Solar Kiosk To Boost The Island???s Entrepreneurial Climate

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Plans are afoot to transform the island???s entrepreneurial climate within the small business sector and a local ice cream dealership will play a major part in this revitalisation.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Patrick Todd, gave this vote of confidence in BICO Ice Cream Limited???s thrust to cement its stake in the ice cream market, during the launch of its solar ice cream kiosk.?? It was held in Jubilee Gardens, the City, last Friday.

Pointing out that the kiosk would lead to increased competitiveness of locally produced products, he added that the business investment would result in ???a ripple effect on economic activity that is absolutely necessary in these tough times???.

In light of this, Mr. Todd reiterated an earlier call for businesses to be more innovative.?? ???I strongly believe that countries that invest heavily in innovation capacity, recognise that entrepreneurship, is the primary mechanism for converting early-stage innovations into economic gain.???

He further stated: ???Therefore, we must foster the nexus between innovation and entrepreneurship as a major component of our economic development strategy that will be of vital importance to the competitiveness and vitality of the entire region.?????

To assist small businesses in achieving the competitive edge, the Minister of State pointed to a number of initiatives to encourage companies to go green as contained in the proposed Energy Policy.

The document Mr. Todd added, would provide significant incentives to encourage ownership of fuel-efficient motor cars; allocate incentives for greater use of solar energy in households and create a smart energy fund of $10 million to provide low interest loans to households, seeking to purchase solar panels.?? The blueprint would also facilitate the introduction of a tax rebate for the cost of installing a solar electric system and phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of BICO, Hemraj Ramdath, affirmed that the balance between the environment and the company???s corporate social responsibility, would reap significant benefits for the island.

???This will not only improve our brand position, but also, offer the rewards of sustainable profitability and more satisfied customers,??? he said.??

Chief Innovation Officer with Innogen Technologies, Mark Hill, the company behind the creation of the solar kiosk, said its introduction signaled that the retail sector could be a leader in the use of alternative energy to deliver products to its consumers. jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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