November 26, 2019
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) and the Access Accelerator, Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) partnered to have three Bahamians participate in the Business of Music (BOM) programme hosted by CEDA.
Terneille Burrows, Sonovia Pierre and Jason Ferguson represented The Bahamas in the programme with Burrows and Ferguson recently traveling to Barbados to attend a two-day face-to-face workshop.
The BOM programme is facilitated through webinars and exists to help persons within the music industry overcome challenges when seeking to export their products. The programme covers topics such as digital platforms, intellectual property (IP), distribution and promotion.
A 2015 study conducted for CEDA by the Visual & Performing Arts Jamaica (VPAJ) and KEA European Affairs (KEA) revealed several challenges faced by artists when trying to export. The main challenge faced by creatives was access to finance with lack of support also being a big issue.
Burrows, a Bahamian artist, writer and producer, found the experience to be useful to the business side of her craft.
“The BOM training covered a wide range of topics predominately about digital distribution and marketing,” Burrows said. “It was highly beneficial, and I will be able to use the information to maximize marketing efforts through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.”
Burrows continued, “My expectations were to expand upon my knowledge of the digital music industry and my expectations were met. As a Bahamian music creative, it’s very important that we take advantage of opportunities for advancing our knowledge of the music industry. This can contribute on a wider scale to enhancing the fledgling local music industry.”
Ferguson who also participated in the face-to-face sessions in Barbados described his experience as enlightening and realized that colleagues within the region faced similar issues.
“My trip to Barbados was a very enlightening experience and one that I wish to be a part of again,” Ferguson said. “The networking with fellow Caribbean colleagues from the industry solidified the fact that we all have similar issues. Through group and one on one discussions we were able to find out that some Caribbean islands are doing exceptionally well in their cultural efforts.”
While Ferguson believes that the networking done in Barbados was the most valuable part of the experience, he also gained knowledge that will benefit him and his craft.
Ferguson said, “The BOM training brought a lot of clarity to quite a few questions that I and artists that I’ve worked with may have. I now have a wealth of knowledge that I couldn't be more grateful for. The information relayed through the training will help me to be a better producer, musician and ambassador for the country.”
He continued, “With the right avenues and resources I am open to helping my fellow artists to improve their craft and make a better industry for us all. I plan to implement the small training in my everyday productions. I honestly believe that by empowering persons to be globally minded we can hopefully be better at what we do.”
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 Employers 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.
Jason Ferguson and Terneille Burrows attending CEDA BOM workshop in Barbados. Photo by Alex Carrington