SMEs Encouraged To Embrace Technology

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Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman (FP)

A clarion call has gone out for small businesses to endorse technology to enhance their offerings to the public.

The call has come from Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, who pointed out that the small business community has been apprehensive to accept new technologies, which could result in inactivity within the sector.

He made these comments while addressing a Thanksgiving Service which was held at the McEnearney Showroom in Wildey, St. Michael, last Sunday to launch the Small Business Association’s Small Business Week 2012.

Alluding to the theme for the week – Embracing Technology as the New Frontier, Minister Kellman reiterated that: "Technology, if used correctly allows man to exploit his capacity… If we are being more efficient then it must be used to expand the market offerings."

He emphasised that with suitable complements such as "power, connectivity, content, skills, support systems, functional markets" and the implementation of an appropriate Information Communications Technology (ICT) framework within small and medium enterprises, the benefits would be innumerable.

"…ICTs help to fuel efficiency, drive competitiveness, stimulate knowledge creation, improve productivity, and sustains economic, social and cultural development. Further, ICTs have the capacity to help businesses cope with the ever-increasing challenges emanating from trade liberalisation and globalisation.

"ICTs can effectively facilitate outsourcing, which, in turn, can improve the operational efficiency of those SMEs that exercise the courage to embrace new technologies… ICTs are known to enable small and medium enterprises to compete more effectively with their larger counterparts thus narrowing the economic divide, as well as to gain greater global market access so as to improve financial positions and make greater contributions to national economic development," the Small Business Minister outlined.

Echoing his appeal for SMEs "to recognise the importance of keeping abreast", Minister Kellman asserted "this bus will not wait on you – technology is here to stay, whether you embrace it or not!"

He, however, gave the assurance that his Ministry would provide the necessary assistance to cross "this new frontier".

"It will never be Government’s intention to leave you out on a limb. Having recognised the invaluable contribution this sector continues to provide towards our country’s economic viability, I assure you that the Ministry of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, acting in concert with the various strategic stakeholders, will actively play its part to successfully transition small enterprises across the ICT divide," the Minister affirmed.

sharifa.medford@barbados.gov.bb

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