Thousands of dollars in venture capital is about to be pumped into the local economy as Own Your Bahamas – simply referred to as OWN – launched its fourth installment at the British Colonial Hilton yesterday.
Created in 2015, the programme, spearheaded by Island Luck (IL) Cares Foundation, is a local initiative that serves as a venture capital fund for budding entrepreneurs.
“Own is an initiative focused on bridging the gap between the entrepreneur’s dream and making that dream a reality by providing the tools necessary to succeed,” said IL CEO Sebas Bastian.
“Thanks to an increased number of financial partners this year, 35 lucky persons will receive grants, as opposed to the 15 slots traditionally offered.”
Successful applicants receive grants anywhere between $5,000 to $25,000, a laptop courtesy of IL Cares, a cellphone, a professional website, business logo development and a media kit inclusive of business cards, 100 posters and 1 banner.
Recipients will also have access to a month-long seminar at the University of the Bahamas (UB), to pursue courses in business management.
OWN 2017 grant recipient Dominique Hanna used his grant to support his baking business, Icing the Bahamas.
The young entrepreneur touted the program as more than just a financial start-up for potential business owners.
“At the end of the day it has honestly brought a dramatic change in the success of my business and also a huge help to the variety of products I have been able to introduce since last year,” Hanna shared.
“Since [obtaining] the grant, I had the opportunity to attend classes to learn about business processes and procedures and we also got to sit down with established entrepreneurs for first hand advice on how to navigate a successful business.”
Since the project’s inception, more than $700,000 in grants and support have been given to Bahamian entrepreneurs.
Interested persons have until April 30 to submit their information and proposals online.
For more information, go online at www.ownyourbahamas.com.
Bastian encouraged potential applicants to log on and submit their business plan and idea for consideration.