||Last Updated: Feb 16, 2018 - 10:12:55 AM
President Ian Rolle as he announced the CAPITAL Arena Initiative during GBPA’s Business Innovation Bootcamp last October.
Freeport Bahamas – A little over 6
months ago, executives of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited
(GBPA), unveiled its Capital Arena Initiative, a grant funding project,
to assist aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners. This
week, the Port will announce the 19 finalists set to compete in GBPA’s
Capital Arena, for a chance to receive up to $15,000 to start or grow
GBPA’s Capital Arena Initiative seeks to introduce a minimum of 4 new
businesses into the local economy annually. According to Ian Rolle, GBPA
President, the Port hopes to identify the best business ideas local
entrepreneurs have to offer and assist with funding and support for
these businesses to flourish.
“We are excited about this initiative. Our team has been working on it
for some time. Further, we were very pleased with the number and types
of proposals submitted,” stated President Rolle. “This initiative is
intended to create meaningful impact and opportunities within the local
economy. The Capital Arena meets a real and tangible need for small
business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, as access to capital remains
one of the greatest challenges to small businesses. So as we unveil our
finalists, we applaud their effort and wish them all much success as
they vie to secure funding for their businesses.” Rolle added.
GLADIATORS ARE YOU READY: GBPA’s Capital Arena Initiative will announce 19 finalists this week. Candidates will move on to face the ‘DUKE’ – Ian Rolle, GBPA President; the ‘DUTCHESS’ – Deann Seymour, Chief Financial Officer and the ‘DON’ – Derek Newbold, Sr. Manager of Business Development and Invest Grand Bahama. Only six of the nineteen candidates can emerge as winners with a chance to win up to $15,000.00 to start or grow their business.
A call for proposals launched in October of last year, attracting
numerous applicants. Their products and services covered a range of
economic sectors, including food and beverage, manufacturing, tourism,
and transportation. Following the judging of written proposals in ROUND
I: ‘Evaluation of Concept’, a total of 19 candidates will emerge as
finalists, moving on to the final judging segment ROUND II: ‘In Person
“In ROUND I, applicants were judged on business innovation, growth and
employment potential, revenue potential, and viability, among other
criteria,” explained Derek Newbold, Sr. Manager of Business Development
for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama.
“Nineteen finalists will advance to this cohort’s final judging segment,
ROUND II, which begins January 22. In the “arena”, they will get one
chance to convince GBPA’s panel of business strategists that their
business startup and expansion proposals are worth investing in,”
The deciding panel comprises President Rolle (the DUKE); entrepreneur
and business strategist with businesses in ICT & BPO operations,
telecommunications and financial consulting; GBPA Chief Financial
Officer Deann Seymour (the DUTCHESS), a serial entrepreneur with
businesses in publishing & marketing, fashion merchandising, and
financial consulting; and GBPA Senior Business Development Manager Derek
Newbold (the DON), a strategic negotiator and serial entrepreneur with
businesses in manufacturing and distribution.
The trio panelists will be responsible for selecting a total of six
winners from the first and/or second cohorts: four aspiring
entrepreneurs and two entrepreneurs with existing businesses.
Overall, GBPA anticipates investing a minimum of $80,000 into the local
economy as a result of this initiative. The company aims to introduce a
minimum of four new businesses into the local economy and assist two
existing businesses with their expansion goals each year.
While the company intends to spearhead Capital Arena in its first two
years, GBPA is looking to include corporate sponsors across Grand Bahama
for future cycles of the initiative.
Winners of GBPAs Capital Arena Initiative’s first cohort will be announced in February.
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