The Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) has assisted another small business with accessing capital from RBC, Venture Capital and the small business grant provided by the Government.
Shiver, a local sorbet and ice-cream brand, received access to over 100,000 dollars in investments with assistance from the SBDC. Founders and CEOs of the company, Melissa Darville and Elvis Percentie, described the news as exciting and another reason to be grateful.
“We are excited”, said Percentie. “I was driving when Melissa called to tell me that they announced we had received the funding. I had to pull to the side of the road and check my phone just to see it for myself. I’m a numbers guy, so I’ve already started calculating where this and that would go, but it’s exciting, and we’re grateful.”
According to Darville, before joining the centre, the two were discussing ways that The Bahamas could aid business owners such as themselves, then they came across the SBDC. Initially, the business owners were unaware that the centre had a funding component to it and joined solely for help with their business documents.
“We didn’t even know that the SBDC offered and assisted with funding. We just needed help with our paperwork, so when it was time for us to go to the bank, we would be ready”, said Percentie. “They surpassed our expectations, and we’re still flabbergasted by the amount of work that they put into assisting our company.”
Darville described her experience working with the team of the SBDC as invaluable.
“Through the SBDC we have access to expert accountants and experts in business, that’s something we can never pay for”, said Darville. Percentie went on to say, “The amount of work they put in we would never be able to afford. Nicholas sometimes messages me at like 12 AM or 1 AM asking if I have certain documents. We appreciate that so much because they are working on our behalf.”
Though a process, the proprietors of Shiver said that the SBDC does not stop business owners from working and pushing their company. Therefore, it’s an addition to the company, and it is entirely free.
“I’ve had people ask me about the SBDC, even ones currently enrolled”, said Percentie. “Whenever they complain about the time of the process, I always say continue to push your business.” Darville added, “businesses naturally take a while to develop, so continue to push your business while the SBDC is out there working for you. It’s not like they tell you not to do anything, go out there and push your business, continue to work. They offer quality expert advice, and that alone is worth it.”
Winston Rolle, SBDC Advisor for Shiver, said that the funding of the company was the result of a team effort by the SBDC and will be used to grow a great product.
“It’s great that Shiver is getting the funding they need to manufacture their product”, said Rolle. “The product is great and is well received. The biggest issue has been meeting the demand for it. This funding allows them to meet demands, produce more and grow as a company. It is the mandate of the SBDC to assist MSMEs, and it’s good to be able to see the progress of the work. It is the result of a team effort by the SBDC.”
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 Employer’s 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.