Grand Bahama Port Authority’s (GBPA) Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau is set to open its fifth Small Business Fair and Expo on Thursday, June 20, in pursuit of inspiring young entrepreneurs and their development in trade and business.
Organizers of the event shared details of the upcoming expo, recently (June 12), which will be held at the Pelican Bay Resort, – during a press conference.
The fair and expo, a one-day event, is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and concludes at 4:00 p.m. It is open to GBPA business licensees and non-licensees.
According to organizers, there will be exciting pop-up deals, diverse presentations from dynamic speakers and awe-inspiring insight, on the steps to success.
GBPA President Ian Rolle, noted that the event is to support micro and small businesses throughout the City of Freeport, while speaking to the importance of merging all business owners, together.
“In this vein, I am excited to announce that GBPA and the Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau are proud to host the Fifth Annual GBPA Small Business Fair and Expo under the theme, ‘Inspire Your Greatness.’ As in previous years, we will strive to provide an environment that ignites creativity and inspiration for participants and attendees.
“There will be engaging and informative presentations by renowned industry professionals, who will share information, ideas and guidance; all intended to inspire each of us.
“They will speak on topics that both impact and benefit small businesses, such as accessing capital and the government’s new Access Accelerator Small Businesses Development Centre Programme Technology and its presenters and growing to greatness with strategies for growth and success.”
He added that this year’s event promises to be more informative, engaging and most of all, inspiring than in years before. “It will be an ideal opportunity to network and connect with business affiliates, potential customers, vendors and service providers, as we want to encourage attendees to expand existing ideas or to start a completely new venture.”
Rolle said that over the months, Freeport will witness a new generation of development that will be transformational and unprecedented.
More importantly, he expressed, the island has a place for every Bahamian, especially for those who dare to do great things.
“I encourage you to attend, participate and be engaged with intention and with open-mindedness. Come expecting and seeking new and creative ideas that will launch your new or next opportunity, as we at GBPA would often say, ‘the possibilities are endless.’”
Invest Grand Bahama, Business Development Senior Manager Derek Newbold informed the Small Business Bureau initiative was birthed as a facilitator for the development and growth of the small business community in Freeport.
“Our initial focus was on creating value for our licensees, by offering free education and training initiatives geared towards enhancing business skills. We have since evolved into an agency that offers so much more,” Newbold said.
“In addition to SME training, we introduced a Business Concierge and Retention Programme, a grant funding scheme – The Capital Arena – we have pioneered the introduction of crowdfunding in Freeport through collaborations with companies like Indiegogo, and we encouraged Bahamians to shop local through ongoing campaigns and annual initiatives like Buy Local, Shop at Home and Flash Friday.
“We have been strong proponents of online businesses and e-Commerce, hosting global online sales provider like Shopify and providing basic website development training.
“We have also been strong agitators of innovation, hosting global AgTech leaders like AeroFarms, introducing a business diversity waiver where we waive the first year’s business license fee for unique businesses. We have also showcased global pop-up leaders and innovators like storefront and General Electric,” he added.
Newbold said that GBPA realized one of the challenges to small business offerings, was the lack of diversity. “It’s extremely important for us to continue to provide business exposure opportunities to our small business owners, by allowing them to join us at events like the International Franchise Expo and Source Direct at ASD.
“Our Annual Small Business Fair is another important event on our calendar, where we seek to empower licensees and entrepreneurs.
“This year’s event promises to be transformational, so if you haven’t already registered you may want to do so as soon as possible because space is limited,” he concluded excitedly.
A number of the speakers and exhibitors participating in the Fair and Expo attended the press conference, including Digital Media Visionary President and Digital Director Brinard Sweeting, who said he will be presenting on the importance of online and digital presence.
Noting his “high interest” in working with myth busters, Sweeting said, he will be teaching on how to work around controversial ideas in a respectable manner.
FOWLCO Limited, CEO and President Glennett Fowler said, her topic will be on Growth and Strategies.
Fowler added that she will speak on her steps to success and explain the challenges of sustainable growth despite a breach in the economy.
“I am going to take a twist on that, and it will be, basically, about the rise of the street hustle; the growth of an accidental business that was not intended to naturally evolve into a business but has grown to a medium size company at this point.
“I am excited to share the details and some of the insight that I have learned, pitfalls, challenges and overcoming. I am hopeful that persons will come out to learn more about what FOWLCO has to offer and how you can also grow your business in this type of economy that we are trying to revamp,” Fowler said.
Bank of The Bahamas, Merchant Associate Michaella Perpall, exhibitor, said locals must come out to the expo to see the exciting deals the bank has to offer.
“On June 20, we would like to ask the public support for the GBPA Small Business event. We will be offering lots of specials,” she noted. “So, we encourage you to come out and find out what Bank of The Bahamas has going on.”
Columbian Emeralds, Pandora, Home Centre and many others are among the list exhibitors for the Fair and Expo.