Businesswoman and philanthropist Johniece Smith emphasized that her confidence in the local economy is visionary. She referred to the official opening of a one-million-dollar complex, ‘The Agora’ on East Atlantic Drive, Freeport.
Smith, the proprietor of a number of local businesses, expressed that while her journey to entrepreneurship has had its ups and downs, her faith in God and support from her family and close friends have made it all worthwhile.
“Along the way, I have met so many persons and God is an awesome God, because sometimes when you are about something, something so great, you have a spirit of fear. Ironically, He drops the right people in the right places, at the right time,” she said during the brief opening ceremony Saturday (February 13).
“I look across this room and I see so many people that have actually fed into me. This celebration today is not about me; it is about us, Bahamians, getting up and deciding to take the pie; deciding to say, hey, I want to do this; I want to be in control of my economic freedom; I want to dictate the life that I live.”
The young businesswoman noted that there is no reason why Grand Bahamians and Bahamians by extension, have to be subservient or live sub-standard.
“We have to send our requests up to the heavens above and just have sufficient faith to believe that it will manifest. But I will tell you all, you cannot just send it and not work. You have to work, make the movements, the steps towards it.
“In summary, I dedicate this building to the Almighty. I also say thank you, to all of you that have been patient, considerate, loving, willing and dedicated to the growth of not only my companies, but indirectly my employees, my family and my friends. It does not stop here, those of you that know me, know that I always have something in the pipeline,” Smith concluded.
Minister of Agriculture Michael Pintard, member of Parliament for Marco City congratulated Smith on her accomplishments thus far.
“I want to congratulate Johniece on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of The Bahamas (Dr. Hubert Minnis). She has done an incredible job over the years, creating opportunities for Grand Bahamians.
“The truth is, we are going through an extremely difficult time nationwide and globally. When entrepreneurs show confidence in their country and their community, by investing, it lifts the spirit of persons and it creates opportunities. No matter how many programs any government or non-governmental agency puts in place to help people, citizens would rather create sunshine for themselves through having job opportunities,” Pintard said.
“And so, it is the work of persons like Johniece Smith, and the incredible team that she has around her, that create further development. They are creating opportunities so that people are able to provide for their families, with dignity. I am elated. Again, I congratulate her and all of the entrepreneurs who are keeping the economy of The Bahamas going.”
Smith credited much of her entrepreneurial drive to lessons instilled by her late father John Smith, who would have celebrated his birthday the day of the dedication. The building was dedicated in his memory and of the late Majorie Helene Wilson.
Smith’s Group of Companies, trading as the Enaje Challis Group of Companies, will house several of the businesses under the companies’ umbrella. A few of Smith’s existing businesses include the Meat Market & Chicken Depot, Snackumms, Nickels & Dimes Variety Store and All Service Auto Club, just to name a few.
The General Contractors for The Agora, were SkyFran Builders and SNC Masonry & Construction Inc.