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The question as to whether Grand Bahama businesses are ready to embrace e-Commerce was answered with a resounding yes on Thursday June 8th, when scores of Licensees and aspiring entrepreneurs attended the Business Innovation and e-Commerce Boot Camp. The 1-day event hosted by the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), and its Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau (IGBSBB), brought together more than 200 participants and local businesses.

Reflecting on the event’s impact, Ian Rolle, President of GBPA said, “We were indeed impressed by the turnout of local businesses for this event. I believe it clearly demonstrates that the business community is ready to embrace the use of e-commerce.  And, although we are a small community, local merchants are quite capable of offering their goods and services within the global marketplace. Additionally, we sought to inspire new ideas, and encourage innovation within the SME sector, with presentations by Shopify and AeroFarms.” Rolle added.

The Call Center industry on Grand Bahama continues to make significant strides as a new sector for growth in the island’s economy. This however, has not come without a strategic and concerted effort by key stakeholders, itelBPO Solutions (Island Outsourcers) and The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited, (GBPA).

The duo paired up for the ICMI Contact Center Expo, recently held at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, Orlando, Florida. This event marked the 2nd year in which itelBPO and GBPA have collaborated to promote Grand Bahama Island as a premier destination for BPO operations, within the region.

“The ICMI Tradeshow is a boutique call center industry event, which hosts elite customer care executives and CEOs,  gathering annually for collaborative exchange on transformational solutions to enhance the customer service experience,” stated Derek Newbold, Senior Manager of Business Development and Invest Grand Bahama.

“Whilst the economy is making small but steady progress, increased diversity and innovation within the city’s small business sector would definitely add value for residents and to the local economic landscape,” stated Ian Rolle, President of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), referring to the Port’s recent introduction of a Business Diversity Waiver (BDW) for the Downtown Business Area. 

“As with the upcoming “Business Innovation & e-Commerce” workshop, all initiatives by our Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau (IGBSBB), in 2017, will focus on encouraging increased business diversity and innovation, which at present is lacking within our small business sector. That said, one important measure that we are taking is to incentivize entrepreneurs who are thinking outside the box, with a one year GBPA Licence Fee Waiver, when they launch their creative business ideas within the Downtown area,” he added. 

As innovation continues to be the driver of business success, executives at The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), are encouraging Licensees to embrace global best practices, via its upcoming Business Innovation & e-Commerce Boot Camp, slated for Thursday, 8th June at the Grand Lucayan Resort.

According to Ian Rolle, GBPA President, the Business Innovation and e-Commerce Boot Camp will equip licensees with tools to compete both locally and globally.  "Our boot camp will showcase global presenters who will provide best practice insights as to how to effectively start and grow businesses through e-Commerce. There will be an introduction to Shopify, which is a global platform used to promote and sell products, accept payments and help merchants grow their businesses while they sleep.  Shopify is one of a few featured presenters, who will deliver an interactive experience, demonstrating practical tools to empower aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners,” Rolle stated.

ABOUT GBPA


The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) gave GBPA responsibility for the development, administration and management, and provision of services within an area called the 'Port Area' (230 sq. miles). GBPA was mandated by this Agreement to build a deep water harbour, an industrial community and required infrastructure for the City.

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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE


GBPA has achieved an astonishing amount since its inception in 1955.  When first created it was a Grand Bahamian business conglomerate charged not only with land and commercial development but also with all the regulatory and administrative functions of the Freeport/Lucaya.

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THE WAY FORWARD


Firstly, I wish to thank Joan Albury and the Counsellors for this platform enabling us to share with the Grand Bahama community, the outlook for our island! 2015 marks the 60th year of the birth of Freeport and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement; 60 years of a partnership between The Government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority. I'm here to raise hopes for 2015 and to lay a few popular myths to rest - For those who don't know me, I am Sarah St George.

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