Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, speaking at the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2019 (GEW 2019) at Pelican Village. (GP)

Gone are the days when organizations were seen as fragmented institutions working towards one goal.

This was emphasized on Monday as Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, addressed the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2019 (GEW 2019), by the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT), at Pelican Village.

GEW 2019 is being held under the theme Building our Solutions Stronger – Changing Mindsets, Building Communities, Creating Opportunities.

Noting the timeliness of the theme, Minister Sutherland said it set an excellent platform to share innovative ideas on how best to collectively develop entrepreneurial enterprise and leverage available opportunities to advance national development.

The Minister noted too that the long-talked about Small Business Development Centre was along this vein and said of it: “We have reached a stage whereby we have brought under one umbrella, with a view to building out that entrepreneurial ecosystem, all of the key players – FundAccess, Barbados Investment Development Corporation, BYBT, Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology, Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, Barbados Trust Fund Ltd. and the University of the West Indies SEED programme.

Alluding to this as one cohesive unit working towards one goal, he added: “Government most certainly identifies with the vision of GEW and aligns its focus with the resolve to position small business enterprise as the ‘new big’, where a mindset for change continues to emerge as mission critical among our enterprising youth, and community remains at the heart of socio-economic development.” 

And, Mr. Sutherland further noted that the BYBT was a key partner to building out this entrepreneurial ecosystem of micro, small and medium enterprises.

Chairman of the Executive Council of the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT), David Simpson. (GP)

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Executive Council of the BYBT, David Simpson, opining that entrepreneurship was at “a somewhat delicate state right now”, lauded the BYBT for promoting entrepreneurship, and noted that all entities in the ecosystem faced challenges. 

Acknowledging that the BYBT had, however, been working through its challenges, he said in recent history, it had completed a training programme with the US Embassy that focused on developing female entrepreneurs, and had proven to be successful.

Adding that the organization had been a proponent and promoter of GEW for 12 years, he said: “The BYBT is pleased to continue to be part of this initiative but what I will say to all of you here is that we still have a lot of work to do because we need to be able to develop a more cohesive ecosystem for entrepreneurship to grow and really thrive.”

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of innovators who have the tenacity to dream big and launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, and an enterprising vision to reality. 

Each November, GEW reaches millions of people of all ages and backgrounds through local, regional and global events and activities. 

It is coordinated by the Barbados Youth Business Trust, a not-for-profit, registered charity and youth development organization focused on entrepreneurship.

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