Sen. the Hon. Michael Fahy, JP

Minister for Home Affairs

 

Friday March 7th 2014

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Good morning,

I am pleased to be joined by US Consul General Mr. Robert Settje in announcing a partnership between the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) and the US Consulate aimed at furthering entrepreneurial activities in Bermuda.

As you know, this Government is committed to business and job growth as well as the recovery of our economy and as such, embraces partnerships that assist us in achieving these goals.

Today’s partnership initiative is aimed at strengthening the business acumen of Bermuda’s entrepreneurs while exposing them to international expertise at no cost to them except for their time.

For the first time, Bermuda’s entrepreneurs will be able to participate in, what is referred to as, a Massive Open Online Course or MOOC, while engaging in facilitated discussion with others in Bermuda and around the world who are also enrolled in the course.

MOOCs are online courses offering large-scale interactive participation at no cost to the user.

There are hundreds of them running continuously at no cost, of university standard, and open to the public. 

With well-known U.S. educational institutions offering an increasing number of courses, MOOCs are gaining popularity around the world, particularly with young people.

This very first facilitated course being taught online through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will deal with the very timely topic for entrepreneurs “who are their customers?”.  

Often times, great entrepreneurial ideas don’t have the success they potentially could because the right customer hasn’t been identified.  MIT has been asking its student entrepreneurs to answer this very question for many years – and with great success.    

I encourage Bermuda’s entrepreneurs to join MIT’s student entrepreneurs in their entrepreneurial journey as they discover their business’ most essential resource – the customer. 

This is the time to be proactive when it comes to operating your business.  Take advantage of the opportunity that the BEDC and the US Consulate is facilitating for you by registering for this free course.

I encourage you to make new connections, foster new relationships, and gain a new understanding of what is required to continue to be successful in your business endeavours.

Before I turn it over to the Consul General, I just want to highlight the importance of collaborative efforts and what can be achieved when entities work together for the benefit of Bermuda.

Since 2012 the BEDC has forged very strong bond with the US Consulate and have celebrated entrepreneurship collectively in the following ways:

  • Through US diplomacy allowing the BEDC to travel and visit entrepreneurship programmes in the US through the US Voluntary Visitors programme;
  • Through access to international expertise through the free CO.NX. Entrepreneurship Web Chat series;
  • Through the launching of Global Entrepreneurship Week entrepreneurial activities; and
  • Now through facilitating Bermuda’s entrepreneurs to have access to free university level courses. 

 So we view the announcement of today’s partnership with the US Consulate as a continuation or our efforts towards creating entrepreneurial growth. 

The fostering of economic growth creates opportunities for new business and it facilitates job creation.

Now I’d like to turn it over to the US Consul General, Mr. Robert Settje who will say a few words.

Thank you.