Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, has encouraged participants in the Career Development Institute’s (CDI), Caribbean Rising Stars in Beauty Competition “to reach for the stars” as they pursue their business dreams.
His words of encouragement came last Saturday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre at the finals of the competition, which saw eight persons, two in each category of makeup artistry, hair styling, barbering and nails, vying for the top spot.
“As young people honing your skills, I encourage you to reach for the stars, keep pushing your business and focus on providing a service than can grow, eventually where you can employ others within your business,” Mr. Sutherland advised.
He stated that much of the training CDI provided to its students fell within the definition of a small business … which also complemented the Ministry’s vision “to create an entrepreneur in every Barbadian household by cultivating an entrepreneurial culture, which is capable of impacting global commerce”.
The Small Business Minister noted that one of the major challenges continuously facing small businesses was that of financing. He revealed that his Ministry was seeking to assist in the area of financing with an initiative called Trust Loans Fund.
“This fund will provide small businesses or business owners security free loans of up to $5,000 dollars at a low annual interest rate of three percent … which roughly works out to paying back around $150 dollars per month,” he disclosed.
He further added that the Trust Loans would assist persons in creating a credit profile and credit history, and said that it was available to all legitimate small business.
Business Development Assistant, Aleika Walker, said that the competition was in its fourth year but it was the first time its final was conducted live.
“CDI is a strong advocate for education, especially in CVQs, so the competition is their way of assisting persons who cannot afford to follow their educational pursuits, by competing to win a scholarship towards their career development,” she explained.
Renaldo Thompson captured the top spot, while Grenadian barber, Kelvin Thompson, the lone non-Barbadian in the finals, placed second.