Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland (centre); Lawrence Brewster (left) and IV Play Deli owner Philip Forrester, chatting at the opening of the Deli’s new establishment at River Road, Bridgetown, today. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, sees IVPlay Deli as a success story and wants owner Philip Forrester and his team to tell it to Barbados and the entire region.

Speaking today at the opening of the deli’s new establishment at River Road, Bridgetown, Minister Sutherland said: “It is businesses such as IVPlay Deli that we have to take into our schools, into the various sectors, whether it is the service sector or the marketing sector.  There is a success story to be told as we seek to build out the micro, small and medium-sized sector in this country.  How Mr. Forrester weathered the storm? What were some of the obstacles?  What were some of his principles that he holds true and fast to that made his business a success?”

While he urged IVPlay Deli to be an example for other businesses, Mr. Sutherland said: “We recognize businesses don’t only fail because of the lack of capital, but businesses fail because of the lack of the will that this gentleman has here; when they meet the first obstacle some of them fold up.  They fail because they don’t have persons to do the handholding.”

He disclosed it was for this reason that Government was focusing on building out a Financial Literacy Bureau for these small businesses, and this would be facilitated by persons from the private sector and non-governmental organizations, with the necessary marketing skills to teach debt and financial management and customer service, among others.

“Mr. Forrester, I have just enrolled you as one of those persons who will be part of our Financial Literacy Bureau, not for free, but to tell the success story and to handhold those small businesses. Whether it is in the culinary arts…in the marketing of a business…in the production of food…the production within the manufacturing or tourism sector, Mr. Forester has something to offer.

“I don’t want you to stop here and focus on IVPlay Deli. I want you to join us as a government in being instrumental in building out the micro, small and medium enterprise sector. I want you to go into those schools and teach those young students what it means to run a successful business. I want you to go into those schools and to those small businesses and teach them what it means to overcome these obstacles and hurdles when people say ‘I can’t do it’.  You have that ‘can do attitude’ and I want you to be part of our entrepreneurial and small business ecosystem because I will continue to say to you that this a success story,” the Small Business Minister said.

Mr. Sutherland further challenged the entrepreneur to see the African nations, Suriname and the Americas as places where he could create a franchise and have these territories serve as places to do business.

He added: “With your attitude and your attention to detail and in your pursuit of excellence, I know you will become one of our beacons in the micro, small and medium-sized sector to take your product and your service to the global market place successfully.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Forrester, who started the IVPlay Deli in March 1997, at Sheraton Mall, said he was convicted in his belief that the operation would always work. 

While acknowledging they were looking to build a “big future” at the Bridgetown establishment, he added: “It is now important for IVPlay Deli with 24 years in the business to extend its arm into different opportunities in Barbados, and we are having conversations…about franchising the business.”

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