Six small businesses were awarded for their hard work and dedication at a gala event put on by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) on Sunday, November 11th in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week.


Categories for the 2018 2nd Annual Small Business Awards included: Entrepreneur of the Year, New Business of the Year, Most Enterprising Young Entrepreneur, BEDC Client of the Year, and People’s Choice. A separate award for top Vendor of the Year was also given out for the first time for the micro-enterprise with the best Bermuda made or inspired product, who displays stellar customer service, as well as excellent packaging and merchandising.


The winners in each of the categories were:


Most Enterprising Young Entrepreneur: Mia Williams Grant, The Burning Bean


Entrepreneur of the Year: Anderica Gilbert, Bermuda Dental Studio


New Business of the Year: Catarina Rocha, Glamping on de Rock LLC


Vendor of the Year: Gina Thompson, Sniggles Face & Body Painting


People’s Choice: Malisa Swan, Bermuda Cupcake Company


BEDC Client of the Year: Surlena Smith, Ponda Pits


Malisa Swan, owner of Bermuda Cupcake Company, who won the People’s Choice Award, said of the win, “Being The People’s Choice 2018 is a fantastic recognition for Bermuda Cupcake Company and a huge milestone for me personally. Winning the award gave my business and myself a huge boost of confidence that we are on the right track and encouraged me to push harder with my brand and continue to make moist, tasty and delicious treats. The award has created a platform to celebrate my success!”


BEDC’s Client of the Year Award went to Surlena Smith, whose natural deodorant business, PondaPits, won the BEDC’s 2017 Rocket Pitch Competition in 2017, said: “Winning the Small Business Award has been a validating experience for me, being recognized for the efforts and strides that I have made, it’s very rewarding and encouraging. This award lights the fires that give an entrepreneur like me the ignition needed to charge forward.  I not only have worked to establish my own business, but I continue to support and bridge gaps in us all working together to take Bermuda to the ultimate level of business acumen.”


Gina Thompson, of Sniggles Face & Body Painting, who won the inaugural Vendor of the Year Award, said she was surprised to win the award being up against so many other great businesses.


She said: “To receive this award means a lot and gives a lot. It gives inspiration to continue doing what I am doing. It gives a confirmation that if you are doing something wholeheartedly and are open to everything new, you will be definitely rewarded one day.”


The talented artist, who has been running her face and body painting booth for 20 years, added: “The best entrepreneurs have something to prove and it’s not about the money it’s about doing something that you like to do. You need to be passionate about what you’re doing. You do everything and you need to be willing to do everything.”


Ondreyah Rochester, BEDC’s Junior Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Officer, said of the evening: “The 2nd Annual Small Business Awards was another successful event. It was a fantastic way to celebrate the efforts of small business owners, and it was really encouraging to see how many people supported their favourite small businesses through the People’s Choice award poll, and came out to enjoy a great evening. Congratulations to all of the winners and to those who were nominated we applaud you for all of the effort you put into your businesses.”


For more information about events taking place during the month of November, visit


About BEDC

Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is Bermuda’s premier source of free confidential business advice for entrepreneurs.  The mission is to serve Bermuda’s local business community with the highest degree of professionalism by providing, authoritative business advice; counsel and loan guarantee support. Bermuda Business Starts Here!  For more information visit


About GEW:

During one week in November the world spotlights how young people’s ideas can contribute to global economic development.   GEW Global, which started in 2008 with the Kauffman Foundation and the UK’s Make your Mark organization, has grown to include Host Committees in over 150 countries.  With the help of governments and non-government organizations, Host Countries coordinate events ranging from invention competitions to local entrepreneurship summits designed to stimulate creative solutions, jumpstart innovation and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit, especially among young people.


Formed in 2008 the Bermuda Host Committee is made up of the BEDC, Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative of Bermuda (registered charity no. 616) and the Department of ICT Policy & Innovation. The Committee acts with the common goal of inspiring the new generation of entrepreneurs and creative thinkers

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