Govt. grants to power entrepreneurs of GB

GRANT WINNER—Bruce Russell owner of H.Y.P.E Photo booths was one of the Business Evolution Grant Winners and was presented with his grant during a presentation at the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday, September 6, 2018. Pictured from left are Gregory Laroda, Buckeye; J. Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Grand Bahama; Russell, recipient; Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard, and Glendia Sweeting. GBPA. (Photo: Jenneva Russell)

The third set of participants in the Grand Bahama Micro & Small Business Empowerment Program received Self-Starter and Business Evolution Grants during a presentation at the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday (September 6).

The program was launched by Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis on November 24, 2017.

The grants are of two phases, for persons in the program who want to start a business; and the evolution grant applies to participants who want to expand already existing businesses.

The Office of the Prime Minister has worked along with the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture to conduct this program.

The first phase is the two-week business training course designed to equip participants with existing businesses with fundamental skills and tools of business management.

Phase two allows each candidate the opportunity to compete against other participants for a chance to access an available business grant of $5,000.

Phase three of the program involves each successful entrepreneur being paired with a seasoned mentor who provides expert advice and guidance for their startup and their existing venture.

The wide variety of businesses that they were able to benefit from this program included food, crafts, activities and culturally based ventures.

Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources and Member of Parliament for Marco City the Honorable Michael Pintard addressed recipients during the short ceremony.

He stated that from its inception this program was created to help fill the island’s economic gaps.

Pintard furthered that persons whose businesses were geared towards, tourism, the creative arts, and personal consumption, were chosen.

He then announced the Self Starter grant recipients.

The first recipient was Glenise Rolle whose Study Hall business is a proposed after school based program that offers tutoring services and accommodates different learners and learning styles.

The second recipient is Rosetta Grant, of Exquisite Celebrations, a proposed one-stop party store.

The third was Bruce Russell, whose business called H.Y.P.P.E Photo booths,is a live interactive experience.

Beverly Gray who runs Devine Crafts, a Bahamian handicraft company that caters to visitors, also received a grant.

Aniska Strachan plans to use her grant for her business Cute Lil Tingz ,a fashion store that sells unique accessories like hair bows.

Other recipients included; Latisha Pratt who got a grant for her store Gifted Creations which offers handmade candles; Cassandra Jones-Moss, of Land, Sand and Sea Tours which offers leisure tours to visitors on the island; Wartisha Hepburn of Heavenly Treats and Sweets; Delcina McIntosh who received a grant for her proposed coffee shop Cina’s Creations; Sarafina Robinson received a grant for her Steam Enrichment Education Center; Velta Gibson’s Blessed Creations, a proposed bakery that sells a variety of baked goods was also given a grant. Oliva Collie’s company Cakes by Collie is another bakery that will offer a range of sweet treats; Carolyn Russell-Sands, Carolyn’s Catering will offer lunch for local school students; Akeem Bevans, received a grant for his entertainment company Unruly Star Records; Charles Ferguson owns Island Shores Seafood and will be providing customers with the finest sea food; Solandka Julien plans to use the grant for her venture Beacon of Hope Learning Center which will cater to the youth in the Eight Mile Rock area; Clarissa Robinson who owns Mama’s Boys Walk-in Closet will use her grant to provide apparel for boys from infancy to young adulthood; Egia Collie of TLC Administrative Services, Carmel McIntosh of McAttack Bar and Grill, Curlene Bain of Fast Crafts Fast Ferry & Water Taxi Services and Shiud Bodie of Showtime Sound and Productions also received self-starter grants.

Minister of State in the Officer of the Prime Minister Senator J. Kwasi Thompson announced the new crop of Business Evolution Grant recipients.

Alvarez Braynen was the first person to receive his grant for his business Infused 242 which sells Chinese and Bahamian infused dishes.

Other recipients included Veronica Ellis who received a grant for her tailoring business Empress Palace; Linda Burrows of Linda’s Authentic Bahamian Crafts; Doriean Cooper’s Heath Springs Community Pharmacy and Drugstore; Ragene Laguere of Natural Ethics; Ashley Gibson of Gibson Island Tours; Chastity Burrows-Capron of Island Designs by Chastity; Lisa Davis of Total Media Bahamas; Krista Bailey of Maintenance Generals; Tamsin Sutherland of HUGE Impact Marketing; Norwood Davis of Evergreen Groceries Variety Store; Natasha Burnett of Wellness Within a Day Spa; Kenvitt Adderly of Shea’s Kitchen; Ena Cooper of Ena’s Straw Market and Donneshia Charlton of Nailed It Supplies; Olive Ellis-Rahming of Olive Souvenirs; Virginia Russell of Trinity’s Fashion; Sylvia Major of Sylvia’s Souvenirs; and Garnell Frith of Dolllar Deals.

Thompson emphasized the importance of recipients taking advantage of their opportunities.

“The same way you are excited about getting your grant, I want you to be excited about getting your mentorship,” he said.

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