Small Business Development Centre – Successful Trip to Jamaica

(Pictured Executive Director Davinia Blair, Nichols Higgs, our Senior Business Strategist and Advisor for the SBDC, Winston Rolle, with team members from the Development Bank of Jamaica, Kingston).

“Access Accelerator Confirms It is on the Right Track Following Visit to Jamaica”
• IDB provides an opportunity for the SBDC to visit Jamaica
• SBDC team meets with regional neighbors to learn and share
• SBDC visits with the IDB of Jamaica and Jamaica Business Development Corporation
A team from the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) visited Jamaica from February 10th-13th, 2019. Courtesy of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the trip was designed for seniors leaders of the SBDC to meet with organizations
assisting and promoting entrepreneurship in small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) within that country. The trip provided leaders of the SBDC an opportunity to sit with executives of several
agencies providing services to small businesses including the IDB of Jamaica, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation and the Development Bank of Jamaica. Each organization plays a significant role in the continued expansion of Jamaica’s MSMEs and robust manufacturing sector.

Davinia Blair, Access Accelerator Executive Director, deemed the trip a success. “We are grateful to the Inter-American Development Bank for this opportunity to network with like- minded organizations in Jamaica,” said Blair. “The comradery, understanding, and ideas exchanged reinforced that we are on the right track. ” What stood out to Blair the most was a conversation with Althea Meyers-Walters, Manager of Business Services at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation. “Walters said that what makes them successful is that they ‘don’t sell business plans like bags of flour over the counter’ and I wholeheartedly agreed. To date we have over 3000 entrepreneurs signed up for our program across New Providence and the Family Islands. We are going to get to each one of them, but it will be a process because processes are necessary to ensure these businesses
succeed. Like Walter’s said, no bags of flour.”

Accompanying Blair to Jamaica were Nicholas Higgs, Senior Business Development Specialist, and Winston Rolle, Business Advisor who called the short trip beneficial and successful. “Even though it was only a two-day trip, we found it to be beneficial, and we came back with
many insights that can help us to sharpen our model here,” Rolle said. “We were able to get alternative options, and foster ideas on how to best handle the large influx of clientele as a start-up and streamlining persons in a process that will help us to be even more efficient and
effective.” The group looks forward to connecting further with similar organizations to better implement successful systems and initiatives to boost the creation and sustainability of small and medium-sized enterprises in The Bahamas. The SBDC is the product of a tripartite arrangement between the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, University of The Bahamas (UB) and the Bahamas Chamber of
Commerce and Employer’s Confederation (BCCEC). The Centre will work to guide the development, funding, growth, and evolution of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (“MSMEs”) in The Bahamas.

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