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Failure and bouncing back seminar a success

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Sharing insight: Beau Evans, left, Leon Bascome, Dakia O’Brien, Joy Rothwell, Tulani Bulford, at the BEDC’s “Fail fast, pivot quickly, bounce back” seminar (Photograph supplied)

A seminar for entrepreneurs about how to fail fast, pivot quickly and bounce back, has been hailed a success.

Hosted by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, the government agency that supports entrepreneurs, the seminar attracted 50 attendees who heard from a group of panellists about failing in business.

The seminar was designed to “give entrepreneurs insight on what it is like to fail, teach them how to learn from failure and provide them with first hand experiences that outline what it takes to turn that failure into future success”, said BEDC officer, Donte Hunt.

Attendees were encouraged to learn from the panellists’ experiences and thereby avoid some of the missteps that could occur when building a business.

Panellist Dakia O’Brien, owner of Wild Wing Wednesday, shared a touching story of growing her business organically, expanding it into a restaurant, only to have it close. Her testimony of fighting to overcome the emotional toll that failing took was inspiring, the BEDC said in a statement.

Beau Evans, owner of Cruise Port Ferry Management Ltd, told a humorous story that included the building of a submarine and how that journey took a huge financial toll on him. Mr Evans said his saving grace was making the decision to stop everything at the right time and being honest with vendors, staff and family regarding the real financial situation.

Leon Bascome, owner of Moongate Insurance Group, opened his testimonial with a quote from Winston Churchill stating that “success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm”. Mr Bascome shared some of the challenges he has faced offering insurance services in Bermuda, and illustrated how it was necessary for him to pivot in order to ensure the sustainability of his business.

Joy Rothwell, owner of Robertson’s Drugstore in St George’s, said her ability to survive the fire that closed her business down for months was due to support from her family, friends and the community.

Tulani Bulford, co-owner of Portland Lane Capital, told attendees how, at 17, he experienced success in retail and became “too arrogant” to recognise a change and competition in the market, which ultimately led to his failure. He said that experience taught him a lot about himself and has resulted in him being more reflective and open to feedback, according to the BEDC.

Erica Smith, executive director of the BEDC, closed the seminar by thanking the panellists for being so open, adding: “It is not easy to get up in front of people and share your experiences, especially when they are of failure.”

She thanked the audience for their participation and for continuing to provide the feedback and support that the BEDC needs to move Bermuda’s local businesses forward. She said: “People felt that discussing how to come back from failure or how to pivot when something is not working was needed, and appreciated the candidness and realness of the panellists.”

The seminar was part of a quarterly series. The next is on September 18, and will focus on establishing work-life balance techniques.

For more information, contact the BEDC at info@bedc.bm or visit the BEDC website at www.bedc.bm

Successful seminar: Beau Evans, Leon Bascome, Joy Rothwell, Dakia O’Brien, Erica Smith, Donte Hunt, Tulani Bulford (Photograph supplied)