Seminar On Digital Business & E-Commerce

December 3, 2014

ecommerce dollar online computer tech genericInspire eBusiness held three informative Lunch ‘n’ Learn sessions targeted at entrepreneurs interested in starting an online business or in adding an e-commerce component to their existing business.

Thanks to the sponsorship from the Chamber of Commerce, Butterfield Bank and the Department of Ecommerce, all three events were free, open to the public and coincided with this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week which took place during the week of November 17, 2014.

The first such session took place at the Chamber of Commerce on Monday, November 17th and was titled “Securing The Flow of Money and Data Online: Is Cybersecurity a Concern for Us?”

The panel, which was composed of local cybersecurity experts, Ronnie Viera of First Atlantic Commerce and Fred Oberholzer of KPMG, shared with the attendees, valuable information regarding the importance of securing their systems and using reputable partners on and offline.

The lively discussion resulted in simple steps which a cost-conscious start-up can take to enhance the safety and integrity of the information that it holds, whether local or on the cloud, and the transactions that it makes online.

The second session entitled “Starting an Online Business? There’s Plenty of Support Out There!” took place at Butterfield’s Rosebank Centre on Wednesday, November 19th. This session was moderated by Dr. Hamid Chbouki, an e-commerce expert based in Canada.

Dr. Chbouki guided Ms. Florence Smith, VP Head of Merchant Services at Butterfield, through a series of questions that helped explain the step-by-step approach to setting up e-commerce for a Bermuda-based business.

Ms. Smith’s clients, GMD Consulting and A. F. Smith, were on hand to share their related experience of utilizing ecommerce and working with Butterfield Bank specifically. Both stressed the importance of nurturing a strong relationship with your bank as well as establishing a careful design, implementation, and control plan to develop and maintain an effective online business using ecommerce.

The third session took place at the Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, November 20th and was titled “7 Simple Steps to Setting Up an Online Business.”

Dr. Chbouki presented details of how to launch an online business and covered multiple areas from the most basic requirements of a business plan to how to manage and optimize the intricate relationship of an online Bermuda-based business by working with a developer, bank, payment gateway provider, and other related business providers.

Dr. Chbouki, who runs an e-learning platform called, also stressed the importance of carefully planning and implementing a business plan, and the proper characteristics of a good e-commerce website.

From left to right: Maryem Biadillah, Department of E-Commerce, Jamillah Lodge, BEDC, Dr. Hamid Chbouki, Canadian-based e-commerce expert, Marisa Stones, Department of E-Commerce, John Zakszewska, A F Smith, and Florence Smith, Butterfield.


Dr. Chbouki is a seasoned and accomplished high-technology executive. He simplified the technology matters that start-up businesses need to know for the audience and helped them draw from the Island’s local context.

Previously, he conceived and developed a “Mobile Banking Solution” called DinarXpress, which is aimed at the un-banked populations in developing countries and has been praised for its usefulness and its transformational aspect.

He has participated in European Union projects aimed at bridging the digital gap between its northern and southern countries, is a research fellow at the Institute of e-Business Management in Italy, and is a member of the Aspen Institute [Italy and Spain]. Dr. Chbouki has a doctorate in e-business and knowledge management. He is a digital economy specialist.

Speaking about his engagements of this week, Dr. Chbouki stated: “It was a great pleasure for me to share my expertise and experience with Bermudian entrepreneurs. The island has so much potential and it is a great testing ground for technology business models.”

Dr. Grant Gibbons, Minister of Education and Economic Development stated that “the digital age provides opportunities for many to realize their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs using technology as the enabler.

The Inspire eBusiness program is designed to support new and existing Bermuda e-entrepreneurs by providing workshops, resources and other tools to start and help grow successful online businesses.”

Inspire eBusiness was rebranded from eMonday in November 2013 with the objective of supporting and encouraging the development of local e-commerce with a focus on educating existing and potential entrepreneurs as well as the public about the process of starting an online business and setting up e-commerce on their websites.

The initiative is sponsored by the Department of E-Commerce within the Ministry of Education and Economic Development and is coordinated by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation with support from other partners.

Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy stated “I would like to thank the BEDC and the Department of E-Commerce for arranging these enlightening and highly topical workshops as they highlighted issues that entrepreneurs should consider before setting up an online business.

“In this day and age, many companies are choosing to incorporate an online presence into their business model, and Bermudian entrepreneurs are no different. By using e-commerce, our local entrepreneurs can expand their businesses beyond Bermuda’s 21 square miles in order to realize new growth opportunities that contribute to the continued development of a vibrant economy in Bermuda.”

For more information about Inspire eBusiness, please visit

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  1. aceboy says:

    The PLP want online gaming in Bermuda. What is the Department of E-Commerce’s stance on that?