Monday, Oct 14, 2019
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The vibrant entrepreneurial spirit

The Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) has almost 2,500 prospective entrepreneurs on a waiting list seeking access to the center’s services, according to SBDC Executive Director Davinia Blair.

The SBDC started last September and is a partnership between the Ministry of Finance, University of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation.

The government allocated $25 million over five years to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Bahamians are clearly eager to start businesses. The strong demand for services has created a waiting list at the SBDC.

This is a good problem. You truly only learn demand when you open your doors. The team running the SBDC will have to staff up to assist the would-be entrepreneurs.

We should be encouraged that so many Bahamians want to innovate. Wealth in societies is created through the creativity and hard work of citizens. Men and women who take great risks – sometimes spending everything they have, and borrowing what they don’t – create jobs and prosperity.

In a properly functioning society there is a permissive attitude toward entrepreneurship. There is not too much regulation, bureaucracy and taxation, disincentivizing business people from trying. Growth takes place in vibrant marketplaces where goods and services can be exchanged, where trade happens.

Government by nature is a parasite. It makes nearly all of its money through taxing productive people and businesses. It’s nice that through this initiative the government is giving back some of that tax money to help those who want to be creative.

Small ideas with great potential can turn into Microsofts and Apples, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, employing more than 100,000 people. This is why it is so important to create an environment open to risk-taking in business. One person with a dream could build a local, regional or global titan.

It’s a good time to get into business in The Bahamas. The economy is projected to have grown by two-plus percent last year, and by the same this year.

We had a record year in tourism in 2018. And, those robust arrivals numbers continue into 2019.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis pledged help for would-be businesspeople. He is delivering. Minnis considers himself more businessman than politician.

We hope decision-making at the SBDC is apolitical. When politics gets involved in such matters money goes to friends and supporters. Few sustainable business are created and the dollars are pocketed. That’s the story of the Bahamas Development Bank.

We hope this center is a success. Government is at its best when it helps facilitate fair opportunity to the industrious among us. And that’s the goal of this center.

In defense of Rupert
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