Executive Director of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) Davinia Blair said yesterday that the first round of funding for businesses that have come through the center could go out before the end of this month.
Blair said some businesses have come into the center with complete business plans and need only minimal or no coaching on the next move for their businesses.
According to Blair, it is not known if the $5 million per year pledged by the government to help the development of small businesses will be used up before the next budgetary cycle, but she explained that the SBDC will go through the numbers submitted by companies and ensure that they are not underfunded.
“Too many people start a business underfunded,” Blair said. “We configure those numbers to ensure they succeed.”
Last week the SBDC officially opened its doors and has already served 49 clients representing a number of industries, said Blair.
According to her, at least 11 percent of the people coming into the SBDC are interested in building a food and beverage-based business; about 14 percent have provided information about starting industrial/construction-based businesses; 14 percent retail; 14 percent entertainment and social media; and nine percent are technology-based companies.
More than 950 people have signed up to be part of the SBDC and take advantage of its benefits. Appointments for entrepreneurs to meet with advisors are booked up to 2019 and continue to grow.
Blair said recently that as potential entrepreneurs begin to see successful businesses grow out of the SBDC, more are likely to sign up.