Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, has made it clear that there are no regulatory or legislative controls in place hindering women from establishing their own business.
She made this position known while delivering opening remarks during the launch of Caribbean Export’s Women Empowered through Export (WE Xport) initiative at the Hilton Barbados Resort today.
Senator McClean told her audience that when she surveyed the landscape of Barbados, women’s participation in entrepreneurial activities was” very evident and contrasts with what obtains in many jurisdictions”.
“The importance of entrepreneurship and innovation to national development has been recognised by both developed and developing countries. Indeed, we in Barbados have been creating an ecosystem to foster entrepreneurship for several years,” she stated.
The Foreign Minister proffered the view that while women have been taking advantage of all the opportunities available to get into business or expand their existing businesses, there was much that needed to be done to increase the number of women exporting their products and services.
“The women of Barbados and the Caribbean are but a small percentage of the global female population of about four billion. This constitutes an opportunity when we look at export potential. While my comments may speak more specifically to my knowledge of and experience in Barbados, I am sure that they parallel what occurs in some measure across the Caribbean,” she noted.
Senator McClean lauded the WE Xport initiative with its plan to deliver around four pillars: access to finance, capacity building, access to markets and advocacy.