NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Small and medium-sized businesses will now have even greater access to business support services and finance with the launch of the Accelerate Bahamas initiative, which aims to improve the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The project will complement the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) credit enhancement facility that provides US$25 million in partial loan guarantees to financial institutions for loans to SMEs that are unable to meet collateral requirements and that were advised and vetted by the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC).
Geoff Andrews, chairman of the SBDC board, stated, “To develop the small businesses, we have to take a holistic approach to the services that we offer. Through this, we will be able to strengthen the training and advisory services provided to our clients while making access to funding easier for Bahamians.”
Acting Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson noted technical support and hand-holding are just as critical as capital for small businesses to survive their initial years.
“The government is convinced that with all of the talent in The Bahamas and with all the wherewithal, with the right combination of capital and support, that a lot [of] our small businesses can become large businesses and eventually international businesses. There is [no] reason why over time we cannot expect to see a Bahamian company one day listed on the international exchange,” said Johnson.
The Accelerate Bahamas project aims to improve the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in The Bahamas through the provision of high-quality business support services and increasing access to finance and advisory services to SMEs through the establishment of a multi-bank fintech platform.