By Mark A. Turnquest
We, a group of local consultants, are finalising a small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) needs analysis survey in New Providence. At the completion of surveying about 400 SMEs in New Providence, about 500 Family Island SMEs will also be interviewed, so that a comprehensive evaluation can be conducted to determine all the challenges and potential opportunities that SMEs in the Bahamas are facing in what is a volatile sector.
This SME needs analysis research is the beginning of the end in creating a Small and Medium Sized Development Agency (SMEDA). The expected final result is that a comprehensive SME development framework will be developed, consisting of financial funding, business management training, accounting and marketing support.
The underlining particulars of the SME survey are articulated as follows: “The Government of the Bahamas (GOBH) has requested support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to develop a comprehensive and coherent institutional framework to support Bahamian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including those in the Family Islands.
“For this purpose, under the Compete Caribbean (CC) Programme, the Technical Cooperation ‘Policy and Institutional Framework for SME Development in the Bahamas’ (the programme or project) was approved and signed with the Government of the Bahamas, through the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The general objective of the project is to improve the business climate, and competitiveness and coherent institutional framework to support SMEs, including those in the Family Islands.
“This project is to develop a comprehensive and coherent institutional framework to support Bahamian Small and Medium sized Enterprises, including those in the Family Islands.
“Through the new institutional framework for SME development and a particular strategy for the productive sector in the Family Islands, the programme seeks to increase productivity in the sectors that represent the majority of firms in the country.
“The programme will deliver important products that are stand-alone and do not depend on external factors for success, particularly in-depth information on SMEs and a basis for its permanent review, as well as a programme for the Family Island to act as a driver for overall SME development and sectoral linkages. If the new institutional framework is subsequently implemented, the impact to economic growth and income distribution, particularly regional, would be important as local businesses would increase their contribution to growth and improve overall productivity.
“This would also help improve the competitiveness of the tourism sector, and potentially decrease the need for imported goods and services that could be provided by local firms, which would help in preventing long-term external imbalances.
“The programme is also expected to generate much-needed knowledge about barriers that impede women from developing more competitive and productive businesses, as well as the impact that specifically targeted business development services and programmes have on the performance of these businesses”
For more information to participate in the research, contact Mark A. Turnquest at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 326-6748 / 427-3640 or log on to www.markturnquestconsulting.com.