In a bid to “further support entrepreneurship in Bermuda by being more accessible”, the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), will host a series of Open Houses, starting today.
The Open Houses will be held in each of the Economic Empowerment Zones (EEZs).
A spokesperson said: “The goal of establishing the Hubs is to provide a geographically attainable space for entrepreneurs to focus on building their businesses instead of focusing on the costs typically associated with renting a location and the associated infrastructure.
“In addition, it allows the BEDC to be right in the heart of the EEZs to provide area stakeholders with guidance on setting up a business, work with community stakeholders, and offer information and support to those that live in the area.
“BEDC has recently launched the 5th cohort of Enterprise Bermuda, our 12-month incubator program. Through this program, entrepreneurs get access to office space, programming, mentorship and more. Previously we could only support eight businesses housed in our main Church Street Office; with the opening of the Offices in each of the EEZs, we have been able to expand support to 28 entrepreneurs.
“They will be housed in each of our 4 locations during their tenure in Enterprise Bermuda. Ultimately, we hope that when individuals graduate from the Incubator, they will feel supported, will have learned something new, and will feel a sense of empowerment to become masters of their own destinies.
“The Enterprise Bermuda Hubs will facilitate opportunities and support success for Bermuda’s businesses in the respective areas. Being physically present in the EEZ is a tangible way to provide resources and skills in the community to assist with creating opportunities.
“In addition to the entrepreneurs having 24-hour access to the office space to operate their businesses, each office will be manned by the designated Micro Small & Medium Enterprise Officer for the Zone. Donte Hunt is the Officer for NE Hamilton, Ondreyah Rochester is the Officer for Somerset, and Dennis Carter is the Officer for St George’s.
“We encourage the public to come to check out the new spaces. Although there are desks assigned to those participating in Enterprise Bermuda, there is an opportunity for the community to use the spaces for meetings, seminars, or if they need access to a computer or printer.
“The North East Hamilton Incubator Hub will be the first open house this Thursday, September 29th, from 4pm-7pm at the Donald French Building on 19 Elliott Street, Hamilton. Somerset Incubator Hub will follow on Tuesday, October 4th, from 4 pm-7 pm at the Forth House building on 68 Somerset Road, Sandy’s. Lastly, the St. George’s Incubator Hub open house will be on Thursday, October 6th, from 4pm-7pm on 11 Water Street, Upper Floor, St George’s.
“These locations are housed in previously unused buildings. There has been a lot of effort put into bringing the buildings back to life. The BEDC team made a concerted effort to ensure that the vendors used to complete the renovations were small businesses.
“So, the revitalization of these buildings also contributes to a holistic development approach. The Hubs were created to support entrepreneurs and stakeholders in the community, and BEDC utilized vendors that are entrepreneurs and stakeholders in the community to do the work.
“Enterprise Bermuda is an annual program and applications will open again in the summer of 2023. Interested entrepreneurs can log on to www.bedc.bm to express their interest. BEDC will contact all those who have expressed an interest once applications are opened.”