In an effort to improve business relations in The Bahamas, the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) announced Tuesday that it has partnered with the government, Chamber of Commerce and the University of The Bahamas to facilitate a centre to help entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs with troubleshooting matters.
Offering a myriad of services, the SBDC is primarily designed to provide advisory services to people who would like to open a company or expand their existing businesses.
In an interview with Eyewitness News Tuesday, SBDC Executive Director Davinia Blair said, SBDC also provides training to persons outside the centre’s core group of clients.
“Any small to medium size businesses who would require some consultant assistance for their businesses to grow and thrive; it’s set up specifically to serve their needs,” Blair confirmed.
“The training programs … is geared towards – in some cases – general courses and in some cases bespoke courses to help individuals grow their business based on their individual challenges.”
According to Blair, individual business challenges may range from financial management, some of the technical aspects of operations and more importantly, customer service.
On September 20, Blair said SBDC will launch its advocacy services, which will cover various aspects of one’s business.
“Customer Service is a very important component of many small businesses here [The Bahamas],” she noted.
“The Chamber of Commerce to date has quite a bit of the macro advocacy for all sorts of businesses; small to medium size business as well. At the SBDC, we’re looking to focus on the micro.
“… small clusters of companies may require assistance in solving logistical and import problems; or solving value-added tax (VAT) challenges, et al.
“If you have a product that needs to have access to a certain market and you need assistance getting that access, whether that’s directly through relationships with local or international companies – and may also require some government assistance.
“… if you need help getting access to something or somewhere, that’s our job.” the executive director said to Eyewitness News yesterday.
Blair also noted that inspiration is a major factor in turning over people’s interest to work with SBDC.
“Inspiration – we’re finding is also going to be very important. Not just an inspiration for persons the process, to join the trade of wanting to start their own business,” she said, “… but the inspiration to stick with the tools; to follow the advice; to do the research and homework and to stay on top of the trends that are happening locally and globally,” she stated.
Aspiring and current entrepreneurs have submitted proposals seeking consultation, and Blair emphasize that SBDC is “strictly advisory services”.
“In order for this project to work, it is our job as advisors, to see what’s happening in the company first,” she said.