By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The Island Luck Cares Foundation yesterday unveiled the second edition of its OWN Bahamas entrepreneurship initiative, the web shop chain’s chief executive revealing that 12 successful applicants will receive grant funding.
The OWN Bahamas programme was launched last March, and Sebas Bastian said the Foundation received more than 2,000 applicants. Ten were ultimately chosen to receive grant funding ranging from $25,000 to $5,000 to assist with launching their businesses.
“This year we are going to reward 12 successful applicants with grant funding. Two will receive $25,000, five will receive $10,000 and five applicants will receive $5,000,” said Mr Bastian.
He added that in addition to the funding, the successful applicants will be given the opportunity to enrol into the ‘How to Manage a Small Business’ certification course offered by OWN’s education partner, the College of the Bahamas (COB).
All grant recipients’ will areceive a prize package from OWN’s corporate partners, which include the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), which will provide two years of Internet service.
Two applicants, in addition to receiving $25,000 in grant funding, will be sent on an all-expenses paid trip to China to attend the Canton Trade Fair in April.
The deadline for the submission of applications is February 24.
“OWN is all about taking ordinary people and creating ordinary things. I’m a firm believer that in order to change the economy in the way we want it to change, we have to start by building our Bahamian people. I want to see Bahamians owning a piece of this Bahamas, and not just being ordinary employees,” said Mr Bastian.
“There are a lot of niche businesses that Bahamians can get into. We want to encourage innovation. We want Bahamians to think outside of the box. We know that young and old entrepreneurs will find it very difficult to find funding to start up their own business.”