A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on November 7, 2023 between the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) and the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) to assist entrepreneurs with the necessary capital for development of their small and medium-sized businesses (SME’s).
Executive Chairman of BAIC, Leroy Major said that this MOU piggybacks off a previous agreement signed in July 2019. He said at that time, several hundred applications for grants and assistance were being processed.
“Today, I am elated to see the collaboration between BAIC and SBDC come full circle as we sign another Memorandum of Understanding to take our relationship one step further towards ensuring that we can now stimulate entrepreneurs with much-needed financial assistance almost seamlessly.”
He said that while BAIC serves as the business arm of the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, to encourage the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in the country, SBDC is the government agency responsible for assessing loan applications for SME’s seeking government guarantees.
“We have provided entrepreneurs with land for farming and touristic development and assisted with business plans for their projects but many of them continue to be challenged because of a lack of funding,” said Mr. Major. “SBDC will now step in and play a critical role in providing prospective small and medium-sized business loan applicants with critical seed money to assist in their advancement and overall development of entrepreneurship in the country.”
Executive Director of SBDC, Samantha Rolle, was also in attendance and delivered brief remarks. She said she was ‘excited’ and optimistic about the new partnership and was looking forward to continuing to facilitate SME’s in reaching their full potential.