#Nassau, September 19, 2018 – Bahamas – A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This ancient Chinese aphorism – quoted by Laozi – has taken on a new significance in The Bahamas with the impending launch of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC). The SBDC officially opens for business September 20, and among the events planned to mark the opening is a fireside chat the SBDC is calling “The Millionaires’ Mile.” The evening is all about the journey, and the SBDC is all about that first, all-important step.
On Wednesday, September 19, at 7:00pm in the University of The Bahamas Performing Arts Centre (PAC), the SBDC has arranged an exciting programme. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest will give a talk on “The Bahamian Economy, Reimagined.” Following the Deputy Prime Minister’s talk, two Bahamian businesspeople will have a moderated discussion about their journey through the Bahamian business sector, the challenges they faced and the solutions they employed to achieve the success for which they are now celebrated.
The two entrepreneurs who will present are education magnate Lisa McCartney, Director of Windsor High School at Albany, and Christian Sawyer, Managing Director and principal owner of Sunryse Information Management, touted as The Bahamas’s first mobile document destruction and information management services company.
Mrs. McCartney is an acknowledged force in the Bahamian education sector: she founded and directed Unicorn Village, The Meridian School, and Windsor Preparatory School, each of which has become an image of success. Indeed, Mrs. McCartney has received numerous awards including the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award from The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation and the Golden Rule Award, presented in affiliation with the United Nations, for her dedication and work in the field of education.
Set on 25 acres in Albany, Windsor High School at Albany has students and faculty representing 21 nationalities attending both day and boarding schools catering to students in grades 10 to 13 (US grades nine to 12), at a cost of around $19,000 per annum. Mrs. McCartney also noted that the school partners with renowned golf coach Mitchell Spearmon and world-ranked tennis star Lleyton Hewitt.
Christian Sawyer is the principal owner and Managing Director of Sunryse Shredding Services and Sunryse Information Management, which has been described as The Bahamas’s first mobile document destruction and information management services company.
The company started in 2000 under the name Sunryse Shredding, offering secure document destruction and disposal services. Sunryse, which has continued to focus on sustainability, has since expanded to include document and information storage; off-site data protection, scanning and imaging and secure shredding for paper and product destruction.
SBDC Executive Director Davinia Blair looked forward to learning from the two entrepreneurs about their journeys.
“It takes incredible vision, stamina, work and not a little bit of luck to succeed in business in any environment, and both Ms. McCartney and Mr. Sawyer have stories to tell that I believe will inspire our entrepreneurs and startups. They show us that sustainable success is possible in our environment, and on Wednesday evening they’ll tell us how they did it,” she said.
“I can’t wait.”
Ms. Blair was also buzzing about two new hires at the SBDC: Bianca Lee is the new Associate Director of Operations, tasked with oversight, supervision and administration of the SBDC’s business operations, and Travis Miller has been chosen to develop the SBDC website, which is expected to be launched for public use in mid-December 2018.
The SBDC is the product of a tri-partite arrangement between the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, with University of The Bahamas (UB) and, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer’s Confederation and the Ministry of Finance (BCCEC). The Centre will work to guide and the development, funding, growth and evolution of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (“MSMEs”) in The Bahamas.