Disney Will Provide Over $1 Million in Funding to Startups and Small Businesses

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lighthouse point

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company is continuing its mission to do good in the world. News just broke today that Disney Cruise Line is pledging $1 million in funding for startup businesses in the Bahamas.

According to local Bahamian news source Eyewitness News Nassau, Disney Cruise Line is partnering with the Bahamas for this project, which will help local startups in the Bahamian islands. DCL has entered an agreement with the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre and the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce in the Bahamas to prepare startups and small businesses to participate in development projects that are currently underway in Central and South Eleuthera, including Disney’s Lighthouse Point.

disney lighthouse point site
Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

In case you’re not caught up with the latest Disney Cruise Line news, here’s what you need to know. The Walt Disney Company announced its latest Disney Cruise Line project last year at D23 Expo — Lighthouse Point, which will be Disney’s second private island destination in the Bahamas (in addition to Castaway Cay). Disney describes Lighthouse Point as a new Disney-owned and -managed port of call for Disney Cruise Line. The signature island experience will celebrate the spirit and culture of The Bahamas. And with Disney Imagineering expert Joe Rohde paving the way, it’s sure to be spectacular.

Disney Cruise Line completed its purchase of Lighthouse Point in 2019 and signed an agreement with the Bahamian government to ensure the site is developed responsibly. You can read more about Lighthouse Point here.

Over the next three years, Disney will provide over $1 million to fund this imitative of empowering local businesses in Eleuthera, which is also where Lighthouse Point will be located. However, construction at Lighthouse Point won’t begin until the Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan has been reviewed and accepted by the Bahamian government, public consultation has occurred, and other necessary government permits and approvals have been granted.

“Our organizations are coming together with the goal of empowering entrepreneurs and small businesses in Eleuthera and maximizing their economic opportunities for the long run,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line. “Disney is excited to be a part of this community and to help create a more robust and resilient economy in Eleuthera.”

Entrepreneurs and small businesses in Eleuthera will be able to take advantage of business development advisory services, business communication training, customer service training, business mentorship, and other seminars and programming designed to equip local businesses for success. These programs will all take place at a new facility in Rock Sound, which will also provide coworking spaces, high-speed internet and phone services, and meeting rooms. Disney Cruise Line will also have a small office in the Rock Sound facility in order to provide a touchpoint between Disney and local businesses and organizations.

“This strategic partnership aligns perfectly with our goals to provide employment, create ownership opportunities and drive development in The Bahamas,” said Davinia Grant, executive director of the Access Accelerator, Small Business Development Centre. “Equipping our startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises with effective new tools and training is an important step forward in our quest for sustainable growth and prosperity.”

disney funding bahamas startups
Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest (left) and Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line. (Credit: Eyewitness News)

You can learn more about Disney Cruise Line on Inside the Magic or click here to contact an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner to book a Disney Cruise. 

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