Minister of Economic Affairs and Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, presenting Assistant Administrator of the Year, Gerdene Mayers with her award.
Plans are in train to establish a new Industrial Development Commission to advance the initiatives of a revamped industrial policy for the small business sector.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick said such a policy would increase the profitability of the manufacturing sector.
He made these observations while addressing Sani Services Limited’s 25th Anniversary Dinner and Awards ceremony at the Accra Beach Hotel, Rockley, Christ Church, last Sunday.
Dr. Estwick, who pledged to assist in the creation of new enterprises, also alluded to enhanced policy initiatives to be executed by the Ministry of Trade’s Business Development Unit. He further explained that this augmented thrust would see the creation of diverse companies through training, the provision of direct subsidies and easier access to capital investment.
He noted that the policy would also seek to build an entrepreneurial culture; facilitate the development of competitive and innovative small businesses and to build the capacity for small businesses to grow.
Noting that Government was committed to providing the necessary resources to expand the small business sector, Dr. Estwick said legislation would soon be enacted to increase the number of entrepreneurs from 10 percent to 20 percent by 2016.
Regarding an absence of up-to-date data on the economic contribution of the small business sector he urged the tertiary education facilities to play a leading role in this regard. “Appropriate business development research must therefore be driven by market demand and not an exercise in academia. Therefore, the time has come for a tripartite response in this area to be developed in Barbados. This tripartite arrangement must be made up of the academic sector, Government and the business sector,” he noted.
Concerning the management of Sani Services Limited, the Minister advised them to make sure that their company could weather these difficult times. “You may find the need to cut costs in non-essential areas in order to save money. Invest in marketing as you will need to remain visible and competitive,” he stressed.
Dr. Estwick further told them to: “Be determined to succeed regardless of the economic environment, diversify your customer base and continue to provide high quality service as well as provide new services to your customers.”