The Government of The Bahamas believes in investing in young people and improving the quality of life through the combined efforts of hard work and dedication, a solid vision, and a helping hand.

The Self-Starter Programme is a government funded grant-based programme to empower young Bahamian citizens, 18 – 30 years, seeking to establish or expand small businesses.  It will provide aspiring entrepreneurs with a valid small business idea, self-employed and unemployed, with funding from BS$1000 to BS$5000 to acquire tools and supplies for their businesses.  Funds will be paid directly to the supplier.  

The programme is managed by the Department of Youth, with an independent selection committee responsible for the selection process.  


Applicant must be a Bahamian citizen or resident, between the ages of 18 and 30.

  1. Self-Starter Programme forms may be collected at The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.  Alternatively, you may use the link below to download the application form.
  2. The applicant must fill out and submit the application form to the Ministry, along with all supporting documents.  
  3. Applicants on the following Family Islands may submit their applications to the Self-Starter Programme Coordinators:
    • Exuma
    • Abaco
    • Eleuthera
    • Andros
  4. All other Family Island applicants may submit their applications through the Family Island Administrator.  
  5. The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture will write the applicant acknowledging receipt of the application.  
  6. The committee meets once every two months to consider all applications submitted during that period.  
  7. The applicant is informed of committee’s decision.  
  8. Once successful the applicant must come into Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, along with the Business Licence and Quotation for tools and supplies requested.  
  9. The Department of Youth will process the purchase order for the relevant suppliers.  
  10. Once purchase orders are prepared the applicant is informed that the purchase orders are ready for collection. Note:  The applicant must present national photo ID to collect the purchase order.  These purchase orders will be used to purchase supplies/tools at the store.
  11. Upon purchasing the supplies/tools, the applicant must then return to the Ministry with the receipts to match each purchase order. It is advised that applicants make copies of all receipts for their personal records.  
  12. The Department of Youth then prepare the corresponding cheques, which will be sent directly to the respective establishments.    
  13. During the first six to twelve months of the business, Ministry officials will also carry out follow up site visits.  During these visits, Ministry officials will conduct interviews, and administer surveys to monitor the success of the business. 
  14. The Ministry may also provide basic training or seminar opportunities during this same period.  
Application Form(s) 

Self - Starter Application Form

Supporting Documents 
  • Two passport photos
  • Two written letters of references
  • Proof of Citizenship (first four pages of passport)
  • Current Business Licence (Must be provided before the grant can be awarded)
  • Proof of National Insurance
  • Health Certificate (For business involving food)
  • Local Quotations for tools and or supplies requested for the grant
  • You may also enclose copies of any other material that may be helpful in considering your request
Turn-around time 

Applications are processes within a period of one to three months.

There are no deadlines associated with this service.
Related Fee(s) 

There are no related fees associated with this service.

For more information please contact 

Any of the offices listed below, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays

Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture
Department of Youth
2nd Floor West Wing
Education Building
Thompson Boulevard
P.O. Box N4891
Nassau, New Providence
The Bahamas
Tel. (242) 502-0600
Fax.(242) 356-2693

Exuma, Jump Start Coordinator,
Tel. (242)
Fax. (242)

Abaco, Jump Start Coordinator,
Tel. (242)
Fax. (242)

Eleuthera, Jump Start Coordinator,
Tel. (242)  
Fax. (242)

Andros, Jump Start Coordinator,
Tel. (242)
Fax. (242)

Agency Contact Info
Youth, Sports and Culture, Ministry of
Thompson Blvd
P O Box N-4891
Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas
Phone: (242) 502-0600/5
Fax: (242) 322-6546
Useful Links
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