From a desire to affordably improve a daughter’s food options to a successful startup, Tiny Tot’s Organics is moving into 2022 in a fabulous fashion. The Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre facilitated an investment of $140,730 for Tiny Tot’s Organics. The Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund provided the organic baby products supplier over $120,000 in debt funding and the Access Accelerator provided $20,000 in a matching grant.
Tiny Tot’s Organics is an online store offering both wholesale and retail 100 per cent organic products for infants and children – predominantly organic food, snacks and beverages. Owned by Welyncia Ramsey, Tiny Tot’s Organics was created out of a mother’s need for more organic food alternatives for her daughter.
Ramsey said, “During 2019 I had a baby and when she started eating solid foods I initially made her food myself but I realized that the cost of fruits and vegetables is really high and when I made the food sometimes she did not like certain flavours so I would store it but it would go to waste. I eat a lot of organic items and wanted organic options for my baby but when I went shopping at the local food stores none of the options was available, literally none. I found one store here that had the organic brands but the pricing was a bit exorbitant.”
She continued, “When I traveled I found the brands I was looking for so I brought some back and asked my friends who had babies around the same age as my daughter if organic food was something that they too would be interested in feeding their babies and they said yes. I bought a few products and launched the online business just to see how it would go. I felt like maybe the larger stores aren’t carrying these products for a reason, maybe people are not responsive to it. So, I did not want to jump in fully and be stuck with all of these products. The online sales went well and I reached out to a few food stores that also agreed to carry the products and it grew from there.”
Not new to the entrepreneurial space, Ramsey has always wanted to be a business owner and started her first business when she was still in her teens. She says that experience prepared her to overcome any obstacle. “I have always wanted to be a serial entrepreneur,” Ramsey said. “I started my first small business, along with my brother, at 18 years old. We created and sold authentic handmade souvenir magnets to tourists – retail and local vendors – wholesale. After that, I took on a few other business ventures which eventually led to Tiny Tot’s Organics.”
She continued, “From inception, there have been trials and situations that I sometimes felt like I could not overcome but by God’s grace the journey has pushed me into purpose. I’ve learned how to be resilient, innovative, and find solutions to just about any problem. I believe that to be a successful entrepreneur one must always be willing to learn and view things from different perspectives. This is how mutually beneficial relationships are forged and promising futures are built. Presently, despite the pandemic, the journey is rewarding not just financially but it allowed growth for my critical thinking, risk tolerance and most importantly persistence.”
Grateful for the funding that will be used to increase inventory, Ramsey reflects on her journey with the Access Accelerator.
“I am grateful for the funding through the Access Accelerator. It gave me the opportunity to upscale my business and to expand my product line without the frustration of having to go through the bank. With the banks, it is a bit harder to access funding so I was grateful for that. I also did not have to depend on only my company’s revenue to grow to this point where I am now because I am sure it would have taken a longer time to get to this point,” Ramsey said. “The entire process with the Access Accelerator was great, a smooth transaction. Everyone that I dealt with was very hands-on, thorough and helpful.”
Having completed the funding stage of the Access Accelerator journey, the serial entrepreneur encouraged other business owners not to give up and explore all that the organization has to offer.
Ramsey said, “I encourage business owners who maybe are considering going to the Access Accelerator to do it. I always tell people when they ask me about my process it was not like I applied yesterday and was approved today. I originally applied for the standalone grant that gives you $5,000 and I applied three times for that initiative. I did not receive any of the grants but I took that as a sign from God that He had greater and better in store for me. Then someone explained to me that had I received the $5,000 grant I would not have been able to access the grant that I did receive which was a lot more, that was a blessing. My advice would be not to give up because you get a “no”
here or there and to explore all of the alternatives that the Access Accelerator has to offer. I only explored my options after not receiving the grant so I encourage business owners to stick it out, get more information, connect with the people there but do not give up because you did not get approved.”
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.