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Fund Access Helping to Pave The Way
Published on May 9, 2016 by admin

Fund Access Helping to Pave The Way

FundAccess seeks to empower micro entrepreneurs through the provision of financing, enterprise training and business development services. This has worked well for three businesses who form part of the showcase for BMEX 2016 under the FundAccess umbrella.

In the mind of Bibi Kellman, the Managing Director of Bibi Snacks ”they provided financial support for us and they were really good. When they say they will be backing you they really back you. They exceeded our expectations and the classroom training they provided for us in accounting and marketing for example really helped us to run the business properly.

Bibi Snacks has established itself as a brand to be reckoned in the local market, their range of sugar cakes, chips and of course their infamous sugar daddies have secured a place in the appetites of many Barbadians. When the company started out, their vision was to take local Barbadian products and turn them into local snacks and they wanted to use indigenous products such as sweet potato, breadfruit, cassava with which they produce chips, providing a healthier alternative snack

“We like to satisfy both the sweet and salty cravings of our customers and so we provide a good choice. Quite often the demand for our snacks definitely outstrip our ability to supply and that is where FundAccess came on board to help us acquire the relevant machines which would significantly improve our productivity and overall efficiency. We keep adding to our various line and so for example we have seven flavours of sugar cake. These are molasses, ginger, bayleaf, pineapple, pink and white, as well as old fashioned.

“We are looking forward to being at BMEX 2016 as we will be bringing our own special recipe of  tamarind syrup including a spicy flavour; the samples have gone very well and we also have a ginger flavour along with the traditional. Our nut cake Bibi Style, our Guava Cheese and gooseberry syrup will also be available for sampling. We are also excited that our packaging is about to change and our products will now come in foil bags”.

 Laid off turns side business into full time and decides to do business.

O’s Inc is another business which is showcasing under the FundAccess banner. This was initially a side-business which turned into entrepreneurship when its founder was faced with unemployment. Driven by Theophilia Stoute this company provides a gluten free alternative to the average flour.  The range of products is quite varied and includes cassava, sweet potato, breadfruit flour. The company also produces frozen products such as grated sweet potato and pumpkin which is great for steam pudding or fritters, pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake. They also produce cassava chunks.

The company is very excited to bring its Fry and Bake product to BMEX 2016 which is excellent for coating fish or chicken.  All of their products are gluten free and are healthier alternatives.

According to Ms. Stoute “When we got started it was in response to a merging trend; a lot of people have been going gluten free and this provided an opportunity for us.  We visited supermarkets to see what was not there, we looked around and found our niche. It has been going well. When we tried to source funding, no-one wanted to lend us but FundAccess stood behind me, they were impressed with the packaging etc. and they have been pushing me from then until now.   They challenge us and ensure that we keep on the path of growth.  It has been a great partnership with them.”

AC Manufacturing has definitely been making a name for itself within the garment industry. Developed by Cheryl Stoute the company produces an array of ladies attire, ladies, children and gents undergarments as well as customized School Uniforms.

Cheryl Stoute started out working in garment factories straight out of school and always had the desire to own her own business.  When she was terminated at the last factory where she worked, she armed herself with all of the knowledge built up over the years and decided she was not going to work for anyone else anymore.  The termination was her turning point and she started producing garments at home on two domestic machines.  She first started with skirt suits and would drive around the country every Sunday and sell them to different households who paid her over time for the garments.  It quickly grew and the rest is history

Her primary focus was business attire and so when the recession hit she included school uniforms –and FundAccess came on board to help her to secure the raw materials to produce the uniforms. The company guarantees that once an individual places their order early the uniform will be completed in good time, since they only produce uniforms by order.

FundAccess has assisted these companies and other expanding enterprises. Amounts range from $700.00 to $100,000.00 at an interest rate of 6%, with flexible security and repayment periods of up to 10 years. Before loans are disbursed, clients must undergo enterprise training covering topics such as cash management, record-keeping, costing and pricing, marketing, honouring commitment, motivation for success and goal setting. Additional training is provided through on-going seminars and workshops. FundAccess assigns each entrepreneur a Business Development Officer who monitors the business for the duration of the loan. Entrepreneurs may also access small grants for professional skills development and marketing initiatives, and can receive assistance in setting up accounting systems, and in the analysis and use of financial data to support further development of their businesses.

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