Bahamas Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis recently disclosed that his Government is investing in retooling and re-energising the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) to improve service delivery to small businesses across the country.
The prime minister, while speaking at the official opening of BDB’s new headquarters on Robinson Road, Nassau, last Monday, March 8, shared that the new location, as well as a new logo, form part of the retooling of the organisation.
“As you are aware, there has been a significant increase in funds for small business development through the Small Business Development Center,” Minnis stated.
“The increased investment in small businesses and entrepreneurs is at the heart of my Government’s ongoing diversification of our economy.”
As part of the retooling process, BDB has acquired new technology that will redound to fostering a greater culture of accountability as it also embraces its role in stimulating economic development. To this end, the bank aims to strengthen existing partnerships and creating new ones.
According to Prime Minister Minnis, “This transformation is underpinned by an ambitious, innovative strategic plan that supports a sustainable financial plan and advances Sustainable Development Goals that will promote development on a national level.”
“The increased investment in small businesses and entrepreneurs is at the heart of my Government’s ongoing diversification of our economy”— Dr Hubert Minnis, prime minister, The Bahamas
With this in mind, the prime minister invited BDB to capitalise the work of the Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) and, in particular, the work of the committee’s Orange Economy Subcommittee.
To clarify, Minnis said there were commercial opportunities worth exploring in the Orange Economy, which the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) estimates to value upwards of US$4 trillion globally.
In 2013 when the IDB modelled the concept of the Orange Economy, it defined it as comprising sectors whose goods and services are based on intellectual property — advertising, architecture, crafts, design, fashion, film, music, publishing.
According to The Bahamas Orange Economy subcommittee, “The [Orange Economy] holds great potential for positive economic growth but, sadly, The Bahamas has not quite manifested the value of this sector, despite its rich culture and a relatively large pool of skilled artisans.”
In order to tap into that potential, the ERC has urged the Government to seek to address a number of fundamental issues that range from the enhanced protection of intellectual property to greater access to financing for creators with entrepreneurial ambition, along with an improvement in the ease of doing business.