Tourism incubator center opens downtown with a dozen businesses13 Mar 2024

TDC BahamasThe incubator center includes about a dozen businesses

The Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) yesterday opened its incubation center downtown, which is designed to allow small businesses with locally created and developed products for the tourist industry and local market rent-free space in the hope they can eventually grow into their own spaces.

The dozen or so vendors include businesses like Blended Creations Mixed Media Art and Handmade Crafts; Through The Pages Bahamian bookstore; Apryl Jasmine clothing line; Build-A-Pal bear workshop; and Straw Works by Patricia Chatti.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper said during the opening ceremony that the center is a pilot project that other incubation centers across The Bahamas will be modeled on.

Businesses will be able to run their operations rent-free

He also explained that the vendors who occupy the storefronts, which are in a building east of East Street, will be able to run their operations rent-free for six months and then under a subsidized rent scheme for another six months.

“This initiative is a direct counter to any skepticism about the inclusivity of the tourism sector’s benefit to Bahamians from all walks of life,” said Cooper.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the incubator program is designed to support emerging businesses by offering rent-free space for six months, followed by subsidized rent free for another six months. This approach helps to identify and nurture businesses, providing them with a launching pad for future success.

“Even though the entrepreneurs selected are from a group of more than 100, we emphasize that this is only the beginning. It’s our hope that with this support, they find their sea legs and move into storefronts of their own, creating a pathway for more entrepreneurs to be developed.”

The center will be a springboard for economic prosperity

TDC Chairman Rafique Symonette said the incubation center removes part of the barrier to entry into the startup world for small businesses. He added that the center is also an incubator for the growth of future ideas.

“It’s a haven for creativity, and it’s a springboard for economic prosperity,” said Symonette.

He added: “Our mission through the incubator center is to provide a platform that enables small businesses to thrive in a dynamic retail space. We’re committed to encouraging entrepreneurship and encouraging a vibrant ecosystem.

Source: Nassau Guardian