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BEDC lunch and learn seminar on microloans

Erica Smith: executive director of the BEDC

Entrepreneurs and those aspiring to create their own business are encouraged to attend a free lunch and learn seminar to find out more about accessing microloans from the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation.

The seminar will be next Wednesday, June 27, from 12.30pm to 2pm.

The BEDC has allocated funds to facilitate small loans for individuals of up to $20,000. This microloan product was developed in response to an identified gap in the lending market, and as a result of the corporation’s biannual stakeholder survey. The survey showed small businesses were seeking financial assistance for small loan amounts that banks wouldn’t typically finance for commercial purposes.

The seminar will be hosted by Ray Lambert, BEDC’s micro, small and medium-enterprise officer. The interactive 90-minute session will offer details on the BEDC’s microloan products.

Mr Lambert said: “This is the first in a series of exciting educational sessions the BEDC has planned to better educate the public on our products and services. Many in the community have a basic understanding of what we do to support and empower small businesses, yet when it comes to our specific products and services we find people still have a lot of questions.

“We decided to use these upcoming sessions as an opportunity to share our knowledge, so that the community can best take advantage of the resources and tools available at the BEDC. When individuals are ready to launch an idea and start a business, we hope we will be their first point of contact with any questions and queries.”

Erica Smith, BEDC’s executive director, encouraged the public to take part in the next lunch-and-learn session and said it was designed to meet the diverse needs of BEDC’s clientele.

She said: “We pay careful attention to the challenges and issues our clients face and decided to use this presentation, and others that follow, to raise the community’s awareness of what the BEDC does and how they can get the most out of our products and services to start, manage and grow their businesses.

“Each of the upcoming planned sessions are free and will be packed full of tips and expert advice from the BEDC team. We are excited for people to come out and soak up as much knowledge as they can.”

The line up for future lunch and learn sessions after next week’s event is:

• September 26: vending licenses

• October 24: EEZ and new entrepreneur payroll concessions

• January 23: BEDC letter of credit and EEZ duty deferment

• February 27: BEDC loan guarantee product and process

• March 27: BEDC multi-week programmes and courses overview.

There are a limited number of spaces available for next Wednesday’s lunch-and-learn session, which will be held in the BEDC office at Sofia House, 48 Church Street. Participants are asked to bring their own lunch. To reserve a spot early, e-mail info@bedc.bm or call 292-5570