By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The government and its partners have named Davinia L Blair as executive director (ED) of the planned Small Business Development Centre (SBDC).
She will head the centre, a partnership initiative with the University of The Bahamas (UB) and Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers' Confederation (BCCEC), which is designed to build the institutional framework and support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in their initial development stages.
K Peter Turnquest, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, said: "We are excited to have Ms Blair as our ED to assist in developing and carrying forward our vision for economic and entrepreneurial development for Bahamians.
"She will be supported by a team of professionals, and will have the necessary resources to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the programme, and we anticipate significant results under her leadership."
Through appointments like Ms Blair's, Mr Turnquest said, the government and its partners are "making tangible investments in both human talent and treasure to facilitate the growth, development and real economic emancipation of the Bahamian people".
The SBDC will have links to the Caribbean Small Business Development Centre Project, through which the Organisation of American States (OAS) is supporting member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in bolstering their MSME regime.
Ms Blair has a Master of Science Degree (MSc) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) University of London, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Economics (BA) from the American University of Paris.
She began her academic career at the then-College of The Bahamas, pursuing a degree in Economics. Her private and public sector experience encompasses the pursuit of economic and national development in the service of various entities, ranging from small businesses to multi-million dollar institutions.
Ms Blair has served as a director of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) for two terms. She most recently served at University of the Bahamas (UB) as the vice-president of institutional advancement and alumni affairs. While at UB, she also served as secretary for the Canadian Friends of the University of The Bahamas and served on the UB Investment Committee.