Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest said by bringing in additional funding from Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre’s (SMDC) partners, the government’s $5.5 million
The partners include Scotiabank, The Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund, RBC Banking and The Bahamas Development Bank.In attendance at the press conference were: Marlon Johnson, Financial Secretary; Geoffrey Andrews, Chairman, SBDC; Davinia Blair, Executive Director, SBDC; Na-amah Rahming-Barker, Director, Retail Banking, Scotiabank; and Kevin Darling, Caribbean Head, RBC Banking. The DPM explained that by signing onto the access to capital agreement, the partners have demonstrated that Bahamians are worth taking a chance on and investing in.
“This programme is specifically designed to give access to capital to young Bahamians and Bahamians from disadvantaged backgrounds who have ideas but have never had the opportunity because they do not have the means.”He said there are three parts to the Access for Capital. First, Government guaranteed loans where entrepreneurs will now need far less – if any – personal collateral to qualify for a small business loan by virtue of the Government’s 75 percent guarantee. Second, there will be grants for impoverished young Bahamians, which means immediate seed money to pump businesses and to support a loan or equity injection.
These grants are specifically targeted at Family Island entrepreneurs and young people under 40 with little financial means. Individual grants will be capped at $20,000. This money will not have to be paid back and grants are paid directly to vendors for the goods and services provided to the entrepreneur. Third, there will be equity financing, which means access to money from investors in exchange for a share of the company. For a small business, the investor would become a minority partner, until the business matures and the investor can be bought out. The target range from this form of financing is approximately $20,000 to $