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News : International Last Updated: Jul 24, 2019 - 10:36:13 AM

SBDC entrepreneurs go international
By The Social Light Media
Jul 23, 2019 - 6:30:31 PM

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Anji's Tea at The Village Market Atlanta

  •     SBDC entrepreneurs travel to sell products in Atlanta, Georgia
  •     Entrepreneurs participate in The Village Market Atlanta
  •     Delegation visits Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute

The Access Accelerator - Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) through the efforts of the Consulate General of Atlanta facilitated a trip to Atlanta, Georgia. There, four Bahamian companies participated in The Village Market Atlanta selling Bahamian handmade products.

The village features black entrepreneurs and creates opportunities for black business owners to maximize profits while creating and sustaining generational wealth in black communities. With 1300 businesses within the village and over 3000 attendees, The Village Market Atlanta offered great opportunities for networking and increasing product reach outside of The Bahamas.

Cajouben at The Village Market Atlanta

The event took place in the heart of Georgia and included; Cajouben, The Bahamas first vegan luxury reimagined fashion brand, owned by Candis Marshall. Anji's Delightful Teas, a Bahamian bush tea company, owned by Angella Stuart. Octis Organics, an organic Bahamian seasonings company, owned by Calae Burrows and Wildcrafted Base, an organic Bahamian pepper sauce company, owned by Kira Horton.

Consul General to Atlanta, Astra Armbrister, described the partnership between her office, the SBDC and The Village Market Atlanta as necessary.

“As Consul General, I have the opportunity to see many spaces across the United States, where entrepreneurship and small businesses are thriving. I think it is absolutely necessary to build communities and to create spaces for our Bahamians to thrive. Whether that means expansion into new markets, sharing stories of success, receiving coaching on failures or deepening our networks. That is what this partnership with the Village Market Atlanta is intended to do.”

Bahamian delegation visits Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute with Consul General to Atlanta, Astra Armbrister (Center)

Armbrister continued, “The Bahamas is embarking on what we hope will be a new era of economic ownership and empowerment for Bahamian entrepreneurs. The Bahamas Consulate General in Atlanta will continue our work on opening the doors to trade, investments and forging business to business relationships between Bahamians in the diaspora and those residing in The Bahamas. Our passion is that prosperity reigns on all things Bahamian.”

Executive Director of the SBDC, Davinia Blair, expressed gratitude for the opportunity for SBDC entrepreneurs to take their products international.

Octis Organics at The Village Market Atlanta

"We are grateful to the Bahamas Consulate of Atlanta for providing access to this opportunity and thinking of ways to advance the footprint of Bahamian entrepreneurs. This trip provided entrepreneurs with an opportunity to network and market their products to a larger audience and make life-changing connections,” said Blair.

Blair added, “I truly believe that this event is the beginning of amazing opportunities for Bahamians, and we are excited to be a part of it. This was also an educational trip for us. We will take everything that we’ve experienced in Atlanta and utilize it to better our program and continue to create platforms and avenues to advance Bahamian entrepreneurs.”

Wildcrafted Base at The Village Market Atlanta

While in Atlanta, the group had the opportunity to visit the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech. The Bahamian delegation was given an inside look at how Georgia Tech is promoting and facilitating entrepreneurship and innovation within the institute and abroad. During the visit, the team was given a tour of the institute’s building which is a hub for entrepreneurs and start-up companies.

Describing the opportunity as enlightening Blair said, “The SBDC is always open to learning and experiencing the ways that other institutes and programs are advancing entrepreneurship and innovation. It’s the way we grow and how we can best help our clients to be successful and remain relevant in their business endeavours. 

Executive Director of the SBDC, Davinia Blair, discussing entrepreneurship at Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute

“We were able to get a first-hand look at how Georgia Tech is successfully executing their programs. Then we were able to experience the market, and how those buyers reacted to certain products, it was enlightening. Now, we can take what we've learnt and strategically mould it to enhance the Bahamian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs.”

The SBDC is the product of a tripartite arrangement between the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, University of The Bahamas (UB) and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer's Confederation (BCCEC). The Centre will work to guide the development, funding, growth, and evolution of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises ("MSMEs") in The Bahamas.

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