June 14, 2017
NASSAU, Bahamas (June 14th, 2017) – The IL Cares Foundation is excited to announce the winners of the 2017 OWN Bahamas Entrepreneurship Program.
OWN Bahamas Entrepreneurship Program
On March 9th, OWN Bahamas opened applications to Bahamians for its 3rd annual entrepreneurship competition. This competition offers Bahamians with an opportunity to submit their business ideas within new or existing industries. Once the winners are selected, the entrepreneurship program provides recipients with financial support, mentorship, and the necessary business knowledge that will enable them to manage a successful business.
The program is open to all legal and eligible Bahamian citizens. The applicants are required to provide a brief bio and business plan that includes an outline of their goals and aspirations. The OWN Bahamas selection committee then reviews all applications and selects the final candidates to receive the grant awards.
Ten (10) Bahamians have been selected to join the program.
Two (2) $15,000.00 Grant Awardees
Margaux Blackman – Little Prodigies Music & Arts School
Ms. Blackman started her company back in 2011 with a Summer Program for kids. They are fully committed to teaching and developing the next generation of musicians and performing artists contributing to the music and arts sector in The Bahamas. The company has now expanded and operates year round and are now looking to further extend the program to cater to more children and include dance, singing, acting and script writing as well as tutoring in Math, English & Reading for Grades 1 – 6.
Virley McKinney – Asphalt Maintenance Paving & Testing Company Ltd.
Mr. McKinney started this small innovative, technologically driven road construction company back in August 2014 and has developed a reputation for constructing high quality pavements. They are now seeking to expand the brand by purchasing much needed equipment and machinery.
One (1) $12,500.00 Grant Winner
Brinard Sweeting – Visionary
Digital Media, Online Marketing & Web Development
Mr. Sweeting is looking to provide a new and unparalleled standard in digital media and online marketing offering unique expertise to businesses and organizations of all sizes.
Five (5) $10,000.00 Grant Winners
Regina Smith – Firehouse Spice Company
Traditional Bahamian Spices
A manufacturer of nine Bahamian seasonings and sauces using peppers and other ingredients sourced from the local Bahamian agriculture sector. Ms. Smith is in need of equipment to expand the business.
Michael Sands – Vida Cayo
Bahamian Beachwear & Accessories
Mr. Sands and team are looking to further develop the company’s flip flop line which incorporates cultural and historic elements of The Bahamas such as the Bahamian $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. They also wish to venture into additional unique Bahamian products and beachwear. They are in need of financial assistance to further develop and grow the company.
Darren Dames – ProClean Detailing Services
Specialized Aircraft Detailing
This company is designed to meet the needs of professional aircraft sanitation and detailing and will operate out of LPIA, Odyssey and Executive Flight Services. They are in need of assistance with equipment and supplies.
DeMarcian Dames – BlueGreen Marine
Boat Maintenance Company
A small Bahamian owned Boat Maintenance Company that provides services to Marinas, Boat Owners and Homeowners with docks using all biodegradable products. They are in need of financial assistance to purchase equipment and supplies.
Ricarra Dean – Task Bunny
Delivery Service, Courier Services & Errand Running Company
Ms. Dean is looking to cater to the Family Islands & Senior Citizens. She is looking for assistance in leasing an office space, supplies and marketing the brand.
Two (2) $7,500.00 Grant Winners
Dominique Hanna – Icing Pastry & Catering
Traditional Bahamian Treats & Specialty Cakes
Mr. Hanna’s goal is to export Traditional Bahamian treats such as the Pineapple & Coconut Tarts and Guava Duff to the international market in unique Bahamian packaging.
Brittney Woodside – Sinchit Teatox
Organic Herbal Teas & Facial Products
Sinchit Teatox provides 100% Organic Herbal Teas & Facial Products to aid in detoxification of the body, boosting metabolism and restoring energy. She hopes to open a retail store and build a greenhouse.
All grants will be paid directly paid towards approved products, tools, supplies, and services that will help to kick-start or assist to further develop each business.
A six-week extensive business certification program created by The College of The Bahamas exclusively for OWN Bahamas. This educational program is an invaluable experience for the participants as they learn about critical aspects of building a successful business such as management, financial responsibility, ethics, legality, and community responsibility.
In addition, all participants will be required to attend regularly scheduled mentorship meetings and complete full business, financial and marketing plans.
In addition to the grant amounts, each winning applicant will receive the full support of Island Luck Managers. They will also receive support from our following partners:-
- 1 year of free Newspaper print ads from The Tribune.
- 1 year of free internet and phone services provided by BTC.
- One, 6 week required course provided by the College of the Bahamas
- Graphic design for logo and marketing collateral needs
About IL Cares Foundation
Our foundation, IL Cares, was established in 2014. Island Luck Cares embodies the full and simple desire to create a nation where all Bahamians have the wherewithal to achieve their full potential through robust education platforms, income support and stability, responsible practices, and healthy lives.
Through the IL Cares Foundation community initiatives, we aim to provide effective assistance to our fellow Bahamians in need. Our foundation focuses on the areas of health care, education, financial assistance and business entrepreneurship. We strongly believe that when we give back to our communities, we contribute to the development of a better Bahamas for all.
The Island Luck Cares Foundation is pleased to support robust organizations that are making a difference in our community. We believe that progress happens when dedicated people translate good intentions into concrete realities. We look forward to aiding in the betterment of our communities throughout the Bahamas.