The Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) has assisted another small business with accessing capital. Shiver, a local sorbet and ice-cream brand, received access to $100,000 in loans from Royal Bank Bahamas (RBC), $50,000 in equity investments from Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund and $11,600 in grant funding from the Government of The Bahamas.
Founders and CEOs of the company, Melissa Darville and Elvis Percentie, described the news as exciting and another reason to be grateful.
“We are excited”, said Percentie. “I was driving when Melissa called to tell me that they announced we had received the funding. I had to pull to the side of the road and check my phone just to see it for myself. I’m a numbers guy, so I’ve already started calculating where this and that would go, but it’s exciting, and we’re grateful.”
According to Darville, before joining the SBDC, the two were discussing ways that The Bahamas could aid business owners such as themselves, then they came across the SBDC. Initially, the business owners were unaware that the(SBDC) had a funding component to it and joined solely for help with their business documents.
“We didn’t even know that the SBDC offered and assisted with funding. We just needed help with our paperwork, so when it was time for us to go to the bank, we would be ready”, said Percentie. “They surpassed our expectations, and we’re still flabbergasted by the amount of work that they put into assisting our company.”
Darville described her experience working with the team of the SBDC as invaluable.
“Through the SBDC we have access to expert accountants and experts in business, that’s something we can never pay for”, said Darville. Percentie went on to say, “The amount of work they put in we would never be able to afford. Nicholas (Sr. Business Analyst) sometimes messages me at like 12 AM or 1 AM asking if I have certain documents. We appreciate that so much because they are working on our behalf.”
Shiver has been working with the SBDC since it opened its doors last Fall. Their success story is a reminder that the process is not an overnight one and requires entrepreneurs to have the same patience and fortitude with the SBDC that is required for long term success in business.
“I’ve had people ask me about the SBDC, even ones currently enrolled”, said Percentie. “Whenever they complain about the time of the process, I always say continue to push your business.” Darville added, “businesses naturally take a while to develop, so continue to push your business while the SBDC is out there working for you. It’s not like they tell you not to do anything, go out there and push your business, continue to work. They offer quality expert advice, and that alone is worth it.”
Winston Rolle, SBDC Advisor for Shiver, said that the funding of the company was the result of a team effort by the SBDC and will be used to grow a great product.
“It’s great that Shiver is getting the funding they need to manufacture their product”, said Rolle. “The product is great and is well received. The biggest issue has been meeting the demand for it. This funding allows them to meet demands, produce more and grow as a company. It is the mandate of the SBDC to assist MSMEs, and it’s good to be able to see the progress of the work. It is the result of a team effort by the SBDC.”
Executive Director of the SBDC Davinia Blair is extremely proud of another win for the SBDC’s clients.
“ There was so much excitement amongst our team when we heard that Shiver was successful. We’ve been working tirelessly for them as we have for our other clients. A part of the work is advocacy with the government and continued partnerships with commercial banks. Whenever a client is successful we are rewarded for that work.”
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 Centre will work to guide the development, funding, growth, and evolution of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (“MSMEs”) in The Bahamas.