The Bahamas, which ranks third by its per-capita in Americas (after the United States and Canada) draws in tourists and financiers as no other Caribbean states. In 20th century the Bahamas had served as the main offshore site for Canadian and American corporations.
At some moment, Canadian businesses had became so prominent in the Bahamas, that one of the biggest insurance companies sent a petition to the British Parliament, advocating for Bahamas joining Canada. This initiative didn’t get too far, however. Lords voted against this bill, arguing that it would be inappropriate to mix white Canadian citizens with Bahamian black inhabitants.
The Bahamas — the member of Commonwealth — isn’t, however, known for the strength of its startups ecosystem. Small economy, tiny population, high costs of living, lack of qualified personnel and geographical isolation do not appeal to fledgling high-tech companies.
On the positive side, developed tourists and financial industries present a number of niche business opportunities for local startup founders. Additionally, as the popularity of Bahamas among wealthy US and Canadian senior citizens continues to grow, e-businesses aimed at health-care and real-estate sectors may see its users base to expand in the long-term.
Business Notes for Startups Founders:
- political climate: moderately friendly;
- economic climate: marginally friendly;
- regions to focus: locally, USA, Canada;
- industries to focus: tourism, entertainment, FinTech, health-care, real-estate;
- major limitations: stagnating economy (GDP growth rate at 0%), relatively small GDP ($9 billion), high unemployment (at 12%), high costs of living / travel, geographical isolation, limited population (under 400 thousands), shortage of qualified high-tech work-force;
- stimulus: low taxes, a concentration of high net-worth individuals, the large expatriates community, the developed tourism industry (60% of GDP), well developed infrastructure (fixed Internet penetration rate at 90%), high-income population (per-capita at $21,000).
- opportunities: to develop an e-business aimed at HNWI users of fixed and mobile Internet in entertainment, real-estate and health-care sectors.