Entrepreneurs hail eBusiness Expo a success
The eBusiness Expo was billed as a success, by the most important attendees — the entrepreneurs at whom it was aimed.
Those in varying phases of developing their own businesses found useful the afternoon event held at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess yesterday.
The Inspire eBusiness initiative was created and sponsored by the Department of E-Commerce within the Ministry of Education and Economic Development.
The initiative is coordinated by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation with support from partners that include the Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative of Bermuda and the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce - Business Technology Division.
The objective was to provide information for aspiring e-entrepreneurs to help with informed decision-making, through an eBusiness Expo which offers relevant resources in a one-stop-shop environment. And by that measure, it worked.
Ramon Brangman is currently employed as a sales rep, but he was a visitor to the event because he believes he is one of many interested in finding an e-commerce niche.
He said: “I'm in the process of building an online business — a sports-related business providing to the international markets. I'm hoping to launch the business called Demoe.pro in July.
“So I found it encouraging seeing that technology is growing and I can position myself using some of the people I've seen here, today.
“There are a lot people interested in this sort of thing, so I think it would be great if the Government can bring more of these sorts of programmes and provide adequate lead time for people to attend.
“There are a lot of young people who want to become entrepreneurs. So this is definitely encouraging for them to know someone has got their back.”
Dana Bean has a part-time business, using a Rotovac 3601 Extraction System used to clean concrete, carpet and tile. But he said that he was looking for e-commerce information in general that could help him market a variety of businesses.
“I'm always looking for something new,” he said. “I've run a wholesale business in the past. Now, I'm thinking right now about getting back into importing.
“The Expo has a booth dealing with websites and web designs. The internet is the way to go. So I am interested in learning more about that.”
Fielding questions at his booth, Nhuri Bashir is co-founder of Into Bermuda with Andrew Kirkpatrick. But he is also a board member of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation.
He was one of the speakers at the event talking about building an online business.
He said: “I have a business called Travelers Price Card which provides discounts for tourists across the Island.
“Events like this expo are useful, especially if you capture names and follow up with those who come to the show and visit your booth.”
Six out of about 20 exhibitors were Government departments.
Customs officer Tomika Harrell said: “We've been providing advice for people importing their goods and making them aware of customs concessions that could help them with their business.”
Dianne Brewer, marketing and business development manager (consultant) was one of the representatives for the Government Health Insurance Department, under the Ministry of Health, Seniors and Environment.
She said: “We're representing the Hospital insurance Plan (HIP) and Future Care. Our primary concern is that new businesses always consider health insurance, so we are offering information on the options provided by the government, especially with the increasing cost of private health insurance.”
Dawnnae Ming, one of three Inspectors with the Department of Social Insurance, said their exhibit booth at the expo was to help educate the public of the need for small businesses to register with the department.
She said: “We're here to inform the public about the Act and how they must comply if they have a business.
“It's important that they know that if they are working on a business more than four hours a week, they need to register with us and pay social insurance. Social insurance has important benefits for those turning 65 years old, so it is important to consider the contributions.”
Honey Adams, education officer at Consumer Affairs, said: “We're here because this is an opportunity for people who are starting businesses to understand laws, rights and responsibilities at the very start of their entrepreneurial endeavour.”