News & Updates

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

Small Business Centre Names Board Chairman

Accountant Geoffrey Andrews has been named as board chairman for the tripartite venture intended to transform small and micro business development in The Bahamas. #Mr Andrews will be joined on the Small Business Development Centre's (SBDC) board by deputy chair, Dr Olivia Saunders. The board's other members are Merrit Storr; Ellison Delva; Clifford Johnson; Hank Ferguson; Tyrina Neely; Gina McKenzie; Remelda Moxey; Kristie Powell; Christopher Sawyer; and Pedro Rolle. #The SBDC is a joint venture between the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, University of The Bahamas (UB) and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC). Its role is to guide the development and funding of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout The Bahamas. "I was honoured and very excited to be nominated to chair the board of the SBDC, which I strongly believe has the ability to change the economic model being followed here in The Bahamas," said Mr Andrews. "While I am fully appreciative of all of the major foreign direct investments which have helped the country grow over the years, we think that the SBDC presents a unique opportunity for micro, small and medium sized businesses to become the new drivers of the Bahamian economy. "I encourage existing and potential entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the creation of the SBDC. At the same time, the SBDC will allow local financial institutions more opportunities to tap into this market, enabling these institutions to increase profits while helping to improve the economy." Dr Saunders added: "The SBDC is expected to provide significant and material support to MSMEs. As it fulfills its mission, it has the potential of being a catalyst for changing the economic landscape of the country with the growth and strengthening of indigenous business enterprises. It is a privilege and an honour to serve on the Board of SBDC as an active participant in this extremely important work. Davinia L Blair, the SBDC's executive director, said: "Our new board will establish critical corporate governance and oversee organisational strategies, capital investments and financial accountability, among other things. Most importantly, this board will drive policy creation for the MSME sector throughout The Bahamas for generations to come." K Peter Turnquest, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, added: "We are incredibly lucky to have board members with such a broad range of expertise including strategy, finance, legal, marketing, ICT (information and communication technology) and other specialised industry-related skills. "These skill sets are highly coveted on any Board, and we are pleased to have them as part of our SBDC family. Plus our directors expose us to new business contacts and networks." The "seven pillars" of the Government's policy to improve the enabling environment for small business are increasing direct financing to the MSME sector; enhancing both business and development support for MSMEs through innovative programmes; supporting entrepreneurship and MSME development within marginalised groups; fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation; removing or minimising political interference within MSME enabling agencies; and promoting linkages between Bahamian MSMEs and the economy's export industries. Via: tribune242.com

Small business center yet to open, but 600 already registered

One month ahead of its scheduled opening, more than 600 entrepreneurs have registered with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), its Executive Director Davinia Blair revealed yesterday. The creation of the SBDC, which launched its website last month, is the result of government’s promise to develop and provide direct financing to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Government has allocated $5 million of the 2018/2019 budget for the initiative. “So basically, we have just over 600 registrants already. Just to go into the details, when I say registrants, we have a landing page and we are asking persons to go to that landing page and fill out a form indicating their interest for assistance in either starting a business or expanding a business,” Blair said in an interview with Guardian Business. “Basically over 600 persons in the last two weeks have gone ahead and done that. That landing page also tells them all of the services they will have access to, including facilitating access to capital. We believe there’s overwhelming interest in the center and what we’re offering.” After registering, budding entrepreneurs were invited to make appointments to be a part of a two-week business training course that is being scheduled in cohorts of 15. Blair said out of those 600 registrants, 50 percent of them have already received specific appointments. “We’ve intentionally used a timestamp practice to make sure that as you request it, you are getting the first access to the appointments. So, there are some people right now with February appointments, that’s the level of demand that we have for startup sessions. And those who are looking to expansion I think they’re looking to November and December,” she said. “Basically about 75 percent of all of the applicants are asking for assistance with startups and 25 percent are asking for assistance with an existing business. I think that’s amazing the way those numbers are panning out for us right now.” Those business training sessions are already being scheduled for dates as far away as February 2019, Blair said. “Imagine if we had to do all of those one on one, we’d be all the way back to summer. So I just had a meeting today with the dean of the business school to see if we can accelerate the training, so we may be able to open additional cohorts and reduce the time, so rather than being in February we can pull those meetings back to early December,” she said. “So I’ll be able to release that in a couple of days once we get that nailed down.” Blair said the 45 percent of registrants are between the ages of 18 and 25, and another 20 percent between the ages of 25 and 45. She added that 75 percent of them are female and 25 percent are male. “In terms of the demographics, it’s amazing, basically you’re talking about young people who are reaching out,” she said. “We don’t have the information by island unfortunately, but as we move forward and we begin to see the clients and we begin to do the training course we will be able to give additional data.” The SBDC is a collaboration involving the Ministry of Finance, the University of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation. Via: thenassauguardian.com

BAIC Launches ProNet Business Training for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs, Managers and Small business owners participated in a two-day workshop sponsored by the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC). The workshop is a ProNet business strategy training programme with the objective of capacity build of small and medium enterprises. ProNet comprises ten training modules and features an experiential learning model, incorporating essentials of Profitability, Competitive Advantage, Competitive Assessment, Production Efficiency and Effectiveness, and Product Strategy. The event has been made possible through joint partnership between the Bahamas and the Caribbean Export and Development Agency. The workshop spans August 21-22, 2018 at BAIC’s Corporate Centre on Old Trail Road. Executive Chairman of BAIC, Mr. Michael A. Foulkes, delivered welcome remarks at the opening of the workshop, noting that the ‘experiential’ training is most suitable for adult learners and entrepreneurs: “In an environment where national focus is oftentimes perceived as being heavily skewed towards ‘employee training’ as opposed to ‘SME business empowerment,’ BAIC, along with the Small Business Development Centre, is proud to be a part of a team that focuses on providing SMEs with modern tools and technical assistance to be successful in their businesses,” said Mr. Foulkes. Via: bahamas.gov.bs

Past Events

Island Access: Long Island

Date: 2021-05-20
Time: 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM

Island Access - Virtual Tour (Eleuthera)

Date: 2021-05-18
Time: 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Island Access - Virtual Tour (New Providence - South)

Date: 2021-05-13
Time: 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM

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