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The Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship has identified the building out of the cooperatives sector as key to reducing the island’s staggering unemployment figures.

Acting Registrar of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies, Richard Harris, made this comment while addressing the launch of the Barbados Beauty Professionals’ Association via Zoom last week. 

He noted that the Ministry has calculated that for investment purposes and measuring economies of scale, and capacity building of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, the “formulation of business co-operatives was deemed a viable option for both exporting and community level opportunities”.

In this regard, Mr. Harris suggested that the Association form a co-operative to benefit from bulk purchases and low interest rates on loans.

“The pooling of resources for mutual benefit requires trust and proper corporate governance and may mean different things to different persons. Firstly, the Co-operative Department is tasked with the regulation of co-operatives in order to ensure that they operate efficiently under the Laws of Barbados and the Society’s By-Laws.

“Secondly, the Society’s members may be able to purchase supplies and equipment in bulk in order to distribute to members through low interest rates on loans from the co-operative. This may provide some value added in terms of cost reductions in your prices for your clients and customers.”

When formalised, the Acting Registrar said the Board would market the services of the business co-operative and provide the members with clients from new areas such as the film, fashion and wedding sectors. 

Additionally, Mr. Harris said the Society’s members may benefit from dividends and interest rebates by doing business with the co-operative.

He commended the Barbados Employers’ Confederation and the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries for establishing the Association and wished them much success. 

Mr. Harris urged the beauty professionals to reach out to the Co-operatives Department by emailing coops@barbados.gov.bb.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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