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Consultants finalizing SME needs survey

Project part of development of agency to help promote SMEs
  • Mark Turnquest.

Published: Oct 16, 2013

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A group of local consultants are finalizing a small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) needs analysis survey in New Providence.

About 400 SMEs in New Providence and approximately 500 Family Islands SMEs will be surveyed so that a comprehensive evaluation can be conducted to determine all the challenges and potential opportunities that SMEs in The Bahamas are facing.

“This SMEs need analysis research is the beginning of the end of creating a small and medium-sized development agency (SMEDA),” said Mark Turnquest, one of the consultants involved in the project, in a press release.

The final expectation is that a comprehensive SME development framework will be formulated that would be comprised of financial funding, business management training, accounting and marketing support.

The SME survey came about after the government requested support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to develop a comprehensive and coherent institutional framework to support Bahamian SMEs.

For this purpose, under the Compete Caribbean (CC) initiative the technical cooperation program “Policy and Institutional Framework for SME Development in The Bahamas” was approved and signed with the government, through the Ministry of Finance.

The general objective of the project is to improve the business climate and competitiveness and coherent institutional framework to support SMEs, including those in the Family Islands, according to the consultants.

Through the new institutional framework for SME development and a particular strategy for the productive sector in the Family Islands, the program seeks to increase productivity in the sectors that represent the majority of firms in the country.

“The program will deliver important products that are standalone and do not depend on external factors for success, particularly in-depth information on SMEs as well as a program for the Family Islands to act as a driver for overall SME development and sectoral linkages,” said Turnquest.

“If the new institutional framework is subsequently implemented, the impact on economic growth and income distribution, particularly regional, would be important.”  He added that this would also help improve the competitiveness of the tourism sector and potentially decrease the need for imported goods and services that could be provided by local firms, which would help in preventing long-term external imbalances.

The program is also expected to generate much-needed knowledge about barriers that impede women from developing more competitive and productive businesses, as well as the impact that specifically targeted business development services and programs have on the performance of these businesses.

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