Categorized | Featured, National News

New program for entrepreneurs

DPM Turnquest

Owners of micro, small and medium sized business now have millions of dollars in financial backing to pump into their companies.

It was annoouced  during the last budget debate that  the government allocated $5.5 million for the cause, with the small business development backing it up with another $3.5 million for a total $9 million.

While the program is designed specifically for young Bahamians,  Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Peter Turnquest said access to capital does not discriminate on the basis of age. The only requirement is that the applicant must be Bahamian.

“The program is open to any participant, the only restriction or part of the program that we target more towards that 40 and under is the grant program. 

“So, if persons that are older than that,  have an idea the joint venture capital fund is still open to them, The Bahamas Development Bank is still open to them and depending upon the lending policies of the financial institutions, they are still open to them. 

“The government will still provide support to all of those structures for any qualified existing entrepreneur or new entrant,” he said.

The minister explained that the access capital program will entail the following: 

First – government guaranteed loans; entrepreneurs will now need far less – if any – personal collateral to qualify for a small business loan.

Second, impoverished young Bahamians will receive immediate seed money to pump into their business and third, business owners will receive access to money from investors in exchange for a small share in the company.

“We’re not just handing out  money, we are ensuring that businesses have the necessary tools and support they need to be successful. After all, this is not our money.

“This money is accessed through the SBDC’s structured training and business advisory program, which was set up with an independent governance structure, so that persons do not have to come through politicians to get approval, and that is important as it is one of the most important pillars of this program,” he said.   

Considering  the  demand for capital is high, the government plans to invest $25 million over a five-year period.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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