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News & Updates

Learn about SBDC, updates, insights and upcoming in the community.

Every success story begins with a moment of inspiration, and an unwavering determination to pursue one's dreams.

Every success story begins with a moment of inspiration, and an unwavering determination to pursue one’s dreams. For Samantha and her budding venture, Eleuthera’s Cleaning Services, this journey started with a single message from a friend and led to remarkable growth and community empowerment.

The journey was guided by a powerful motto: “If you don’t get out there and do something for yourself, it will not fall in your lap. Everyday I have to tell myself to get up, get out there, look and see what’s needed. Try not to copy and paste from others; re-invent the wheel. Do not tell everyone about your plans until they are complete.” These words of wisdom reflect her selfdriven nature and the importance of maintaining confidentiality until goals are achieved. Eleuthera’s Cleaning Services stands out in the cleaning industry for its innovative approach. Sam shared insights about her business, stating, “Most cleaning companies only clean for private homes, rentals, and office spaces. However, we cater to local residents, people like you and me, who also need a break from house cleaning. Our vision is to bring on younger individuals within the community who need a little extra money on the weekends or those who
do not have the opportunity to go off to college. We want to mentor, train, and help such individuals.” This unique vision not only benefits Sam’s business but also fosters entrepreneurship within her community.

Many are hesitant to venture into programs due to the negativity surrounding them. When asked what motivated her to join the Disney Grant Programme, she shared, “I have never been one to participate in programs because I have often heard negative talks. However, one of my good friends messaged me and said, ‘Sam, you just started your cleaning business and I know you could use a little help.’ I was still skeptical, but I said to myself, ‘Hey, give it a shot. If it works out, it was meant to be, if it does not work out, there’s always another day and another way.'” Since receiving funding through the Disney Programme, Sam’s business has undergone
significant evolution. She can now offer additional services such as lawn and garden care, expanding her scope beyond traditional cleaning services. The funding also facilitated the purchase of a new laptop, improving her financial management and marketing efforts.As Sam continues her entrepreneurial journey, she has ambitious goals for the future. She hopes to purchase three vehicles to serve clients in different regions of Eleuthera, expanding her business beyond the island, and establishing a foundation to provide scholarships and assistance to others.

To those considering joining a program like the Disney Grant Programme, Sam offers the advice:
“I would say, unless you try something for yourself, please do not make your decisions based on discussions from others. Use yourself as the guinea pig. If it works, great; if it doesn’t work, make notes, start over, evaluate yourself.” Her experience emphasizes the significance of personal experience and learning through trial and error. Sam’s story with Eleuthera’s Cleaning Services exemplifies the power of determination, innovation, and community involvement. Through her journey with the Disney Grant Programme, she has not only expanded her business but also created opportunities for young individuals in her community.

Her story serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of taking risks, staying motivated, and giving back to the community.

When it comes to chasing your dreams, it sometimes takes a blend of determination, innovation, and a little bit of magic to transform your vision into reality.

When it comes to chasing your dreams, it sometimes takes a blend of determination, innovation, and a little bit of magic to transform your vision into reality. Philip Bodie’s journey with the Disney Grant Program offered by the Small Business Development Centre who partnered with Disney Cruise Line is a testament to this, and he was excited to share how this incredible opportunity has helped him take his unique business to new heights. “What initially motivated me to join the Disney Grant Programme was the promise of business zoom meetings designed to educate and inform entrepreneurs like myself. As a business owner with a rather distinct venture, I knew that I needed guidance to navigate the complex world of entrepreneurship. The program’s commitment to providing valuable knowledge and insights was a major draw.” As a small business owner, Philip understood the importance of having the financial means to invest in growth and development. This past summer, his business faced a unique challenge, which was the scorching heat and the need for upgrades to his solar setup. But amidst these challenges, Philip’s mobile arcade business on the beautiful island of Eleuthera continued to be a success. According to Philip, “Being a mobile arcade on Eleuthera has proven to be an absolute hit. I’ve had the pleasure of hosting unforgettable birthday parties and taking my arcade to homecomings and various outdoor social events. The joy and excitement on the faces of the kids as they immerse themselves in a world of video games is immeasurable. My business is truly one of a kind on the island.” One of the standout benefits of the Disney Grant Programme is the support it offers in terms of knowledge and funding.”I wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone looking to expand their business, regardless of its current stage. The Small Business Development Center provides invaluable resources to help entrepreneurs achieve greater heights.” When he initially started the programme, Philip made mention that he operated his arcade from a trailer, equipped with seven televisions and eight video game systems. However, thanks to the funding received through the program, his business evolved, ” I’ve transitioned to a coaster bus, where the gaming experience can be both mobile and stationary. This upgrade has taken my business to the next level. With the funding, I purchased three cutting-edge gaming consoles that were considered state-of-the-art at the time. These consoles have been a huge hit, particularly since many of the kids on the island had never seen, let alone played on, such advanced gaming systems. It’s been a thrill to introduce them to this world of entertainment. Looking forward, my plans include updating the solar system in the bus to make it more efficient and environmentally friendly. The ability to harness solar power not only aligns with my commitment to sustainability but also ensures that my business can continue to thrive even in remote locations.” In conclusion, Philip noted that his journey with the Disney Grant Programme has been nothing short of remarkable. It has empowered him to grow his unique mobile arcade business, bringing joy and entertainment to the hearts of the young and young at heart on Eleuthera. Through education, funding, and unwavering support, this program has shown that dreams can come true, even in the most unexpected places. It’s proof that when you combine innovation with opportunity, you can truly make magic happen. So, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a unique vision, take that leap of faith. The Disney Grant Programme might just be the pixie dust you need to turn your dreams into reality.

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

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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