NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The newly formed Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre programme is looking to “sharpen” its model following a trip to Jamaica, with executives confirming its more than 3,000 participants will receive specialized guidance to boost their success rate.
It may take a while, said Access Accelerator Executive Director Davinia Blair, but the insight gained from interacting with supporting organizations in Jamaica all pointed to greater success rates once the entrepreneurs were given tailored advice, fitted for the entity and specific market.
“What makes them successful is that they ‘don’t sell business plans like bags of flour over the counter’ and I wholeheartedly agreed,” said Blair of a conversation with Althea Meyers-Walters, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation Business Service Manager. “To date we have over 3000 entrepreneurs signed up for our program across New Providence and the Family Islands. We are going to get to each one of them, but it will be a process because processes are necessary to ensure these businesses succeed. Like Walter’s said, no bags of flour.”
The senior executives of the SBDC visited Jamaica from February 10-13, courtesy of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), meeting with organizations that assist and promote entrepreneurship in Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
Included in these visits were Jamaica’s IDB office, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation and the Development Bank of Jamaica. They all play a role in the continued expansion of Jamaica’s MSMEs as well as its robust manufacturing sector.
The exchange was an opportunity to learn from those more developed programs in hopes of modelling similar success in The Bahamas. It follows several attempts by local entities to grow and develop MSME’s in the country to a more robust level.
Winston Rolle, Business Advisor to the Access Accelerator program said although it was only a two-day trip, it was beneficial.
“We came back with many insights that can help us to sharpen our model here,” Rolle said. “We were able to get alternative options, and foster ideas on how to best handle the large influx of clientele as a start-up and streamlining persons in a process that will help us to be even more efficient and effective.”
The Centre – a tripartite arrangement between the Ministry of Finance, University of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer’s Confederation – will work to guide the development, funding, growth, and evolution MSMEs in The Bahamas.