Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman (seated, 3rd from right), is pictured with the graduates of the course (standing). Seated are (l-r)?? Chairman of the Rural Development Commission, Randolph Outram; Permanent Secretary, Ruth Blackman (4th from right) and Managing Director of Advanced Human Development??Associates, Selwyn Bhajan. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??

With approximately 11,275 businesses already operating in Barbados, the small business sector is still the fastest growing in the economy today.

Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, made this assertion while addressing a graduation ceremony for the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Course, which was conducted by the Rural Development Commission in collaboration with the Barbados Vocational Training Board and the Advanced Human Development Associates.

Noting that the growth of the sector was as a result of a shift in career options, Minister Kellman pointed out that: "Here in Barbados, we are seeing many of our people, especially young people, swelling the ranks of the entrepreneurial class by starting their own businesses…and providing both full-time and part-time employment in both the formal and informal sectors."

He further underscored that through provisions in the recent Budgetary Proposals there was an opportunity for more development.

"Through the aegis of the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, financial support to the sector has been increased, thus making available more start-up capital to small entrepreneurs who seek assistance through FundAccess and the National Micro Grant Programme," the Small Business Minister pointed out.?? He added out that such structures were instituted to "nurture and sustain small businesses to ensure their survival and allow them the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to national development."

The Minister invited the 20 graduates to "further swell" the sector, and encouraged them to apply what they had learnt during the three-month course to "the real world".


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