Davinia L. Blair has been appointed Executive Director (ED) of the imminent Small Business Development Centre (SBDC). Ms. Blair’s appointment signals the government’s commitment to building and supporting the institutional framework and the national support programme for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The SBDC is the product of a tri-partite arrangement between the Government, the University of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer’s Confederation and the Ministry of Finance. The Centre works to guide the development and funding of MSME throughout the country. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest said, “We are excited to have Ms. Blair as our ED, to assist in developing and carrying forward our vision for economic and entrepreneurial development for Bahamians. She will be supported by a team of professionals and will have the necessary resources to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the programme, and we anticipate significant results under her leadership.”
Through appointments like Ms. Blair’s, Mr. Turnquest said, the government and its partners in this endeavor are “making tangible investments in both human talent and treasure to facilitate the growth, development and real economic emancipation of the Bahamian people.” The SBDC will connect to the Caribbean Small Business Development Centre Project, through which the Organization of American States (OAS) is supporting member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in bolstering their MSME regime. Ms. Blair has a Master of Science Degree (MSc.) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) University of London, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Economics (BA) from The American University of Paris. She started off her academic career at the then-College of The Bahamas, pursuing a degree in Economics. She is a highly skilled economist with a facility for strong financial and quantitative decision analysis. Her private and public sector experience encompasses the pursuit of economic and national development in the service of diverse entities ranging from small businesses to multi-million dollar institutions.
Ms. Blair has served as a director of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer’s Confederation (BCCEC) for two terms. She most recently served at University of The Bahamas as the Vice-President of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Affairs. While at UB, she also served as Secretary for the Canadian Friends of the University of The Bahamas and served on the UB Investment Committee. The SBDC concept is one that has worldwide endorsement and affirmation. Such centers help prospective entrepreneurs realize their dreams of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing national, regional and global marketplace.