Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland (Centre) poses with St. George Parish Ambassadors Kamal Forde and Shannon Leacock at the launch of the St. George Parish Project on Saturday. (GP)

The contribution of Barbadian entrepreneurs to national development must not be allowed to go unnoticed.

Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, emphasised this last weekend, as he delivered a speech at the launch of the St. George Parish Project. It was coordinated by the St. George Parish Independence Committee and held on the grounds of St. George Parish Church.

Stressing that this contribution must be clothed in national significance and appreciated for all its worth, Minister Sutherland said:  “In this regard, I would dare add that entrepreneurial service excellence is perhaps the world’s best kept secret, even though entrepreneurship continues to be the greatest innovative phenomenon of our generation.”

He noted that the entrepreneur remained “singularly focused on the job at hand”, had “stood the test of time”, “withstood the dawn of uncertainty” and “soared above the ashes of despair just like the proverbial phoenix”.

“It is this intrinsic feat of strength and endurance that has spurred hope within our communities and shall continue to do so.  [It has] dismissed the negative predictions of the pessimists and has rendered us as a people increasingly capable of taking our country to the next level,” Mr. Sutherland said.

Emphasising the need to revive this spirit, he told those gathered, including the two Parish Ambassadors, Kamal Forde and Shannon Leacock, that he was confident St. George would be actively involved in leading the charge. He also assured them it was his intention to help the agricultural class realise their dreams and aspirations.

Explaining that this paradigm shift would be driven by the appropriate use of modern technology, he said: “Agriculture must no longer be viewed as the remit of those who have not succeeded academically, but rather, strategic niches within this important sector to national development must be carved out to advance the plight of our bright young men and women of St. George.

“Its clear vision must take national pre-eminence where agribusiness and its associated vocations must be promoted as a viable alternative to traditional job creation and at the level of community.”

The Small Business Minister also spoke of opportunities to convert land surrounding the “turnpike” junction in that central parish into a modern commercial business centre, where innovative entrepreneurial practice could be pursued; employment generation facilitated and creative ideas of the youth, elderly and disabled encouraged with the aim of contributing to economic development.

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