July 19, 2019
On Monday, July 8th, the SBDC held its first Entrepreneurship Summer Success series entitled “Access to Crown Land” with keynote speaker Debbie Strachan, Senior Deputy General Manager of BAIC. The event covered the process and regulations for leasing of crown land for businesses, which Strachan described as “every Bahamian’s inheritance.”
Chairman of BAIC Bishop Collie
During the event, Chairman of BAIC, Bishop Gregory Collie, expressed his desire to see areas of New Providence developed by businesses.
“We are happy to be partnering with the SBDC. As the Executive Director, (Davinia Blair), mentioned, we recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, and we are both excited," said Collie.
"My goal is to make sure that every square foot of land available in Solider Road and Gladstone Road is taken up.
We want those areas to be populated. We want them to be occupied by businesspersons who are determined to get their share of the economic pie. We want you to get your share.”
Bishop Collie also assured SBDC clients and attendees that the application process would not require years of waiting.
"I want to assure you that I have given BAIC the mandate that all applications should process within 60 days.
Once you have everything in place, within 60 days, I have given them the order to have everything processed and ready to provide you with an answer. Whether it is yay or nay, we do not want you to be hanging on for months and years.
Collie continued, “Some people have said that they have been waiting for years. That is unacceptable. We want to make sure that those documents are processed in the shortest period so that you can get your business going.”
Davinia Blair, Executive Director of the SBDC, urged attendees to pay attention to the opportunities available to better request and allocate investment funding.
“The reason why I need us to pay attention to the opportunities presented is that we currently have applications before us asking for $300,000 and $400,000. Seventy-five per cent of it is for land or a building," said Blair.
"We have to find a way to use the resources that are offered to us to stretch to take your business further. It’s not that we are discouraging the purchasing of buildings in this program, but we also must be realistic with the money.
Therefore, each application is being looked at on a case by case bases. If you can take advantage of the opportunities that are here, then you can relocate the money into other areas of your business and watch it grow faster. That is our hope.”
Davinia Blair address SBDC clients at Entrepreneur Summer Success Series
The Access Accelerator, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bahamas Agriculture & Industrial Corporation.
The MOU between the SBDC and BAIC will increase accessibility to crown land for Bahamian entrepreneurs. In addition, the two organizations have collaborated to provide business development and advisory services for local businesses.
The primary goals of the agreement between the SBDC and BAIC are to improve the environment for small businesses, increase direct financing into to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in The Bahamas, create and promote innovative programs to support MSMEs and to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within marginalized groups.
Debbie Strachan speaks on Access to Crown Land
The role of the SBDC within this partnership is to provide business advisory services, a training and entrepreneurship program, mentorship and incubation, advocacy, access to capital and a FinTech platform. While BAIC will provide; business plan services, research and feasibility studies, and support and advisory services on agricultural relayed projects.
BAIC will also offer leases for industrial land and parks, assist with domestic and international market access and leverage regional and global relationships to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises and clients of the SBDC.
BAIC has three industrial parks zoned for leasing to entrepreneurs and small businesses to start or expand their business. These include Soldier Road Industrial Park (STRIP), which accommodates land and buildings; the Gladstone Agricultural Park, which is for land leases and the North Andros Industrial Park.
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.