The month of November 2022 has been declared ‘National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Month’ by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis.
As a result, throughout the month of November there will be a series of events and activities dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments of Bahamian business owners. The month will be spearheaded by the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (SBDC).
During a press conference held at OPM on Tuesday, October 25, Minister of Economic Affairs, the Hon. Michael Halkitis said, “It is well established that micro, small and medium enterprises are the lifeblood of any economy. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the government to promote an environment in which MSMEs can thrive and go on to become large businesses.
“To that end, the government of The Bahamas is committed to supporting the various organizations and entities whose mission it is to promote and support MSMEs. This includes the SBDC, the Bahamas Development Bank, the Venture Capital Fund, the Bahamas Industrial and Agricultural Corporation, the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute and the Central Government of The Bahamas through its procurement practices.”
Minister Halkitis explained that MSME month will provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to take stock of the current environment for MSMEs and discuss and formulate new strategies to support and promote those businesses.
SBDC Interim Executive Director, Samantha L. Rolle said, “We are elated to spearhead this program; this prestigious opportunity to celebrate businesses throughout The Bahamas.
“During the pandemic, our marketing team advocated for the implementation of a small business month and to see this come to fruition is not only heartwarming, but just the motivation for us to continue the journey of empowering Bahamian entrepreneurs and business owners to realize their full potential.”
Ms. Rolle noted that since the COVID-19 pandemic the Centre has seen a 40 per cent increase in its total number of funded clients.
“Year to date, we have received over 600 requests between funding programs, advisory services and mentorship opportunities throughout seven islands.”
She added, “As we seek to expand our presence in the Family Islands by enhancing our service offering, streamlining processes and continuing to forge strategic partnerships, we anticipate an exponential increase in our client base.”
During November, SBDC will host one event in the Family Islands namely: Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama and Long Island followed by an honorary celebration in New Providence on the 30th, which will culminate the close of National MSME Month.