. for a four-day mission last week. With the goal of identifying viable international opportunities for Bahamian business owners and building strategic relationships, Ms. Bethel and her delegation attended the DC Chamber of Commerce 2023 Small Business Summit and held various meetings with leading entrepreneurial agencies and local government representatives. 

When asked about the idea behind the mission, Bethel said, "We are simply continuing our mandate of equipping and empowering Bahamian MSMEs to maximize their full potential. In doing so, we want to provide the best opportunities, both local and international, for our clients and the wider business community at large."

The mission was organized by the team at SBDC Bahamas and in the months leading up to trip, members of the delegation met with Ms. Alarice Grant, Consul at Bahamas Embassy Consular Annex and members of the DC Chamber of Commerce to discuss the formation of a strategic partnership, joint programme opportunities and numerous ways to connect the Bahamian MSME sector with the widespread entrepreneurial network in DC and nearby state.

Highlights of the mission trip included courtesy calls on Ambassador Wendall Jones, Ambassador Chet Neymour and the Organization of American States (OAS), The Bahamas Embassy Consular Annex and the Deputy Mayor's Office of Planning & Economic Development.

The mission's itinerary also took the delegation on a tour of the Small Business Development Center at Howard University, and the DC Chamber of Commerce where discussions were held on training programmes, entrepreneurial apprenticeships and international exposure for Bahamian entrepreneurs to the DC market via the 2024 Small Business Summit.

The trip concluded with a forum titled "202 to 242" hosted by The Bahamas Consular Annex and the SBDC to connect Bahamian entrepreneurs in the vicinity with each other, the SBDC and The Bahamas Consular to strengthen their network and provide additional support to expand their business. Ambassador Wendall Jones pledged his support with championing the mission and mandate of the SBDC to provide Bahamians (both locally and internationally) access to tools and entrepreneurial training as they become available.

The mission trip has reaped immediate benefits through a partnership between the SBDC and OAS which allows Bahamian women entrepreneurs access to NASDAQs Milestone Circles, a 12-week mentorship programme which enables small businesses to tackle their biggest challenges through access to a supportive network of mentors and resources to help them grow and thrive.

Bethel further noted that with such a strong economy, large access to resources and investors and a diverse workforce, Washington DC is an ideal hub for Bahamian startups and existing business owners to forge partnerships with seasoned, successful organizations, access their networks and build a sustainable entrepreneurial future.

The SBDC expresses thanks and sincere gratitude to the Consular General and his team at The Bahamas Consulate in Washington, D.C. for their hospitality and support with this recent mission and looks forward to a fruitful, long-term partnership with the small business community and Bahamian diaspora in D.C. and other neighbouring states.

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