Young entrepreneurs receive grants through Ministry of Youth’s ‘Be-Inspired’

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Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Mario Bowleg takes part in the recent cheque presentation for the Be-Inspired Programme, at his Ministry. The Be-Inspired Programme is a grant based programme designed to empower young Bahamians between the ages of 18 to 35 years, who were seeking to establish or expand their small businesses. (BIS Photos/Eric Rose)

During the recent cheque presentation for the Be-Inspired Programme, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Mario Bowleg said that the future success of Bahamas is determined by the amount of investment placed in its younger generation.

“Our Investment must cater to the growth and development of our young people and to provide them with the opportunity to be inspired and empowered,” Minister Bowleg said, during the event at his Ministry, on March 3, 2022. Among those present from the Ministry, at the event, included Permanent Secretary Eugene Poitier; Under Secretary Montez Williams; Head of the Division of Youth Sandena Neely and members of her division.

Minister Bowleg noted that the Be-Inspired Programme was a grant-based programme designed to empower young Bahamians between the ages of 18 to 35 years, who were seeking to establish or expand their small businesses. He added that it provided aspiring entrepreneurs, who possessed a viable small business idea, with the tools and other resources necessary to successfully launch and manage their business.

“Successful participants are awarded grants up to $5,000, which would enable them to obtain the goods and materials for their business ventures,” Minister Bowleg said. “In 2019, more than 300 youths eagerly applied for the 168 grants available through this programme.”

“We are happy to be in the position to finally honour our commitments to our young people by paying out these grants,” he added. “For any number of reasons, these grants were not paid and for this, we extend our apologies.

“However, I am happy to announce that we are now in the position to payout 60 of the 168 grants.”

Minister Bowleg noted that, to date, 30 applicants had received funding to the tune of approximately $150,000.

“Among us today, are a few of the successful applicants,” he said. He noted that they included the following: Mr. Scott Hepburn of Quantum Shipping; Mr. Moses Taylor of Red Sea Bahamas, a soft drink company; Ms. Tamika Ferguson of Party Perfect; Ms. Crystal Stubbs of Juice Box Bahamas, a smoothie company; and Ms. Sharlene Armaly of Sharlene’s Apparel, a Muslim attire store.

“We are working feverishly to service an additional 30 applicants who are awaiting funding,” Minister Bowleg said. “I assure you, that all of the remaining applicants, who participated in the training, made their presentations and were approved, will receive their funding during the next fiscal period.”

He pointed out that, in the first installment of the programme, his Ministry was pleased to provide assistance to entrepreneurs in Abaco and Eleuthera.

“In the next fiscal period, we look forward to extending this opportunity to the youths in all other family islands,” Minister Bowleg said. “This is a great day. We are pleased to be able to help empower these young people,” he added.

“It is important to mark moments like these.”

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