Small Business Minister, Donville Inniss. (FP)

Efforts by officials of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) to help businesses get export ready have not gone unnoticed by this country’s Minister of Industry, International Business and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss.

The Minister lauded the tremendous work done by the Corporation Tuesday while, addressing an Export Readiness graduation ceremony in the Bagnall’s Point Gallery, Pelican Craft Centre, St. Michael.

He said when the Export Readiness project started in 2011, there was some bewilderment as to what the programme would achieve.  However, he pointed out, that there were many elements involved along the way before companies were export ready.

Mr. Inniss contended that before a company could become export ready, they must be able to operate in their own comfort zones “at a level that was second to none” adding that too often, some people in this society settled for mediocrity.

“But I keep saying that if you really want your business to grow and to really get involved in export, you have to do it well at the micro level.  So, any export thrust or development of enterprises to get more into the regional and international markets, means that all aspects of your domestic market must be done and done well. So, we cannot compromise on matters such as human resources, ensuring that you have fit for purpose and have the right employees [assigned to the right areas].”

He continued: “It means that you have to make the best use of all the technology available in developing our processes. It also means that all the business operational aspects must also be streamlined to be as efficient and effective as possible within your own limitations. Additionally, your record keeping must be second to none because nobody is going to take you seriously if you don’t know what it cost to produce the good or the service you are seeking to offer domestically and regionally.”

Mr. Inniss also advised entrepreneurs to observe strict financial management practices and to be compliant with paying their taxes.

Certificates were presented to representatives from 17 companies who successfully completed the 16-week Export Readiness programme.

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