From left to right: Country Manager of FLOW Barbados, Jensen Sylvester; Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland; Senior Manager, Communications, FLOW, Marilyn Sealy; and Director, C&W Business, Maya Wiltshire, in discussion at the unveiling of The New Approach and Consumer Plans of C&W Business at Sandal’s Royal Barbados yesterday. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

The growth and development of entrepreneurship and Information Communication Technology (ICT) are two main components for transforming and diversifying our economy.

This view was expressed on Tuesday by Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, while addressing the unveiling of The New Approach and Consumer Plans of C&W Business at Sandal’s Royal Barbados, Maxwell, Christ Church.

Acknowledging that Government had to rethink and reshape relationships in order to survive and thrive, he said recent statistics had shown micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as contributing 47.5 per cent of the overall $7.3 billion of revenue, generated by the private non-agricultural sector in Barbados.

“This is a statistic worthy of attention. So, the MSME has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Barbados economy and plays a crucial role in providing large employment opportunities at comparatively lower capital costs. 

“Evidence has shown that economies of developing and developed countries have been transformed due in great measure to the incorporation of ICTs by the private sector, as well as the public sector into the operations of their organizations,” the Commerce Minister said.

Adding that Barbados continues to make significant strides in ICT use and penetration, he said it has been ranked first in the Caribbean region in the ICT Development Index, and noted that recently, to support this ICT drive, Government approved the data protection legislation, set to play a critical part with our data centre.

“Indeed, the penetration of ICT and tools into our society are important for all of us, as we share, distribute and gather information and communicate with each other.  However, the penetration of ICT into the MSMEs is even more critical. MSMEs need ICT-based solutions in terms of multi-tasking, expanding customer base, raising productivity, controlling cost, working remotely, and making fast and accurate decisions. 

So, ICT, therefore, support SMEs in driving efficiencies and focusing resources on business growth to remain agile and flexible in this constantly shifting business climate. The micro, small and medium-sized enterprise sector the world over has been touted as the engine of growth of the modern economy and our scenario here in Barbados bears no exception. Cognizant of this global reality, the Government of Barbados has positioned the MSME sector as a critical plank in the effort to revitalize the island’s economy,” Mr. Sutherland stressed.

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