Minister of Energy and Business Development, Kerrie Symmonds, is of the view that some local businesses have export potential but they are not exporting.
Mr. Symmonds said that in some instances, these products were sought after, not only locally, but by tourists coming to Barbados; yet they were not found in the overseas markets.
“The conversation about building out an export platform and the value of export not only for the entrepreneur, but for the country, is one that we have to seriously sit down and discuss,” he stressed.
The Minister made the comments recently as he delivered the feature address at the media launch of the Barbados Trust Fund Limited’s Let’s Talk Entrepreneurship initiative, an online forum and talk series, which started on Tuesday, March 15.
He said rebuilding and reimagining entrepreneurship was vitally important, and suggested that there must be new ways of doing the things currently being done.
“There are still too many people in Barbados who are not engaged in some of the areas of more modern conduct of business. Use of the e-commerce platforms for example; we have seen people who have had to make adjustments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but then revert to old practices after the crisis has passed….
“Much of that which we must do is to continue to make the adjustments to make ourselves as flexible, nimble, customer oriented and compatible with what are really global expectations of best practice. And if we can get that right, even as we do commerce among ourselves in Barbados, it makes it so much easier for businesses to grow and get it right when we go across the borders,” he surmised.
Mr. Symmonds stated that despite the pandemic, some businesses had done well, and emerged as titans. He reiterated Government’s commitment to business facilitation, and helping entrepreneurs to navigate challenges which confront them.
He expressed the view that too many black businesses did not go beyond one generation, and said intergenerational wealth was his quest.
“Too many of our black-owned businesses have failed. Too few that have survived have been celebrated. But we have to set them up as an example for all to see, and facilitate the growth of intergenerational wealth in this country,” he insisted.
The Minister praised the work of the BTFL, saying it was “valuable”, and a vital cog in the wheel in developing and advancing the interests of entrepreneurs, micro and small business start-ups.
The Let’s Talk Entrepreneurship series will be hosted by Toni Thorne, and will be aired live online on the first and third Tuesday of each month. It will be streamed through the BTFL’s various digital platforms on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook Live.