The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) has invested in retooling and re-energising the organisation to better meet the needs of small businesses across The Bahamas, said Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Prime Minister Minnis was speaking at the official opening of the Bank’s new headquarters on Robinson Road, on Monday 8th March.
“As you are aware, there has been a significant increase in funds for small business development through the Small Business Development Center,” said the Prime Minister.
“The increased investment in small businesses and entrepreneurs is at the heart of my Government’s ongoing diversification of our economy.”
BDB’s new logo and new premises are a part of the retooling of the Bank, said Prime Minister Minnis.
The Bank has acquired new technology and is fostering a greater culture of accountability, said the Prime Minister.
It is also embracing its role as a catalyst for economic development via strengthening existing partnerships and fostering new ones.
“This transformation is underpinned by an ambitious, innovative strategic plan that supports a sustainable financial plan and advances Sustainable Development Goals that will promote development on a national level,” said the Prime Minister.
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Prime Minister Minnis invited BDB to utilise the work of the Economic Recovery Committee (ERC), particularly the work of the committee’s Orange Economy Subcommittee.
The Orange Economy is a model developed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 2013 and is comprised of the sectors whose goods and services are based on intellectual property (e.g. advertising, architecture, crafts, design, fashion, film, music, publishing, etc.)
The Orange Economy is estimated to be worth upwards of $4 trillion globally.
According to the subcommittee’s report, “the concept holds great potential for positive economic growth but sadly, The Bahamas has not quite manifested the value of this sector, despite its rich culture and a relatively large pool of skilled artisans.”
In order to tap into that potential, the ERC has urged the Government to seek to address a number of fundamental issues that range from the enhanced protection of intellectual property to greater access to financing for creators with entrepreneurial ambition, along with an improvement in the ease of doing business.
“I invite the Bank and other private and public stakeholders to explore commercial opportunities recommended by the Economic Recovery Committee, including suggestions for the Orange Economy,” said Prime Minister Minnis.