November 1-4, 2006
Stopping in Nassau
November 14, 2006
What struck me most during my first visit to the Bahamas was the sense of entrepreneurship. While there were government employees and the large resort complexes did employ people, a large portion of the population was self-employed. Of course, there was the Straw Market, but there were many other examples of true private enterprise. Most notable was the jitney system. These buses were privately owned, not by a big corporation or government agency. They would cruise a pre-designated route (such as the #10 that went from Cable Beach toward Nassau). Each reflected the individual character of the owner in how it was painted and in what music was played on board. On Friday's trip into town, I heard rasta music singing the praises of ganja while on the return trip it was gospel music on a bus which "Give Jesus the praise." were carefully lettered above the door.
Opposite the luxurious resort were private businessmen trying to meet the needs of visitors: scooter rentals, internet access, daiquiris, and Cuban cigars --- sometimes all in the same place.
I was pleasantly surprised to see this entrepreneurial spirit.