NASSAU, BAHAMAS — In celebration of the country’s 50th independence anniversary, the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) has teamed up with the Royal Caribbean International to launch a multi-island pitch competition and training program.
The 50×50 Program and Venture Pitch Competition initiative seeks to give 50 budding entrepreneurs access to training, technical support, and their share of up to $50,000 in grant funding.
Participants in the program will receive a six-week entrepreneurship training that includes pitch coaching to improve business economic viability and brand positioning. The training will also cover business introduction, branding, marketing, technology, finances, quality controls and legal procedures.
“This is a program we believe will build capacity, help us diversify our tourism product and ultimately enrich the experiences of visitors to our shores,” said TDC Executive Director Ian Ferguson.
“We want to enhance our tourism offerings, and this can be done through this initiative as we celebrate the country’s 50th independence.”
Royal Caribbean’s SEA the Future platform renews its commitment to connecting people to the world’s most amazing places and cultures in a way that respects and protects those who sail and work with the company and the ocean communities and ecosystems its ships visit.
“The Tourism Development Center’s 50×50 Program and Pitch Competition captures the essence of our SEA the Future commitment to energize communities by remaining dedicated to the overall growth and economic development of the residents who make the places we visit so memorable to our guests,” said Philip Simon, President of the Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island and General Manager of Royal Caribbean International Bahamas.
“The program will allow local entrepreneurs access to the resources needed to develop their businesses and offer the authentic cultural experiences millions of tourists seek when visiting the Bahamas.”
Each island will have a preliminary round, followed by a final round comprising the top five pitches from each island. Judges will select the top three ventures from the finalists who will receive grant funding for their ideas.
The first prize winner of the pitch competition on New Providence stands to win $10,000 in award funding, second place $6,000, and third place $4,000.
On Grand Bahama, the first prize winner will receive $6,000, second place $4,000, and third place to receive $2,000.
On the islands of Exuma and Abaco, top winners will receive $4,000, while second and third-place winners will receive $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.
The program offers a total of 50 slots: New Providence, 20 slots; Grand Bahama, 10 slots; Exuma,10 slots; and Abaco, 10 slots.
The deadline for registration is October 20, 2023.