Hamilton, Bermuda 15 July 2022 – Last night 50 people attended the BEDC’s graduation dinner and induction ceremony for the Enterprise Bermuda (E.B.) incubator programme.
The event opened with a welcome message by the Minister of Economy and Labour, The Hon. Jason Hayward, JP., MP., expressed the Government’s commitment to supporting local business development. He stated, “Through the BEDC, we continue our commitment to supporting a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports creating jobs and building back our economy. The BEDC, over the years, has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and provided millions of dollars in financial support. The Enterprise Bermuda Incubator programme is another example of the dedication to develop entrepreneurship in Bermuda.”
Graduates received certificates; three expressed their experience over the past 12 months. Juanae Simmons of iWashBDA said that the “Incubator programme helped her to express herself more and that the experience attending the Global Entrepreneurship Congress was life-changing.” Keanne Bean of Graciful Bodi, noted, “I started with just an idea and with the help from BEDC was able to realize the start of my business.” Rickai Edwards of Cedarbeam Advancements stated, “Enterprise Bermuda helped me focus my ideas and work on those most relevant.”
Other program graduates included Indira Swan, founder of The Cool Mom Club, Evan Heyliger, Loquat Learning, Gavin Carter, Gavin’s Butter, and Sionna Barton of J.A.G. Athletics.
Launched in 2018 as a pilot, Enterprise Bermuda, has grown to support 32 budding entrepreneurs with its latest cohort. The program’s expansion was made possible in part to the addition of three new Enterprise Bermuda Hubs located in the Economic Empowerment Zones and enhanced programming through a partnership with Accelerator Centre (A.C.). The partnership allows the BEDC to license the A.C.’s global program licensing platform, A.C.:Hubs, leveraging the organization’s globally recognized programming and mentorship model.
Erica Smith, BEDC Executive Director, said, “We are absolutely thrilled and extremely honoured to partner with the Accelerator Centre. BEDC’s mantra is to continue improving its offerings to grow Bermuda’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, so collaborating with the A.C. enables us to do this with the E.B.I. Access to their expertise helps us provide new opportunities to Bermuda’s entrepreneurs.”
BEDC invited representatives of A.C., Leanne Henderson, Director of Programmes, and Chantel Klassen, Manager of International Programmes and Client Experience, to Bermuda to participate in the graduation and induction ceremony. The Honorary Consul for Canada, and owner of Lili Bermuda, Mrs. Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone, was present at the ceremony to assist in welcoming A.C. to Bermuda.
While on Island, the A.C. team toured the E.B. Hubs and visited entrepreneurs across Bermuda to better understand the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Nikki Fagan, Enterprise Bermuda Incubation Lead, welcomed the 32 participants to cohort 5. She stated, “When BEDC advertised the position, I knew they wrote the job description specifically for me.” She noted that her passion was assisting early-stage businesses, and she was thrilled to be able to support the new cohort along their journey.
The event concluded with inspiring closing remarks from Erica Smith, BEDC Executive Director. She stated, “Through Enterprise Bermuda and the resources we have at our disposal, the BEDC commits to helping you achieve your goals. We look forward to traveling this journey with you as partners and celebrating your graduation at the end of your 12-month tenure with us.”
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 the AC
At the AC, we exist to help ambitious dreamers impact global change through their businesses. The AC is ranked Canada’s #1 private business accelerator and is among the top five such organizations globally. We offer an extensive selection of customizable opportunities for startups across Canada—allowing founders to rapidly bring their innovation to life. We work with our global partners to bolster the innovation ecosystem in Waterloo and beyond.