Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman. (FP)

Small business operators and entrepreneurs have been encouraged to utilise the facilities which Government has put in place to assist them with their endeavors and allow them to "reach their full potential".

Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, gave this advice to participants and patrons of the St. Michael Northeast Constituency Council’s Entrepreneur Fair and Vendors’ Market, which was recently held at Jackson House, Jackson, St. Michael.

While delivering the feature address, Mr. Kellman stressed the important role that the small business sector was playing in relation to the recovery of the local economy and reaffirmed Government’s commitment "to ensuring that there is an enabling environment which allows small businesses to develop and thrive."

He pointed out that under his Ministry a number of programmes and policies were put in place to "develop and maintain an entrepreneurship culture".

Giving the assurance that entrepreneurs would not be "taking the journey alone", Mr. Kellman said: "…the Ministry of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development will continue to provide assistance to those who choose this path.

"…Grant funding to a maximum of $3,000 is available through the National Micro Enterprise Assistance Grant Programme and [there is] micro financing through Fund Access which also gives technical assistance, and through the Rural Development Commission if you reside in rural Barbados. There is also technical assistance available through the Small Business Window at the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation ranging from the development of a Business Plan to the possible participation in an incubator programme," the Small Business Minister noted.

Mr. Kellman reiterated the importance of entrepreneurship and small business to the economy of Barbados and stated that, "there is, and has always been, a clear relationship between small business and the economy, as much of the economic growth, in most countries, is fuelled by start-up businesses."

He, however, stated that the survival of small businesses might be challenged by their attempt to "[achieve] economies of scale".

"I suggest that this challenge can be overcome if entrepreneurs producing similar products come together and pool their expertise and resources.?? Not only will production costs be reduced, but volume levels will be increased and maintained.?? The product will be available to consumers on a consistent basis," Mr. Kellman asserted.


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