BIM VENTURES: Venture Capital Fund


Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson's announcement last week of a government guarantee for the principal amount invested in the newly launched Barbados Entrepreneurs' Venture Capital Fund is sweet news to the ears of the local, regional and international investment community.


Barbadian business consultant Dr. Basil Springer, project manager for the Barbados Business Enterprise Corp (BBEC) which manages the fund, welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement which came at a local fund launch which featured six pilot project presentations at George Washington House in Barbados."Some prospective investors have already intimated that it would be difficult for them not to invest under these circumstances in the interest of national development," said Dr. Springer who believes that the "the presence of a shepherd or business mentor will enhance the opportunity for the local businesses achieving sustainable success and their eventual ability to buy-out the shares of the venture capital company." Dr. Springer, who designed the CBET Shepherding Model™ with the support of the Caribbean Development Bank, noted that the guarantee for the principal provides a solid platform to approach sophisticated investors interested in "sowing their seeds into fertile ground."


He announced that 35 to 40 local businesses are expected to be identified over the next 12 months: "As these businesses grow exponentially in the years ahead, we expect the venture capital company to experience sustained growth, obviating the need for invoking the government guarantee," he added.Respected local businessman Lalu Vaswani, chairman of the Satjay Bridgetown Centre and a member of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the guarantee presents an important opportunity for the private sector and highlights the Barbados Government's commitment to promoting globally competitive entrepreneurs.


"It reinforces the level of commitment the Barbados government has already demonstrated with its $1.5 million (US $750,000) invested in the Fund to date, thus illustrating their admirable leadership in promoting the development of internationally minded entrepreneurs," he said.A new twist to the way venture capital funding is currently administered on the island, the Barbados Entrepreneurs' Venture Capital Fund promises to quickly respond to the investment needs of entrepreneurs whose ideas have the "DNA of An Elephant". The fund is an integral part of the CBET Shepherding Model™ and will offer investors the opportunity to become part of a unique approach to economic growth.


The CBET Shepherding Model comprises three elements - an entrepreneur with an idea that has the potential for global expansion; timely cash advances for business plan development and implementation as well as quick response to investment requests; and a shepherd (business mentor), supported by a team of business advisors, to help the entrepreneur nurture the business idea into a successful reality.
About Barbados Business Enterprise Corp.
Barbados Business Enterprise Corp. (BBEC) is a public/private sector partnership with the Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust (CBET) Inc. BBEC manages the Barbados Revolving Seed Capital Fund and the Barbados Entrepreneurs' Venture Capital Fund. BBEC is a virtual organisation that focuses on promoting economic development in Barbados. The trustees of BBEC are respected Barbadian business and development experts, Sir Neville Nicholls (Chairman), Sir Stephen Emtage, Peter Boos and Hazel Highland.


For further information, visit http://www.bimventures.com/.

Source: Barbados Business Enterprise Corp (BBEC)

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