This island’s Minister of Energy, Small Business, and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, wants to see an end to black Barbadian businesses folding beyond one generation.
He conceded that local black businesses had a “terrible track record” of being able to continue well beyond a generation and made a case for the continuing of a cadre of businessmen into the future.
Minister Symmonds made the comment today, while addressing a four-day workshop organised by his Ministry on How to Run a Successful Business in the Warrens Office Complex.
He added: “We must have inter-generational businesses and inter-generational wealth in this country. …It happens with our fellow citizens, who are of European and Asian descent, but it does not happen sufficiently with those of us who are of African descent and we have to correct that. It is our duty to ensure that we get that right so that there is inter-generational wealth and inter-generational continuity of businesses.”
The Energy Minister told the approximately 25 participants that there were businesses started by a parent that were no longer in operation because their children were not interested in carrying on the legacy.
However, Minister Symmonds pointed out that there were many entrepreneurs engaged in auto-body repair and other related fields that were making more than some doctors or lawyers.
He continued: “The thing is to stop looking down our noses at the range of small businesses we have because they are far too many who are doing better in life than some of the so-called professions and that is a major concern.”
Mr. Symmonds cautioned participants to put aside monies to run their businesses in a separate account and not allow their funds to be “co-mingled” with that of their clients. He gave the assurance that his Ministry was here to help and told them to reach out to him at any time for advice on any aspect of business.
Meanwhile, course facilitator, Mark Walcott, said the workshop covered pricing and costing for businesses and provided a practical look at how to operate them, among other areas.
Mr. Walcott, who has more than 25 years’ experience in retail, hotel and other sectors, said he hoped participants now were in a better position to manage their funds wisely and to move their businesses to another level.
“My goal and hope for them [participants] is that they understand how to use the money, have a business acumen and know how to apply things to move their businesses forward to the next level where we can compete internationally because I believe that Barbados is in a position to do that and we need to do that,” Mr. Walcott emphasised.