Min. Moxey says SBDC ‘Level Up’ seminar for entrepreneurs is a timely one in face of Innovate 242

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey (center) poses for a photo with participants of the Level Up seminar on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at the Grand Lucayan Resort. Minister Moxey was the keynote speaker at the seminar which was organized by the Small Business Development Center.

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey said the vision for the island of Grand Bahama is not just to become the home for maritime and logistics, and the home for events and entertainment, but to also become the home for innovation, where the island will pilot many of the revolutionary tech solutions to some of the challenges that the island and The Bahamas face.

Speaking at the opening of the Level Up Entrepreneurial Training seminar held at the Grand Lucayan Resort on Saturday, September 9, 2023, Minister Moxey noted that the seminar’s focus on tech solutions and training businesses to digitize was appropriate.

“As the Minister for Grand Bahama, I am also the Cabinet Chair for Innovate 242, developed to propel the Bahamas as the center of innovation for the Caribbean,” Minister Moxey told seminar participants.

“Innovate 242 will foster innovation, attract tech entrepreneurs, and provide a platform for collaboration on tech-centered solutions for various problems. This hub will be a nucleus for creative minds to converge and revolutionize industries.”

Minister Moxey outlined the “five pillars” for Innovate 242, which include:

* The digital nomad program, with 16 islands to consider as a destination for remote work.
* Tech campuses on various islands in the Bahamas like the “we work” model including villas, hotels, restaurants and entertainment.
* Grand Bahama, as the center for sustainability and the island specifically designed to accommodate international business.
* Incubation and start-up facilitation with incubators located on three islands of the Bahamas, namely New Providence, Exuma and Grand Bahama.
* And a Bahamas tech fund, with a government committed to seed funding to support tech industry entrepreneurs in collaboration with tech hubs from around the world.

“We believe that GB is ideally situated to pilot many of the innovative tech solutions in the area of resiliency and sustainability such as tech tourism, climate change, adaptation, mitigation, renewable energy, environment and master plan development,” Minister Moxey added.

“We’ve already signed an MOU with HUB 350 in Ottawa, Canada. We look forward in the next few weeks to signing many more agreements with major international tech hubs. A truly exciting time for the Bahamas.”

Saturday’s seminar, which attracted hundreds of small business owners on the island, was hosted by Access Accelerator, a program within the Small Business Development Center for close to five years. The program not only helps potential entrepreneurs incubate, birth, sustain and grow their business, it has also provided access to funding.

Thus far, the program has funded over two thousand clients throughout the Bahamas. Level Up, is a quarterly training workshop for those with start up businesses and small business owners throughout various industries. Minister Moxey gave kudos to the program and all it has accomplished thus far, noting that the foundation and ideals are similar to those of Collab, within the Ministry for Grand Bahama.

“Ladies and gentlemen, for years Access Accelerator has pioneered new and effective ways to help fuel the entrepreneurial sector throughout our country,” said Minister Moxey. “Its workshop builds on SBDC’s unique purpose and shares a similar mandate with that of my Ministry.

“It is my hope that many of you will utilize what you will learn here today to propel your vision, your ideas, and your businesses to another level. To the organizers and moderator, I applaud you all for providing this creative opportunity for entrepreneurs throughout the entire island of Grand Bahama to attain valuable information.”

The Grand Bahama Minister used the opportunity to speak briefly about the Collab Unit, to clearly articulate the Unit’s purpose, its goals and to show how the Unit could positively impact small businesses on Grand Bahama.

The program was created as a result of a mandate of the Ministry of Grand Bahama to partner with NGOs, businesses, other government agencies and the community at large, to assist with the basic needs of residents and for the growth and development of Grand Bahama Island.

“Through Collab,” she explained, “Beautiful Grand Bahama was formed. It employs over 350 individuals who are now able to provide for themselves, put food on their tables and support small businesses such as yours. I hope you see the correlation. Our collaborations are intended to put our people in a better position, in order to spur economic growth from the ground up. We help our brothers and sisters and they in turn help you. This is what true collaboration is all about.

“Collab will also address some of the legacy issues that have been facing Grand Bahama for a long time. For instance, we would like to see the road that was closed open back up, we want the Bizarre situation dealt with, we want the Princess property dealt with, we want the ghetto area fixed up. We want these things dealt with and we’ve been working real hard over the past 24 months to make it happen. So, I’m very excited about the future. The future for our beautiful Grand Bahama is bright. But let’s do it together, as we collab. 

By ANDREW COAKLEY/Bahamas Information Services

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey, along with Senator Kirkland Russell participated in the Level Up Training Seminar on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at the Grand Lucayan Resort. Minister Moxey was the keynote speaker for the seminar.

Hundreds of Grand Bahamian business owners showed up to register and participate in the Level Up Seminar at the Grand Lucayan Resort on Saturday, September 9, 2023.

Minister for Grand Bahama, Mrs. Ginger Moxey took time out following the Level Up seminar on Saturday, September 9, 2023, to meet some of the participants of the seminar, which was hosted by the Small Business Center and was designed to give Bahamian Business owners skills needed to start, sustain and grow their respective businesses.