FREEPORT, The Bahamas – The University of The Bahamas, North, announced February 4, 2022 that the university has received a grant of $500,000 from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as part of a Technical Cooperation Agreement intended to create a Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Grand Bahama. The announcement was made during a press conference at the Grand Lucayan.
The $500,000 grant serves as a bridge between the education system of today and the bright future of tomorrow, remarked Senator the Hon. Kirkland Russell, the government’s representative at the press conference. “As a country, we are embarking on a new era of transformation, and this historic Technical Cooperation Agreement between the University of The Bahamas (UB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is certainly in keeping with this.” IDB Country Office/Bahamas Representative Daniela Carrera Marquis attended
the event via zoom.
Present were: Allyson Maynard-Gibson, QC, Chair, Board of Trustees, University of The Bahamas; Dr. Rodney Smith, President and CEO, University of The Bahamas; and Dr. Ian Strachan, Campus President, University of The Bahamas, North; and members of the UB Board of Trustees.
Senator Russell said the event signifies the Davis administration’s commitment to the economic transformation of the nation, with Grand Bahama as the epicenter, and with UB playing a pivotal role in entrepreneurial development and training.
He continued, for the Grand Bahama community it further demonstrates “the commitment to transform challenges into innovation. Ladies and Gentlemen, with a determined purpose of introducing an environment where the nation’s brightest minds can embrace emerging technologies, the government demonstrates its commitment to remaining focused on the challenges ahead.
“COVID-19 and the economic fallout have taught us as a nation that paying attention and seeking opportunities to expand our thinking about what is ahead, is critical to survival. As the world changes – and we know that the only constant is change – it is essential that we as a people embrace technological advancements to not only survive and thrive but also to ensure we are engaged in activities that support the sustainability of our economy, as well as encourage
Senator Russell added the grant is a step towards national development, “ensuring Grand Bahamians and Bahamians across the archipelago are provided more educational opportunities to develop the skills and professional strengths needed to support service delivery, while encouraging the development of businesses and in particular e-businesses.”
Allyson Gibson said, “The partnership that we celebrate today, created by a half million-dollar grant from the IDB and matching commitment from UB, will transform UB-North, Grand Bahama and The Bahamas.
“The Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UB-North will stimulate micro, small, and medium-sized business ownership and increase the capacity of Bahamians to soar in the digital realm, ensuring our competitiveness nationally and internationally. These successes will fuel our economic engine.” Mrs. Gibson thanked the IDB for their generous grant, and for helping to enable the envisioned successes.
“UB, as a national institution,” said Dr. Smith, “must be open to engaging in meaningful discussions and partnerships with international agencies that help us further our mission, by focusing efforts toward attaining our national development goals.
“I must thank the IDB, for this current project, on behalf of the university and for the people of Grand Bahama. We at the university have long envisioned a business and entrepreneurship incubator at the UB-North campus, as a part of the campus’ growth and for the benefit of Grand Bahama. The creation of the Centre of Entrepreneurship and Innovation is our vision realized – it will become the birthplace of innovation.”