The Business Development arm of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation???s (BIDC) Entrepreneurial Division, is putting a dent in the island???s unemployment statistics by assisting some Barbadians in acquiring their own business.

This was disclosed recently by Director James Campbell at a Cisco Systems USA seminar entitled: ???Learn How to Face Business Challenges with the Aim of Technology??? at the Bagnall???s Point Gallery, Pelican Village, Princess Alice Highway.??

Mr. Campbell said 21 new businesses had been created last year and personnel from the department provided assistance to other entrepreneurs to expand their enterprises.

He further stated that 39 jobs were created, which represented $556 000 in new investments.?? Mr. Campbell also stated that in the previous year, the 17 new businesses that were created, along with 70 new jobs, accounted for $1.6 million in investments.

Noting that the use of technology was crucial for accurate record keeping, he said the survival and expansion of small and medium-sized businesses was a critical factor in the island???s economic growth.

Mr. Campbell added: ???Worldwide, the small business sector is the main provider of jobs and contributes more than 60 percent on average to the Gross Domestic Product of their local economies.

Given the importance of the small business sector to the island???s development, he also outlined a number of on-going initiatives to enhance the competitiveness of small businesses. These included assistance with marketing, management and website development; technical assistance with intellectual property management; training in basic woodwork, leather craft and customer service.

While thanking successive Governments for their assistance to the sector, the Director pledged to: ???Continue to enhance these programmes with the aim of providing the necessary mechanisms and vehicles, that will stimulate entrepreneurship and position our people to create opportunities out of this global economic crisis???.

CISCO representative, Luciana Anthony, instructed the more than 70 participants in the rudiments of information technology such as VLAN, Routing, Distance Vector Routing and Mitigating Layer 2 attacks.

The workshop, which began on Tuesday, May 26, will conclude on Friday, May 29.


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