Monday, Jul 13, 2020
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Small Business Development Centre in search for senior business development specialist

The hunt is expected to begin today for the first senior business development specialist to be hired by the newly launched Small Business Development Centre (SBDC). It is one more way in which the centre’s Executive Director (ED) Davinia Blair, is seeding the ground for success ahead of the official launch of the SBDC, which is designed to strengthen the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector in The Bahamas.

The SBDC is a result of a partnership between the government – through the Ministry of Finance – and the University of the Bahamas (UB) and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC). The government announced Blair’s appointment as ED in June 2018.

The SBDC’s business development specialists will provide clients with confidential, one-on-one advising on such areas as business plans, intellectual property development, strategic/tactical planning, cost efficiency, sales, marketing and start-up financing. For startups and those already in business, these advisors will also be able to advise on expanding businesses with a focus on market penetration, exporting, operational efficiency, right-sizing, tax and incentives management and growth financing.

The senior business development specialist will be responsible for leading that charge, and for setting the standard at which advisory services must be offered. Selecting the right individual will go far toward helping the SBDC fulfill its mandate of guiding the development and funding of MSMEs throughout the country.

In addition to “getting the right people on the bus” – so to speak – Blair is prepping the SBDC to be able to offer a suite of critical services to the MSME sector. To begin with, in addition to the one-on-one advising services, the SBDC and its partners – UB and the BCCEC – will host training seminars and events to equip and inspire Bahamian entrepreneurs. The SBDC will also provide incubation services for some of its clientele, and will advocate on behalf of the MSME sector as a whole or on behalf of clusters of companies.

One of the most important functions of the SBDC will be helping clients access capital: while the SBDC is not a direct provider of capital, it will ensure the seamless facilitation of access to capital 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.

To help with these aims, the SBDC has also issued a request for proposals for development of an SBDC website.

Ms. Blair said the SBDC will be the one-stop-shop where the myriad motivations for getting into business and growing a business get turned into reality. “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.



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