A closing ceremony for Accelerate Bahamas, a strategic partnership between the Inter-American Development Bank Lab (IDB) and the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) was held at the Centre on Thursday, May 18, 2023.
Accelerate Bahamas is a project designed to provide added support to the guaranteed loan program by facilitating greater access to capital for Bahamian Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
Executive Director, SBDC, Samantha Rolle explained that since its launch in 2020, the project has successfully achieved its two-fold objective.
Ms. Rolle said it has built the capacity of Bahamian MSMEs to scale through digital transformation, innovation, adoption and access to finance.
In addition, it has improved the quality of an effective entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem for Bahamian MSMEs through mentorship, entrepreneurial training and other advisory services offered by the SBDC.
Deputy Executive Director, SBDC, Phyllice Bethel said the relationship between the IDB and the SBDC will continue through the Centre’s Credit Enhancement Facility and guaranteed loan program.
Ms. Bethel said, “This means that the IDB will continue to sponsor business plans, business statement compilations and energy audits.
“As it relates to funding, in four months this year, we are close to surpassing the quantity and dollar value of loans approved through the guaranteed loan program over 12 months last year. So our partnership continues and will evolve as we continue to drive a resilient and robust economy together.”
The Country IDB Rep. for The Bahamas, Daniela Carrera Marquis said the IDB lab is an innovation arm of the IDB Group and is the leading source of development finance and expertise for improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The lab promotes early-stage entrepreneurial innovations, focusing on two development priorities in the region:
• benefiting poor and vulnerable populations, and
• activating new engines of sustainable growth.
By LLONELLA GILBERT/Bahamas Information Services