Minister Fahy Compliments GEW Organizers

November 26, 2014

The Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy today [Nov 26] congratulated the organizers of Global Entrepreneurship Week [GEW] for all of their efforts in pulling together, what he called, “an island-wide celebration of Bermuda’s intrinsic entrepreneurial spirit.”

Minister Fahy said: “I would like to congratulate the BEDC team and the Department of E-Commerce for organizing the many events that have taken place over the past two weeks which both embrace and nurture Bermuda’s entrepreneurs.

“We are very appreciative to all our sponsors for supporting GEW and entrepreneurship in general. Bermuda’s economic prosperity is founded on entrepreneurial vision, hard work and ingenuity and this Global Entrepreneurship Week’s activities supports and sustains this important and valuable sector.

Minister Fahy attended various events throughout GEW including the Entrepreneurship Education Awards on November 21 honouring entrepreneurs who completed entrepreneurship training with BEDC as well as Bermuda College students who competed in the 1000 Cups Bermuda College Business Idea Pitch [see attached photo].

At the awards ceremony Minister Fahy said: “We are here tonight to celebrate 54 students who successfully completed BEDC’s multi-week intensive trainings in 2014. These students either completed BEDC’s 8 week Entrepreneurship Course in partnership with the Community Education and Development Programme or BEDC’s 9 week Retail Development Programme.

ROCKET PITCH AWARDS

These 54 have shown their commitment and dedication to make their established or ‘soon to come’ businesses the best it can be and for that we are honouring them with a Certificate of Achievement.

“While it is a well-known fact that the BEDC supports businesses through accessing financial products, the BEDC also has an active annual educational programme offering workshops and seminars on various topics of relevancy to businesses to help existing businesses sharpen their saw, new startups to position themselves for success, and those that have held a business idea feel prepared enough to be able to jump in to the life of an entrepreneur.”

“The BEDC remains vigilant in its mandate to support entrepreneurs through training, and market knowledge. From online web chats to Open Online Courses; from brief lunch & learns to longer seminars and workshops; from multi-week courses through to intensive incubator programmes – the BEDC offers a full range of educational opportunities to meet the needs of business owners and entrepreneurs.”

Minister Fahy also attended a reception hosted by the US Consul General to celebrate Women Entrepreneurs on November 19, which was Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP MONTH AWARDS

The Minister said: “In many countries around the world, women remain an untapped economic potential. According to the International Labor Organization, there are 812 million women living in developing countries with the potential to contribute more fully to their economies. Furthermore, there is a direct correlation between the policies in place to support women, the opportunities available to women and women’s success in business.

“This year, GEW organized a worldwide movement to engage and support female entrepreneurs. The over 150 countries who take part in GEW were encouraged to organize and promote events on November 19 that focused on advancing female entrepreneurship. Additionally, a new WED Ambassador Program has been created that promotes pioneers of female entrepreneurship advocacy. We encourage Bermuda’s women entrepreneurs to join this programme.

“Women’s Entrepreneurship Day was our opportunity to acknowledge Bermuda’s female entrepreneurs and their significant contributions to growing and sustaining Bermuda’s economy through their businesses and entrepreneurial activities.”

The Minister also noted that, according to a study by The National Federation of Small Businesses, they predict that by 2018, over half of small businesses will be run by female entrepreneurs. On the local front in 2012 the BEDC surveyed its stakeholder businesses and that study revealed that 67% of its business clients that responded were female owners. These statistics highlight the key role that women play in business and entrepreneurship.

US CONSUL GENERAL RECEPTION WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

Junior Minister of Home Affairs Sylvan Richards attended the Celebration of Entrepreneurship and Innovation event on November 20 where the winners of the Technology Innovation Awards [Tech Awards] and the Rocket Pitch Competition were formally recognized.

The Tech Awards assists the Department of E-Commerce in the promotion of Bermuda as a sophisticated technology and e-business jurisdiction by celebrating Bermuda’s best in Technology, Innovation and Creativity. The Rocket Pitch contest enables young Bermudians delivering a 7-minute “business pitch” to win seed money for their business.

”These entrepreneurs re-ignite our faith that Bermuda has what it takes to re-invigorate our economy,” said MP Richards at the awards ceremony. “I congratulate you all on your outstanding achievements.”

MP Richards added: “It would be remiss for me to not congratulate Connor Burns and EJ Burrows owners of Bermuda Aerial Media, and the 2013 Tech Award winner for Local Innovation of the Year, on their global win at the International Future Agro Challenge in Athens, Greece. This win is confirmation that Bermudians can compete and win in any jurisdiction.”

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Comments (4)

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  1. It is / has been truly an inspiration in knowing what has and will be gained by looking forward and not back into the rear view mirror for too long…Good luck to everyone.
    “What’s amazing is, if young people understood how doing well in school makes the rest of their life so much more interesting, they would be more motivated. It’s so far away in time that they can’t appreciate what it means for their whole life.” -Bill Gates

  2. Allspice says:

    This is a laugh.
    You want to inspire entrepreneurs?
    Lower the cost of entry. All the seminars and awards are meaningless if the only ones who get paid are the lawyers, government and insurance companies.
    It costs something like ten thousand dollars just to be a limited liability company.
    LOWER THE COST OF ENTRY!

    • Good morning Allspice,
      It sounds like you are actively engaged in pursuing the entrepreneurial route. We know that this journey is not an easy one, but it can be a a rewarding one and we are here at the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) to assist businesses and entrepreneurs. I would encourage you to come and meet with us if you haven’t as yet to see how we can assist you in your entrepreneurial endeavours. Outside of seminars to encourage business best-practices and networking events to connect entrepreneurs to each other, we do offer a number of products and services to assist businesses. You mention the prohibitive cost of incorporation – BEDC has negotiated discounted rates with a few law firms so that our clients can reduce that incorporation cost. We’ve also negotiated BEDC discounts and preferences in other areas. BEDC also offers loan guarantees for bank financing with all 3 banks (we can guarantee up to $200K) and a 100% guaranteed micro-loan product (between $2K and $7.5K) with Clarien Bank. We also offer incentives and concessions for businesses located in our 3 EEZs from payroll tax concessions, to customs duty deferments, to preferential lending rates and terms. And there are times during the year, such as took place during Global Entrepreneurship Week, where we hold special competitions for entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas and win seed money as well as local and international exposure. For instance when we held the Rocket Pitch competition this year 3 businesses won seed money; when we held the Bermuda College Business Pitch Idea contest where college students won seed money; and when we held the Future Agro Challenge where Bermudians Connor Burns and E.J. Burrows of Bermuda Aerial Media won our local competition and were sent to Greece to compete where they won on the international scene and gained some seed money there. I am hoping continual efforts such as these do inspire entrepreneurs. So I hope this brief glimpse into just some of the vast work the BEDC does helps and please do come and see us. Our number is 292-5570, our email is info@bedc.bm, and our physical location is Sofia House, 1st Floor, #48 Church Street, Hamilton.
      Regards,
      Erica Smith
      BEDC Executive Director

      • Allspice says:

        Thank you Erica,

        I was probably hasty in my comment and I do not wish to malign the BEDC in anyway. Indeed I think that what you do there is part of the solution, and admirable and productive.

        What I do mean though, is that the environment in Bermuda is not terribly encouraging for entrepreneurs because it is undeniably expensive. Compare with starting an LLC in the state of Delaware where the the fee is $200 a year, and the process of application is simple enough that a lawyer is not required.

        Your activities do ease the way for small business and I applaud you for that.