News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – On Tuesday, June 25th, the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) hosted a graduation dinner for the 9th cohort of the Enterprise Bermuda Accelerator at Bella Vista.

Minister Jason Hayward, Minister of Economy and Labour provided the welcome remarks for the occasion. He congratulated the graduating cohort, stating, “Your success as entrepreneurs goes beyond individual achievements; it strengthens the foundation of our economy and creates a ripple effect that empowers others to pursue their dreams. I encourage you all to continue your entrepreneurial journey with the same energy, which, if you do, will have a lasting impact on Bermuda’s business landscape.”

Darrell Byers, CEO of Interise

Enterprise Bermuda Accelerator (EBA) Facilitator Tee Ogunyemi provided attendees, including alums and industry experts, an overview of the program and acknowledged the dedication required to complete the 6-month program.

The Enterprise Bermuda Accelerator is a six-to-seven-month intensive programme that supports small and medium-sized business owners to help them scale their businesses.

Utilizing the award-winning StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum and a facilitated peer-learning method, entrepreneurs received hands-on training, networking, and industry support to help them scale their businesses.

Darrell Byers; Erica Smith, Executive Director of BEDC, Dr Susann Smith of VetSmith; and Minister Jason Hayward

The BEDC established a partnership with Interise, a Boston-based non-profit organisation, to provide the curriculum for the Enterprise Bermuda Accelerator, with CEO Darrell Byers in attendance.

“Being present for moments like this makes me more passionate about Interise’s mission to create an inclusive economy through the growth of small businesses like yours,” stated Darrell Byers, CEO of Interise.

“Graduates: you each have a unique story to share, but together you represent the spirit of resilience and entrepreneurship that defines our community. This isn’t the end of our journey together. We are proud to welcome you to the Interise Alumni Network!” Mr Byers joined the BEDC Executive Director, Erica Smith, to hand out the certificates to the graduating entrepreneurs, including Joyce Hayward of Fusion 4 Business, Dr Susann Smith of Vet Smith, Aisha Trott of Soap Sudz, Sharrieff Wales and Jane Ellis of Champs Variety, and Ahmani Peets of Ahmani’s Cookies.

Back (Sharrieff Wales; Jache Adams, Chairman of BEDC Board; Minister Jason Hayward; Darrell Byers; Tee Ogunyemi, EBA Course Facilitator; Dr Susann Smith

Front (Richard Augustus, BEDC; Joyce Hayward; Colina Outerbridge, BEDC; Erica Smith; Aisha Trott, Soap Sudz; and Ahmani and Anthony Peets).

The celebrations culminated with closing remarks from BEDC Board Chairman, Jache Adams. He stated: “Today marks not just the end of an intensive journey through the Enterprise

Bermuda Accelerator but the beginning of these graduates’ entrepreneurial journeys. Over the past six to seven months, I’ve had the privilege to watch you embrace the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum, engage in peer learning, and grow as entrepreneurs and community leaders.” He continued, “The creativity, passion, and resilience you’ve shown are markers of great success, and I have no doubt that the future holds incredible opportunities for each of you. The BEDC commits to continuing to help you achieve your goals.”

The BEDC continues its commitment to innovation, job creation, and economic progress by hosting the Enterprise Bermuda Accelerator once a year. With the new cohort set to begin in 2025, the BEDC invites established entrepreneurs and business owners looking to grow their businesses to visit www.bedc.bm to learn more about the program, the requirements and how one can apply!

50 – Darrell Byers, Erica Smith, Ahmani and Anthony Peets of Ahmani’s Cookies and Minister Jason Hayward

66 – Back (Sharrieff Wales; Jache Adams, Chairman of BEDC Board; Minister Jason Hayward; Darrell Byers; Tee Ogunyemi, EBA Course Facilitator; Dr. Susann Smith

Front (Richard Augustus, BEDC; Joyce Hayward; Colina Outerbridge, BEDC; Erica Smith; Aisha Trott, Soap Sudz; and Ahmani and Anthony Peets).

  • About BEDC The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is Bermuda’s premier source of free, confidential business advice for entrepreneurs. The mission is to serve Bermuda’s local business community with the highest degree of professionalism by providing, authoritative business advice; counsel and financial support. Bermuda Business Starts Here!
  • For more information, visit www.bedc.bm. About Interise Interise is a national nonprofit that works to create an inclusive economy by supporting the growth of established small businesses that are located in low- and moderate-income communities or minority-owned.
  • We achieve our mission through bold programs that close gaps in business knowledge, know-how and networks; purposeful research that turns insights into actions; and national partnerships that create impact at local, regional, and statewide levels. Learn more at www.Interise.org.
  • About Interise Interise is a national nonprofit that works to create an inclusive economy by supporting the growth of established small businesses that are located in low- and moderate-income communities or minority-owned. We achieve our mission through bold programs that close gaps in business knowledge, know-how and networks; purposeful research that turns insights into actions; and national partnerships that create impact at local, regional, and statewidelevels. Learn more at www.Interise.org.