September 18, 2018
Two critical new hires highlight the gathering momentum being generated as the new Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) races toward its official launch on September 20.
xecutive Director, Davinia Blair announced on Thursday, September 13 that the SBDC hired an Associate Director of Operations and had contracted for someone to design and build the SBDC website.
The SBDC is the product of a tri-partite 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.
Ms. Bianca Lee is the new Associate Director of Operations, tasked with oversight, supervision and administration of the SBDC’s business operations.
“I am very excited, because we will be able to focus on a section of the market that I believe has been untouched.
Entrepreneurship is a big thing, especially among young people – even in passing you can hear people talking about their entrepreneurial dreams. Being able to provide support and guidance to those persons will be amazing, especially to assist that process from start to finish,” she said.
Ms. Lee will provide financial, administrative and operational support to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director and, where required, to the Business Development Advisors.
In the Associate Director of Operations position, she will also provide leadership to the efficient interconnectivity with related government agencies, University of The Bahamas (UB), the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC), the OAS and other partners.
Meanwhile, the SBDC has selected Travis Miller of Thought & Method to develop the SBDC website, which is expected to be launched for public use in mid-December 2018.
Said Miller, “I'm excited about the SBDC because the initiative will allow entrepreneurs more opportunities to get their ideas out there and develop or refine their businesses and likely get access to funding to help make their dreams a reality.
I believe what SBDC will provide will impact the landscape for entrepreneurs for years to come.”
The website will be a critical tool in the SBDC’s efforts to create public awareness and promote its work. The site will be an avenue through which the SBDC will work to inspire and inform the pre-entrepreneurial and entrepreneurial communities, motivate those in the community with ideas for business to materialize dreams into reality, and provide assistance for those already in business to strengthen and refine their business models.
Miller discussed his personal goals for the site.
“I think it is important for entrepreneurs to get access to reliable and clear information. A lot of information about what to do and where to go when starting your business in The Bahamas is still scattered and cumbersome.
A personal goal I would like to achieve with the new website is to streamline tools, information, and resources on one place that will allow entrepreneurs to make decisions faster and with more clarity so they can focus on the actual business itself,” he said.
An important aspect of the website will be delivery of various online training seminars and live webcasting of events. Equally important, the SBDC plans to use the website to disseminate research on the small business sector in The Bahamas.
The new hires come after the appointment of the SBDC Board of Directors, chaired by Geoffrey Andrews and Deputy Chair Dr. Olivia Saunders, two weeks ago.
The new board includes Merrit Storr, Ellison Delva, Clifford Johnson, Hank Ferguson, Tyrina Neely, Gina McKenzie, Remelda Moxey, Kristie Powell, Christopher Sawyer and Pedro Rolle.
The government of The Bahamas has created an MSME Policy to provide a framework for development of the sector. The “Seven Pillars of MSME Sector Policy” call for improvement in the enabling business environment for small business; increasing direct financing to the MSME sector; enhancing both business and development support for MSMEs through innovative programmes; supporting entrepreneurship and MSME development within marginalized groups; fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation; removing or minimizing political interference within MSME enabling agencies, and promoting linkages between Bahamian MSMEs and the international export segments of the economy