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GB Chamber invests in entrepreneurs

The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce is establishing a new venture capital fund with the aim of supporting the island's fledging entrepreneurs. Pictured: GBCC president Kevin Seymour. (Photo courtesy Keen i Media)

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) is establishing a new venture capital fund with the aim of supporting the island’s fledging entrepreneurs.

“We want to create opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs,” said GBCC president Kevin Seymour, who explained that the fund is being created by the Chamber’s Small Business and Economic Development Committee and hopes to connect with its first applicants before the end of the year.


The Chamber is currently raising capital for the fund, seeking donations from partners in the industrial sector. Seymour says this is where there are gaps in the market which savvy entrepreneurs can target.

“We have this huge industrial footprint in the port area. This creates very sophisticated opportunities with the heavy machinery, the repairs, the upkeep and the maintenance. There are opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs who understand the needs of the current tenants in the industrial park and understand what services can be provided locally.”

Before accessing funding, the applicants will go through an ‘incubator’ stage which will be run in partnership with the Grand Bahama Port Authority. Seymour says this is to ensure that the budding businesses are fully equipped to realise their plans.

“It is so people know how to create business plans, how to conduct business and how to do the bank work so that when they do have access to those funds they have a real shot at success.”

Seymour declined to give the exact amount of the fund, but said he expected to raise “a tidy sum” and stressed that the Chamber wants the scheme to have as wide an impact in Grand Bahama as possible. “We are looking to reach as many entrepreneurs as possible. We are trying to spread it a bit. It is important, going forward, for Bahamians to have a greater stake in the economy.”

cmorris@dupuch.com

Members of the Greater Houston Black Chamber paid a courtesy call on the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce during a recent visit for a discussion on investment possibilities and networking opportunities in Grand Bahama.

At the Commonwealth Bank's annual general meeting held this week, chairman William Sands Jr said that the bank earned more than $50 million in profits, and in 2015 hit new highs in assets, share price and community donations.

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