BAIC signs MOU with Small Business Development Centre
Officials of the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) and the Small Business Development Centre signed an historic and landmark memorandum of understanding at BAIC headquarters on Wednesday, July 3. The agreement makes way for business plans required by scores of SBDC clients to be researched and produced exclusively by BAIC staff with specifications by SBDC. The business plans will assist SBDC clients with access to development funding through the Bahamas Development Bank, the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund and the Small Business Development Centre.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by BAIC Chairman Bishop Gregory Collie and SBDC Chairman Geoffrey Andrews. The signing of the historic document was witnessed by BAIC Director Kim Gibson and SBDC Executive Director Davinia Blair. BAIC board member Ethan Adderley, along with members of BAIC’s executive management team led by General Manager Benjamin Rahming, were also in attendance.
Bishop Collie stated that in addition to assisting SBDC’s clients with business plan services, BAIC will also provide research and feasibility studies; support and advisory services especially on agricultural- and handicraft-related projects; the lease of industrial land and parks; assistance with market access both domestically and internationally; and leverage regional and international relationships to the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises and clients of the Small Business Development Centre.
Collie also revealed that “The business plans which the corporation produces on behalf of SBDC clients, will become a vehicle by which prospective and existing entrepreneurs may source funds for start-up or expansion, but more importantly, serve as a road map to starting and operating a business.”
Blair said there are over 4,000 clients waiting to be served to expedite the path towards their dream. She said the “memorandum of understanding cements the bilateral relationship between BAIC and SBDC” as they are the first two agencies working with small business enterprises to begin streamlining and segregating tasks to be able to utilize the resources provided by the government a lot more efficiently. Blair stated that she was excited to have BAIC’s team serve the thousands of clients of the SBDC. “We have individuals right now who are waiting to be served all the way into February of next year and hopefully through this relationship we can accelerate their path to funding,” she said.
In the memorandum of understanding, BAIC and SBDC agreed to explore opportunities of mutual interest that support their mandates for business development services for small and medium-sized enterprises; to communicate openly and effectively so as to ensure that all parties are fully knowledgeable and to conduct a monthly meeting to manage the relationship, resolve issues and discuss opportunities.
Bishop Collie said BAIC looks forward to the full implementation of the agreement to the satisfaction and success of the clients of SBDC and BAIC and indeed the country as a whole, as both agencies strive toward greater independence, business opportunities and reduction of unemployment for our citizens and residents.