72 candidates begin Phase I of GB Micro and Small Business Economic Empowerment Program

PHASE ONE – Phase I of the Grand Bahama Micro and Small Business Economic Empowerment Program has begun – December 4, 2017 – and will conclude on December 15, 2017. (Photo: Lisa Davis)

On the heels of the Official Launch Ceremony (November 24, 2017) by Dr. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister; Senator Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Grand Bahama, in the Office of the Prime Minister and Michael Pintard, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Phase I of the Grand Bahama Micro and Small Business Economic Empowerment Program has begun.

Designed to create new opportunities for small business development, economic empowerment and to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit for enterprising Grand Bahamians, this new initiative proposes to facilitate the start-up and expansion of small business enterprises in Grand Bahama.

Phase I of the program, a two-week Business Readiness Training Course is designed to expose start-up entrepreneurs, as well as existing business owners to fundamental skills and tools in business management best practices aimed at preparing them for the running of successful business operations.

The session began December 4, 2017 and will conclude on December 15, 2017.

Key topics of the Business Readiness Training include, but is not limited to: Expanding Your Business, Branding, Bookkeeping, Marketing and Sales, E-Marketing, Financial Reporting, the Accounting Cycle, Developing Your Business Plan, Customer Service, the GBPA Business Requirements, Effective Communications, Human Resources and Labour Law, Legal Aspects of Business and Business Concessions.
The first cohort began with 22 start-up entrepreneurs and 50 existing business owners, who on successful completion of the business readiness training, will compete for business grant funding of up to $5,000.00, and mentorship support from expert business advisors.

The second cohort proposes to launch early in 2018. Visit Us On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/opmgbi
During the launch the prime minister noted, “Grand Bahama has been suffering for a very, very long time. I always look at Grand Bahama as being the headwind blocking the remainder of The Bahamas from taking off and therefore it is essential that we tackle this headwind. You will see that I have a special liking for Grand Bahama and I will utilize most, if not all of my energy along with my team, to ensure that Grand Bahama rises again, and succeeds, because if Grand Bahama succeeds, The Bahamas succeeds.

“The young people and small businesses are the future survival of our country. Small businesses comprise the bulk of our economy and that is an area that we must definitely concentrate on.

“As young people, and as entrepreneurs, you have great ideas. The only problem is that you do not have the necessary capital to commence your programs. You live on social media, you live on Google. Therefore, you will see ideas and small businesses that are working in different parts of the world and you would want to commence such a program here, but you are prohibited from doing so because you do not have the capital. We feel that it is important to commence such a program where you will have the capital for your success.

“One of the problems with businesses, and why they fail is the lack of understanding, lack of proper marketing and not understanding the legal framework or the labor systems of a particular society. Therefore, it is essential that we provide you not only with the capital, but we must also provide you with resources to maximize your success.”

Dr. Minnis noted that small businesses will create most of the employment in the country. “Most of the employment in not provided by the Atlantis or the Baha Mar. Remember they are one shot deals. Small businesses can span the entire Bahamas and provide many, many employment opportunities. We will ensure that that happens,” said the prime minister.

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