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One million dollars for small businesses through Access Accelerator and Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund partnership

The Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre (Access Accelerator) has partnered with the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund Ltd. (BEVF) to assist with the execution of one million dollars in loans as a part of the Access Accelerator’s Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Loan Guarantee Programme.

The programme is a product of funding through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The funding gives the Government of The Bahamas $25,000,000 for a Credit Enhancement Programme, of which $22,000,000 guarantees loans to MSMEs through the Access Accelerator over five years.

The Access Accelerator has partnered with financial institutions like BEVF to facilitate the distribution of loans to small businesses. The loans are guaranteed up to 75% based on the funding provided by the IDB. However, to incentivize special industries some guarantees will be up to 90%. The industries include but are not limited to, fishing and farming, manufacturing and value-added processes, orange economy and technology.

Davinia Bain, Executive Director of the Access Accelerator, thanked BEVF for seeing the potential of the small business sector and agreeing to be a part of the programme.

Bain said, “This guarantee loan programme will broaden small businesses access to funding that is normally difficult to receive through a normal commercial bank loan process. The Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund choice to partner to assist with the facilitation of the guaranteed loans speaks to their dedication to the success of Bahamian businesses. We thank them for taking this step. Together, we are accelerating access, opportunities and the impact of the small business sector on the overall economy – this is the work that makes it all worthwhile.”

Michael Cunningham, Chairman of the BEVF, described the partnership as a privilege, noting that the Access Accelerator has filled a void that existed in the organization.

Cunningham said, “We count it a privilege to assist the Access Accelerator in the execution of the MSME Loan Guarantee Programme. Since the inception of the Access Accelerator, the relationship that the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund Limited (BEVF) has built with the organization has made it very easy to work together to adjudicate such loans. The BEVF’s experience and working knowledge with the local SMEs enhanced our effectiveness in assisting the Access Accelerator in executing loan applications.”

He continued, “The partnership arrangement with the Access Accelerator has filled the void that existed with the BEVF, i.e., coaching, training, and development of entrepreneurs prior to accessing capital. The BEVF has also partnered with the Bahamas Development Bank and the Bahamas Agricultural Industrial Corporation with the mandate to eliminate duplications, reduce cost and become more relevant and efficient in assisting SMEs in The Bahamas.”

The Access Accelerator is the product of a tripartite arrangement between the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, University of The Bahamas (UB) and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC). The Centre works to guide the development, funding, growth, and evolution of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (“MSMEs”) in The Bahamas. Visit us at www.accessaccelerator.org.

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