The newly-launched Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) will today begin the search for its first Senior Business Advisor (SBA).
Davinia Blair, the centre's executive director, is laying the platform for the SBDC's momentum ahead of its official launch.
The centre, which is designed to strengthen the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector, is a partnership between the Ministry of Finance, University of the Bahamas (UB) and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers' Confederation (BCCEC). The government announced Ms Blair's appointment in June 2018.
The SBDC's business advisors (BAs) will provide clients with confidential, one-on-one advice on areas such as business plans, intellectual property development, strategic/tactical planning, cost efficiency, sales, marketing and start-up financing.
For start-ups and those already in business, the advisers will also assist in expanding their operations with a focus on market penetration, exporting, operational efficiency, right-sizing, tax and incentives management, and growth financing.
Apart from "getting the right people on the bus", Ms Blair is readying the SBDC to offer several key services to the MSME sector. Apart from the one-on-one advisory services, the SBDC and its partners will host training seminars and events to equip and inspire Bahamian entrepreneurs.
The SBDC will provide incubation services for some of its clientele, and will advocate on behalf of the MSME sector - either as a whole or on behalf of clusters of companies.
"Whatever the motivation in the mind of the business creator, it is the job of the SBDC to see and interpret that vision, to pull together the pieces to accomplish it, and to put in place a system to monitor and guide the expansion or delivery of that vision. That's our job," Ms Blair said.
While the SBDC is not a direct provider of capital, it will facilitate access to financing for clients. SBDC clients will be advised on the right capital structure for their companies, and directed to one of the pre-negotiated programmes for further assistance.