Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde speaking at We Gatherin’ initiative Straight Talk at the Lester Vaughan School, Cane Garden, St. Thomas, Monday night. (S.Medford/BGIS)

Entrepreneurship is part of the culture of Barbados and as such emphasis must be placed on it and those who emerge as entrepreneurs.

This was underscored by Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde, on Monday night, when she addressed the We Gatherin’ initiative Straight Talk, held by the Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, at the   Lester Vaughan School, Cane Garden, St. Thomas.

Reminiscing about her mother’s life as a hawker and the values this instilled in her and her siblings, Minister Forde said: “I think it is really important if our Barbadian people, particularly our youth, want to do their own entrepreneurship activities; develop their own companies, and see them grow.  It is the responsibility of the Government and other agencies to ensure that the opportunity is made available for them through the funding, through helping them to be able to identify locations or spaces where they can do their vending, and to be able to handhold them because it is not always going to be easy.”

While pointing out that vendors often moved from place to place to sell, she stressed that Government would be working to create spaces for vendors because vending, small business and other aspects of entrepreneurship were critical to the development of any country. 

“I think it is important that where people have the skills, the creativity and that innate ability to want to be able to sell and become entrepreneurs, every avenue must be made available to help them to be able to achieve their goals; doing it within the law and making sure that all the necessary skills are made available to them to be able to improve their craft,” she said.

The Minister, who is also the parliamentary representative for St. Thomas, pointed out that it was not only vendors who were excelling at entrepreneurial ventures, but those who were seamstresses, designers, artists, barbers, cosmetologists and so on. 

She told those gathered that it was for this reason that Government’s policies must be earmarked to embrace and to help edify all those persons and companies that want to rise to the next level.

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