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Entrepreneurs take next steps with BEDC’s incubator programme

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Nine entrepreneurs working to launch, develop and further grow their businesses are engaged in the fourth cohort of the Enterprise Bermuda Incubator programme presented by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation.

The free programme, launched by the BEDC three years ago, is a year-long initiative that is designed to support local entrepreneurs and the development of their businesses.

Indira Swan is working to launch her business idea, The Cool Mom Club, a clothing brand, mom blog and playgroup for millennial moms of diverse backgrounds.

Ras Selassie, the owner of Natural Afrikan BDA, will be working towards bringing his products to market. Natural Afrikan BDA is a manufacturing, packaging and distribution company using locally sourced, sustainable supply chains that will help decrease food waste and increase food security.

Keanne Bean will be introducing her business, Yummy Yard, an edible landscaping company that educates people on growing their own food and encourages co-working and embracing gardening.

Caitlyn Eve and Sionna Barton are the owners of J.A.G. Athletics, a business that provides a series of programmes designed to teach youth and adults of all ages the fundamentals of any or all of our combined athletic sports.

Evan Heyliger aims to launch his business, Loquat Learning, which provides supplemental education for students between seven and 17 years old in a variety of subjects and life skills.

Gavin Carter, of Gavin’s Butter, will be working on growing his existing gourmet flavoured butter business in hopes of scaling both locally and internationally.

Juanae Simmons will be working to launch her business idea, iWashBDA, a laundry-based business providing pick-up, sorting, washing, drying, folding and ironing services.

Rickai Edwards, owner of Cedar Beam Advancements, aims to grow his collection of Bermuda-based websites that provide information that can be conveniently found online directly or from Google search results.

The BEDC said Enterprise Bermuda is focused on walking participants through an in-depth 12-month development process, to ensure that entrepreneurs get beyond the idea stage and start to bring their businesses to fruition.

During the programme, participants receive assistance with analysing and refining their business idea, so they can best determine if it will work in – and beyond – the Bermuda market.

Participants are provided with complimentary access to BEDC’s educational courses and programmes, free and subsidised office space, an assigned business development officer and personalised mentoring with industry experts.

In addition, the BEDC said they receive access to pro-bono or subsidised services in areas such as marketing, accounting, legal support, web development and more.

Jamillah Lodge, director of communication and development at BEDC, said: “The Enterprise Bermuda Incubator has been inspiring. I have enjoyed working alongside my colleagues to assist these entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

“Since the commencement of the programme, 22 new businesses have been launched and 65-plus jobs created as a result.”

Marcelle Lawrence, past EBI participant and the owner of Eco Island Travel, said: “Participating in the EBI connected me to the invaluable resources offered by BEDC.

“From a wealth of courses, to connecting with other budding entrepreneurs, the expertise of the BEDC officers and quality office space and facilities, the EBI was a great place to test and launch my business ideas.”

Erica Smith, executive director of the BEDC, said: “It is always great to see what a new group of entrepreneurs will achieve during their time in the programme.

“We are really encouraged to see that the entrepreneurial spirit has not been broken amid the pandemic, but instead renewed.

“The BEDC team will be here to support them and I cannot wait to see how their businesses blossom during their 12-month stay in the incubator.”

Jamillah Lodge, BEDC director of communication and development (File photograph)
Erica Smith, executive director of the BEDC (File photograph)

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Published June 03, 2021 at 2:32 pm (Updated June 03, 2021 at 2:32 pm)

Entrepreneurs take next steps with BEDC’s incubator programme

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