$2.2 million economic impact, more than 4,000 individuals signed up for assistance
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre has to-date helped 17 Bahamian entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level, having secured over $1 million in funding with an estimated economic impact of $2.2 million dollars.
SBDC chairman Geoff Andrews in its 2018/2019 annual report released Wednesday noted that the first year was marked by a ‘strong’ performance.
“Today we can boast of having helped seventeen entrepreneurs to take their dreams and businesses to the next level with over B$1 million dollars in funding secured,” Andrews said.
“The by-product of this funding is an estimated economic impact of B$2.2 million dollars. We’ve served over 500 Bahamians in our entrepreneurship training classes across the nation, and we look forward to serving the other 4,000 plus individuals who have signed up for our assistance.”
Of the 17 entrepreneurs who have received funding to-date, 21 new jobs have been created between them.
According to Davinia Grant, Executive Chairman of the Access Accelerator SBDC, The Bahamas’ small business sector makes up about $2.4 million dollars, however with the right tools and guidance they can have an even greater impact.
“Financially, the SBDC will become sustainable by introducing our Fintech platform which will roll out in the coming year.The Fintech platform will allow us to reduce dependency on one funding source, operationally and financially, allowing for diversification in funding providers,” Grant said.
The SBDC offers a no-cost training programme designed to assist extant and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout The Bahamas.
The SBDC is the product of a tripartite arrangement between the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, University of The Bahamas (UB) and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer’s Confederation (BCCEC). The government allocated over $25 million to support micro–small and medium-sized businesses through the SBDC. RBC, Scotiabank, Bahamas Development Bank, and the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund have all partnered with the SBDC to support the
initiative through funding.
Through a partnership with the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC), SBDC clients have crown land access.
According to the SBDC annual report, over the past nine months, the SBDC has assisted a total of 4,013 clients.
“Of the total 4,013 clients, 2,860 clients (71 percent) were classified as start-up businesses and 1,153 (29 per cent) as existing businesses. Clients who came with ideas and had not yet started their business and clients who had been operating a business for less than one year were classified as start-up. Clients who had been in operation for more than one year were classified as existing,” the SBDC noted. A total of 25 entrepreneurial training sessions were held in the fiscal year summing up to a total of 9,096 training hours.
The SBDC also offers a small business owners and managers special training programme for businesses in the Over-the-Hill community. Grant funding totaling $45,000 has already been awarded to 18 graduates of that programme.
The SBDC noted that its advisors worked one-on-one with 1,044 clients, providing no-cost confidential business advising. “The SBDC’s advisors have spent approximately 6,654 hours advising, counseling, and mentoring clients, approximately 50 per cent of which were done face-to-face.
According to the SBDC, through its services,75 per cent of clients reported that they were able to expand their business by entering new markets, offering new services and products, and adding second locations.
Additionally, 50 per cent of clients reported they were able to formalize their business operations either by obtaining a business license, updating business licenses, or incorporating their company.