Bahamian Entrepreneurs Take Part In Atlanta Event

31 Jul 2019


Village Market Atlanta LogoThe Village creates opportunities for black business owners to maximise profits

The Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) has helped four Bahamian companies to participate in The Village Market Atlanta and sell their handmade products.

The SBDC worked with The Bahamas’ Consulate General in Atlanta to facilitate a trip that was undertaken by Cajouben, a 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.

The Village features black entrepreneurs, and creates opportunities for black business owners to maximise profits while creating and sustaining generational wealth in black communities. With 1,300 businesses and more than 3,000 attendees, The Village Market Atlanta offers opportunities for networking and increased product reach beyond The Bahamas.

The Bahamas is embarking on a new era of economic ownership and empowerment

Astra Armbrister, The Bahamas’ consul general to Atlanta, said of the partnership between her office, the SBDC and The Village Market Atlanta: “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.”

Ms 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.”

The experience will be used to enhance Bahamian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs

Davinia Blair, the SBDC’s executive director of the SBDC, added: “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. 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 utilise it to better our programme, and continue to create platforms and avenues to advance Bahamian entrepreneurs.”

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

Describing the opportunity as enlightening, Ms Blair said: “The SBDC is always open to learning and experiencing the ways that other institutes and programmes 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.

“We were able to get a first-hand look at how Georgia Tech is successfully executing their programmes. 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.

Source: The Tribune

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