New Category : Bahamas Local Stories

Royal Caribbean International and BCCEC Power Bruch Event Cruised Into Networking Success

Tue, Jun 27th 2023, 06:00 PM

Various members of local media and business owner alike, joined The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers' Confederation and Access Accelerator, Small Business Development Centre to embark on an Royal Caribbean International's Freedom of The Seas for BCCEC - RCI Power Brunch.

Before a world class lunch was served courtesy of RCI's Freedom of The Seas, Chief Product Innovation Officer for Royal Caribbean, Jay Schneider delivered a brilliantly informative presentation on the Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island. Discussing the plans moving forward, Schneider, revealed that the Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island project will give Bahamians the opportunity to own a 49% equity and will provide one-of-a-kind opportunities for local businesses and Bahamian entrepreneurs.

Preparing for retirement is still important in a post covid world

Wed, Sep 22nd 2021, 12:00 AM

By: Jhanae Winter

Let’s be real, retirement is a luxury everyone can’t afford, but to those that want to and can, prepare for retirement, should start now!

All this talk about saving money for your future, but how do you actually go about it? 

Saving for retirement is more than taking a dollar here or there and adding it to a savings account (or putting it under your bed), although it is a good start. 

Investment Manager Tiffany Cartwright said, “Preparing for retirement requires a long-term plan. Saving for retirement includes starting a pension plan and building up an investment portfolio.”

She further explained that only 30% of Bahamian companies offer pension plans and most of them are in the tourism and financial industry.

This means if you want to seek out a pension plan and start saving, it is good to be a part of an establishment that offers such benefits, or simply start an individual retirement plan on your own. 

Ideally, the time to start saving for retirement is your first paying job, but it's never too late to save. Some people wait five years before they retire to start saving, which is too late Ms Cartwright said.

To young people in particular, it is imperative to start saving now and to not “put it off for later”.

The way to do this is by education, she said. 

“A lot of people are not taught to save and plan for the future. We live in a consumer driven society. People know more about how to get a loan than how to save towards their retirement. If you are taught some basics about budgeting, saving and investing in high school and college, you are more likely to incorporate it into your life once you start working,” she said.

Saving sooner, even in the midst of a pandemic, can give you the security you need for the future. 

The reason Ms Cartwright stresses saving and seeking other investment options is because NIB should not be solely depended on for benefits.

She explained that based on NIB’s actuarial report, it predicted NIB’s reserves will be exhausted by 2029. However the report is severely outdated and does not include variables such as Hurricane Dorian and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The current contribution rate is 9.8% (3.9% employee and 5.9% employer). The actuary projections are alarming as 2029 is not that far away. If we continue down this path, it is likely that persons will have very little available to them from NIB in the future. This shows the importance of creating a nest egg for your retirement which includes many different sources of income: pension plan, NIB, savings and investments,” Ms Cartwright said. 

She also mentioned NIB’s deficit which decreased to $6.713m in 2017. This deficit can affect payouts in the future and reduce the amounts available.

“In order to minimize the deficit, NIB increases the contribution rate, however this is likely not sustainable. There has also been discussion of increasing the retirement age from 65 to 67 which would reduce the amount that NIB would have to pay out,” she said. 

The deficit number does not reflect Dorian or the pandemic. 


The importance of saving is an understatement. Having other forms of investments such as shares, stocks, government bonds, land and/or real estate, is a good way to acquire passive income, before and during retirement.  


This is the way forward in securing your future in a post covid world. There is no telling what tomorrow might bring, but it is best to be financially secure and have peace of mind to maintain your standard of living. 

Let's Talk Etiquette is training Bahamian youth to have stature and social grace

Fri, Sep 3rd 2021, 12:00 AM

By: Jhanae Winter

CEO Thea Moss, owner of Let’s Talk Etiquette Spa and Beauty Boutique (LTE), is transforming the lives of young children through etiquette and money management principles, based in Grand Bahama.

All between the ages of two - 18 they can experience uniquely designed pampering services and learn a range of lessons such as character and confidence building, life and social skills as well as entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

“The goal is to work with young children to ensure they are well kept, pampered and well-spoken with presence, social grace and stature. In a nutshell, to develop the whole child and positively impact their lives at a very young age in ways education and talent alone simply cannot,” she said.

LTE’s mission is to provide an elite service that helps to build confidence, class, character and social grace, while offering quality products.

Thea originally established her business in April 2017 as a hair boutique in New Providence. However, she developed a passion for working with children and shifted her services accordingly. 

More than a year later, in December 2018, LTE was birthed after countless efforts to walk in the purpose of her calling. 

The scripture Proverbs 22:6 is used as a foundation for her business as LTE aims to train all children in their care, for the world ahead of them and place them on a path to success. 

Thea is not only a business owner but an author, certified children’s etiquette instructor and has experience with training young girls along with a background in marketing, public relations and risk management. Using all of her talents and brilliance, she has carefully crafted a business with fundamentals that focuses on building up the next generation.

A major milestone of hers is a newly released book, ‘My Money Diary: A fun ledger for kids’, the first of her Practical Financial Literacy Activity Book Series for children, available now on Amazon. 

In it, she introduces children to the world of money that goes beyond, “how to make money” but includes, savings, financial responsibility, delayed gratification, self expression, charitable giving and so much more in a creative manner, she said.

“Coming from a home where I definitely repeated the financial cycle I witnessed as a child, it was after I was drowning in debt that I realized that something had to change if I was to break the cycle or in Bahamian terms ‘break the generational curse’: of getting a government job and obtaining consumer loans for everything possible, without thinking about how this can affect my children, their way of thinking and ultimate success in life,” Thea said.

That's not all for LTE’s CEO. Thea was accepted into the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs cohort, being one of 140 women out of 700 applicants. She also was accepted into a Master program without a Bachelor's degree and passed the Certified International Risk Managers Program, she told  

As great as all these achievements are, the moment that resounds in her heart the most, as a mother, was when her five year old daughter, the inspiration of this business, told her, “mommy I want to be just like you one day and own many shops while taking care of animals,” Thea said.

The five year old is already exhibiting signs of success by wanting to start her own lip line, Candy Puckers, because of her exemplary mother and the training she received.

Through the testament of her daughter, Thea’s LTE is creating a resilience in children to walk with stature, grace and set no limits on their purpose. 

But Thea has more in store for LTE. 

“Thinking globally, the brand plans to market curriculum to private educational institutions locally, and after obtaining more internationally recognized training and certifications, market our very own curriculum globally via the world wide web. Expanding our brand, the company also offers confidential etiquette services to new professionals seeking to climb the corporate ladder,” she said.

While this journey has been filled with success, it was not easy. It took many trials and errors, reshifting, rebranding, losses and most importantly faith in God.  

Thea started this business with little capital but it was her positive mindset and trusting God with each step that carried her through.

“I had to think positively and remember that this is what the Father above had me to do. Faith in Him and positive thinking got me through many months. When I would have planned events and got no support, losing personal funds injected, I remained focused. Was I disappointed? Many days. Did I question if this was the right thing for me? At least three times a day. One thing I kept at the forefront was the fact that if you can think it and do it all on your own then it does not require God,” she explained.

She recalls her favorite quote and scriptures she used throughout this journey.

“My favorite quote from a song along my journey has always been ‘blow my mind, do the impossible’. A quote I teach all of my clients before we discuss what their vision is for their life is Habakkuk 2:2-3,” she said.

The faith led and positivity driven mindset she developed is what also kept her through the pandemic, which she calls a “double edged sword”. During this time she was able to focus on her studies in risk management and reinvent her business. 

“I often opine that I prospered in a pandemic. I was able to look at my business model and reinvent the wheel. It was during the pandemic that I attained the designation Certified International Risk Manager. This course was what got me to realize my finances were a series of bad decisions and learned behavior from my upbringing,” Thea confessed. 

Thea’s goal is to have multiple streams of income and “for my account to receive money even in my sleep”, she said. 

She admonshies any young person who seeks their own business, to find something they are equally passionate about and is a necessity for the public. 

LTE’s Vision Statement

To play an integral role in the molding and upbringing of the country’s future leading boys and girls. To ensure productive, motivated youths are introduced into society with a sense of pride and impeccable self- esteem. To produce business minded youths that can one day operate profitable organizations and contribute to the economic growth of the nation. To enhance the skills and boost the confidence of new professionals. To provide a space where young girls can receive beauty services that cater strictly to girls 2 to 18 years.

To connect with Thea, find her on 

Facebook: Let’s Talk Etiquette

Instagram: @etiquettespa1

Youtube: Let’s Talk Etiquette

Book: ‘My Money Diary: A fun ledger for kids’

Let’s Talk Etiquette Spa and Beauty Boutique, Enter to Master…..Depart to Impact!

"I sacrificed my career" Millenium Cleaners & Wholesale Products owner takes a risk to start her own business

Mon, Aug 23rd 2021, 12:00 AM

By: Jhanae Winter

Vandesha Whyte took a leap of faith and birthed her business Millenium Cleaners & Wholesale Products in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.

Vandesha majored in marine engineering for three years at a marine academy. She thought this would be the final decision for her life but things took an unexpected turn when she left her career at sea, one year after working in the field. 

“I realized I had no passion for that career which was shocking because it was money driven.I quickly realized I had a passion for cleaning and cleaning was something I didn’t mind doing without getting paid. I sacrificed my career as a marine engineer and started my cleaning company which I used to call Summer’s Cleaning Services,” she said.

Rebranding her business, Vandesha not only changed the name but also expanded the company into what it is today.

At Millenium Cleaners & Wholesale Products provides professional cleaning services to residential, yachts and commercial  spaces. Some of these cleaning services includes: residential and commercial deep cleaning and maintenance, carpet and upholstery cleaning
, post construction cleaning 
and window cleaning landscaping.

Vandesha was glad to finally open her first retail store to distribute her wholesale items but the process was not easy. 

“I did the entire process alone in secret just to keep the negative feedback away. Even so I fell short on funds to purchase inventory. I was paying rent for 6 months before I actually opened, but God is so good he led me into the hands of a private investor who wanted nothing to do with my company except invest to get me started,” she said.

The risk of leaving a stable income job and starting one’s own business in a completely different field, is extremely high. There is no guarantee what the turnout will be.

But knowing this, Vandesha was not moved. She said, “I have a positive outlook towards everything in life”.

She uses every opportunity to cater to the business. On hectic days she is doing her best to satisfy clients with the services she provides them. On slower days she takes the time to follow up with clients, catches up on day to day tasks and brainstorms ways to improve her services. 

“I operate on a daily basis by saying and believing ‘Everyday is a good day’”.

And good days have surely hit Millenium Cleaners & Wholesale Products, with Vandesha receiving contract work from a commercial hotel in Nassau.

“I received a call from Melia hotel to provide post construction cleaning. I was overly excited about this HUGE opportunity. It was a small project that lasted for three months but we completed it and got satisfactory reports. Now we are into our 2nd contact with this hotel for a much larger project. AIN’T GOD GOOD”, she exclaimed. 

The vision Vandesha has for her business is to do exactly that, provide services only with commercial properties only such as hotels, corporate offices, and large construction projects.

As for the retail aspects, a goal for her is to open a second store front in the middle of 2022.

“I would like to gain bigger and longer contracts within the commercial industry and I would like to invest in a distribution/warehouse center. I would also like to extend my cleaning services on the family island and possibly outside of the Bahamas,”
 she told

As she is working profusely to bring these things into fruition, Vandesha does not desire to be overseeing the daily operation of her business all the time. She aspires for the company to reach the point of development where her complete presence isn’t needed for it to function. 

From her initial start date and through revamping the business, Vandesha has experienced a few challenges and learned managerial aspects along the way. 

“My main challenge was locking in a steady income and actually being able to track and log all my expenses and actually earning. Financial discipline was a huge downfall for me,” she said. 

Her perspective on business also underwent some development as well. She said she knew the vision she had concerning the business, but trusting others and reaching out for help, proved to be a challenge. She didn't want to experience negativity and she was also shy.

However, once she overcame this mentality and realized it was hindering her business’ success, she opened to the assistance from others, causing her business to flourish. 

I overcame this by networking. I’ve gained clients with strong knowledge on how to manage finances who were open to helping and guiding me on how to properly maintain my money. Once I changed my mindset and started to become inquisitive I soon realized that most people I encountered led me into the right hands or path to get exactly what I needed. I Thank God for them,” she said. 

Encountering no negative feedback, it is through these experiences with her clients that Vandesha developed keen senses for certain clients. She knows the calibre of clients she wants to work with and can also easily detect those that will be difficult. 

“I don’t have any negativity around me that I’m aware of. I don’t have any negative feedback from clients either. However because I'm always in contact with my clients I tend to feed off their energy on who I would like to serve or not. I tend to know a troubled client from a mile away,” she said.

Connect with Vandesha on Facebook at Millenium Cleaners & Wholesale Products and on Instagram @milleniumcleaners242

Millenium Cleaners & Wholesale Products, Millennials do it best