iDiscover successfully obtained over $93,000 in equity investment from The Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund, through the Access Accelerator, Small Business Development Centre (SBDC).
iDiscover, is a village of authentically Bahamian creative businesses offering a cultural and creative experience to guests. Currently, the experience includes three chefs, 10 farmers and 16 craftspeople.
Tehranique Darrell and her team created iDisover out of demand. The entrepreneur started walking tours in Downtown, New Providence that would take visitors from Parliament Square to the Hilton. During the tours, guests would constantly ask if there was a nearby option that allowed them to buy souvenirs and enjoy creative experiences in one place. As she continuously told her customers no, Darrell began asking herself, “why not?”
Inspired, Darrell and her business partners began researching market trends, vetting interested vendors and creating training programs. As they carried out the tasks the vision began to take shape and iDiscover was created. What was once a frequent question was transformed into a niche market that serves the needs of both consumers and Bahamian artisans.
Having almost all areas except financial investment covered, the iDiscover team joined the SBDC just to see how far the company would be able to go in the program.
“The team and I found out about the Access Accelerator from the newspaper during its initial rollout,” said Darrell. “Honestly, we knew that we had almost every area covered within the company except funding which is usually the case with small businesses. We decided to sign up just to see how far it would go. It was more curiosity than anything else in the beginning.”
Now that the creative village is funded the iDiscover team is grateful and excited to launch.
Darrell said, “It has been a long and winding journey. I hate to sound cliché, but we are grateful, we are excited, and we are ready to get started.”
She continued: “The access to this capital takes our vision and turns it to reality. Once construction is complete, the site will come alive with eager craftisans and farmers. This is where the work begins. Having a business advisor and the support of a knowledgeable team made the difference between wondering in the dark and having a lit path to success for iDiscover.
“There are so many things to consider when attempting to access capital. My advisor was able to shed light on all options and how they would affect my company and its operations. From advisors, to cheerleaders, to general support – the SBDC team has it all.”
Encouraging other small business owners to join the SBDC, Darrell believes that although the process may seem tedious it is necessary, allowing for entrepreneurs to consider all things and prepare for all possibilities.
The SBDC 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 will work to guide the development, funding, growth, and evolution of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (“MSMEs”) in The Bahamas.