Teach the younger generation how to ???rough it???.
That is the sentiment being expressed by Minister of Commerce, Donville Inniss, who is concerned that the older generation is not instilling certain values in young Barbadians.
Speaking this morning at the opening of the new Speightstown branch of the Barbados Lumber Company Centre, Mr. Inniss suggested that instead of teaching the younger generation about hard work, discipline and determination, older Barbadians appeared to be simply financing them.
He said: ???As a nation, we would do well to foster and truly develop a greater culture of entrepreneurship, especially amongst our youth. ???Businesses such as the Barbados Lumber Company have a major role to play as a mentor in our drive to create more entrepreneurs in Barbados.???
The Minister told his audience, which included Executive Chairman, Rawle Brancker; Chief Executive Officer of Republic Bank, Ian De Souza; long-standing investor, Charlie Griffith; and other various stakeholders, that ???we have to work harder at training our small businesses how to prepare and prevent ??? not how to repair and repent!???
He also added that with the newest branch in the North, they were now faced with ???reshaping the image of what in the minds of some has become a sleepy fishing village to that of the catalyst for sustainable vibrant rural enterprise development???.
???It is for you entrepreneurs in Speightstown to determine what it takes to keep this town alive. It is for Government to create the enabling environment for you to achieve your goals. Let us have a conversation around such, as I pledge the resources of my Ministry to expand the business options in the north of our island,??? he urged.
Mr. Inniss also lauded the fact that the Company was inter-generational, and commented that too often privately-held companies in the Caribbean died or were sold off without reaching the next generation.
???I salute Barbados Lumber Company for being able to prepare and retain your next generation of shareholders. I know that Mr. Brancker et al have been hard task masters but it would all have been done to prepare the younger ones to take the baton and run with it. The character of our children tomorrow is shaped by what we teach them today,??? he underlined.
Meanwhile, Mr. Brancker called on the banking community to do more to aid in the development of businesses in this country. Lamenting that North American banks were not familiar with the way the Caribbean did business, he said it was high time for more to be done in terms of business stimulation and innovation.
Noting that back in 1973 when the Lumber Company started they were experiencing a recession, he pointed out that some 40 years later, they were still going strong.?????We started in a recession, expanded through a recession and we will live through this recession,??? he contended.
He further reasoned that very often the same banking fraternity did not take time to understand the various businesses as well as their clients and stated that this way of thinking must change.