Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard affirmed that in spite of small scope of the economy, it is still possible to start successful businesses in Grand Bahama. He commented Thursday at a press conference to award business development assistance grants to GB Micro & Small Business Economic Empowerment Program winners.
Minister Pintard was present to witness 20 entrepreneurs receive assistance from the government to launch or continue their business enterprises.
He said the best way to reboot the economy was with small businesses and, as such, the government reached out to those individuals who were motivated to succeed in the arena.
Noting that not everyone has the capacity or ability to run a business, Minister Pintard observed business people are self-motivated: “We thought it was critical to look at the creative industries, to look at technology, to look at industry, which is the driving force in Grand Bahama, and of course, Agriculture and Fisheries, in order to find the gems. Many of these people have been doing it without government’s help, in some cases, but needed additional support; and then there were others who had the vision, but lacked the required capital.”
He said the collaboration resulted in Grand Bahama’s Micro & Small Business Economic Empowerment Program, which will be launched nationally.
The Minister added that in order for these small businesses to become successful, it was necessary for the owners of these businesses to have the proper training. A business plan, he pointed out, was absolutely critical.
“The simple commitment we make is this – this is the beginning of a lifelong relationship and it is our desire to work with you overtime,” said Minister Pintard. “While a number of persons would be receiving grants from the government, this is but one of many ways in which you will access resources – financial as well as technical assistance.
“There are a variety of programs that exist in the country that we would love to link you with. And there are a number of private funding agencies that we are interested in introducing you to. You will, of course, have to present the plan and make the pitch.
“But having met you and spoken with you, we know that you will do just fine. And in addition, there are number of international Funding Agencies we would love to introduce you to as well. Some are in the Caribbean and others through the United Nations system.”
Minister Pintard said that it was an honor to have an opportunity to pour just a little bit into the lives of those persons who will be in the forefront of reviving the Grand Bahamian economy.