High demand making SBDC’s current model unsustainable

The Small Business Development Centre/Access Accelerator’s (SBDC) Executive Director Davinia Grant said on Wednesday that financial technology (fintech) and additional advisor training will assist the SBDC in reaching more people in a more streamlined manner, as she contended that the center’s current model of assistance is unsustainable, with its current client load of 5,000.

Grant, who spoke at an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) press conference to formalize a technical cooperation agreement, explained that the SBDC is currently advising 2,100 clients, with another 3,000 waiting to be served by only 20 advisors. She called that model unsustainable.

“You can understand the appetite in the country for developing businesses, owning a piece of this economy,” Grant said.

“It’s not something one organization can really accomplish alone. There is no way 20 advisors can serve 5,000 people and that’s current demand.”

She said there are still lots of people who have not yet heard of the services offered by the SBDC and subsequently there is the potential for many more SBDC clients to appear.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest, who also spoke at the press conference, apologized to those SBDC clients who have been waiting to enter into programs.

“I apologize for the delay and we are working to increase capacity,” Turnquest said.

He added, though, that the SBDC is carrying out its promise to stimulate small business in the country and help entrepreneurs to realize their objectives for the development of the Bahamian economy.

“The Accelerate Bahamas project is another fulfillment of our promise to stimulate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in The Bahamas and support the development growth and dynamism of The Bahamas’ micro, small and medium-sized enterprises,” Turnquest said.

“Sustained economic growth must be driven by Bahamian investment and creativity, in tandem with strategic foreign direct investment.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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