Husband and wife, Curtis and Glennett Fowler, of Fowlco Marine and Logistics Management of Grand Bahama were the proud recipients of the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre’s (SBDC) largest secured funding to date.
Through the government-initiated programme, the Grand Bahama-based company was able to secure the funding, the maximum of which is offered through the SBDC in conjunction with commercial lenders and the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund.
The Fowlers received the half-a-million-dollar cheque on Friday, February 21, at the Bahamas Small Business Development Centre, Access Accelerator’s Grand Bahama Town Hall Meeting.
Executive Director of the programme, Davina Grant, confirmed that the funding presenting to Fowlco Marine and Logistics Management of Grand Bahama is the largest to date.
“This is a huge success story for the SBDC. She (Glennett Fowler) is not only the first client, through the hurricane programme, to have been approved for $500,000.00, she is the first client in the entire SBDC programme to have been approved for $500,000.00. It was a mixture of a loan from Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), an equity investment from the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture fund and some funding from the SBDC directly,” Grant revealed.
“I remember when we first started this journey; we were so excited because she had all of her financial statements and everything in place. It still took quite a bit, and I want to congratulate her for sticking it through, answering the hard questions, being able to present yourself and your business directly to the banks, even though you had great assistance from Nick (Higgs, Director, SBDC) and Caline Newton (Advisor, SBDC). This was a real huge group effort, and I really want to thank the entire team.
“We expect so many great things from this business. Congratulations to you and your family on this amazing feat,” concluded Grant.
Fowlco Marine and Logistics Management and Fowlco Import Export’s Chief Executive Officer, Glennett Fowler, said that these are exciting times.
“I just want to say that the process for myself and my husband began in 2016, even though the SBDC only existed since 2018. I think persons have a misconception that our company has already arrived, and I think for a while, I was afraid to go and get funding because of that. But, in 2016 when Curtis and I started to work the business and actually made the business functional, we got an accountant. He was not prepared to deal with that, but I told him that one day we are going to need the bank for something so let us start the process now, not knowing that the hurricane was going to come and our business would be so severely impacted.
“We made the application (with SBDC) and got the call right away. I will tell you, listen to your advisor. Ms. Newton, looked over our financials, even though we kept good records, she was able to find all of the issues that existed within the company and we were able to make smart decisions to correct some of them well before funding came.
“Our process started at the end of October and today is only February 21 and so, I think that it was pretty fast, to be honest, but I think it was due to the preparedness we had as a company,” she added.
“I want to thank the SBDC for believing in us. I want to thank my husband Curtis Fowler for supporting me. It has not been easy being a female in this industry; being a young Bahamian woman doing business. People constantly judge and discredit us and so, I want to also thank our customers for continuing to support Fowlco. I would also like to thank Nickolas (Higgs).
“I really want to encourage persons to know that this is really attainable if you put yourself in a position to receive it.”