From left to right: Business Development Consultant with the BTFL, Nicole Forde; Minister of Energy and Business Development, Kerrie Symmonds; BTFL Business Development Manager, Kirk Dottin; and BTFL General Manager, Gerald Amos, in discussion following the media launch of the organisation’s Let’s Talk Entrepreneurship online talk series, at Bagnall’s Point Gallery, today. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

The Barbados Trust Fund Limited (BTFL) is committed to actively assisting small businesses in their growth, development, and sustainability.

This assurance came today from General Manager of the BTFL, Gerald Amos, at the media launch of the organisation’s Let’s Talk Entrepreneurship online talk series, at Bagnall’s Point Gallery, Pelican Village, St. Michael.

Mr. Amos told his audience: “This year, we will focus on reimagining, rebuilding and recovery, specifically now as we continue to navigate the economic and emergent changes, both locally and globally, that have left no business untouched.  Our mission is to provide practical, step by step assistance through seed funding, training and business development….

“The BTFL has assisted 4,104 small businesses; created just under 5,800 jobs, comprising 2,182 females and 1,922 males, at a value of Barbados $18.9M, over a cross section of sectors. We intend to take it a step further, …as we kick-off with Let’s Talk Entrepreneurship, an eight-week series focused on educating the Barbadian entrepreneur on topics that matter most to them.”

The General Manager explained that the Fund would be sharing more information on its business clusters, as he pointed out that, at present, the wine, beauty and digital ones were in place, and one for the agricultural sector would be introduced very shortly.

Business Development Consultant with the BTFL, Nicole Forde, said the new initiative was geared towards educating micro, small and medium enterprises on “the ins and outs” of small businesses.

Ms. Forde disclosed that a number of exciting initiatives were coming and highlighted one as the BTFL’s partnership with the e-commerce platform, which would provide entrepreneurs with new ways to sell their products. 

Giving the background to the new series, Ms. Forde continued: “The advent of COVID-19 brought a tide of change across the world.  The global impact saw the closure of longstanding monopolies and revealed the cracks in the foundation of many former business giants. Local and International companies alike, all felt the effects, with closures, budget cuts, buyouts and bailouts occurring en masse.

“Conversely, it also brought a wave of new opportunities to companies that were flexible, responsive and willing to quickly change the way they did business to thrive in the new economy. Following this premise, the BTFL felt that it was important that entrepreneurs have an understanding of the new “post” COVID business landscape and that they should be provided with the tools needed to excel in their endeavours.”

The Let’s Talk Entrepreneurship series will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, with officials from the Barbados Revenue Authority and Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office discussing areas related to developing a new or young business.

Hosted by Toni Thorne, the new show will initially be aired live online on the first and third Tuesday of each month, and will be streamed through the BTFL’s various digital platforms on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook Live

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