Financial institutions in Barbados need to be a bit less conservative, and make a bigger investment in new technologies and younger people, particularly those with a keen interest in entrepreneurship.

This view was shared recently by Industry Minister, Donville Inniss, at the launch of PitchIT Caribbean, an initiative to support growth-oriented mobile app businesses throughout the Caribbean, at Digicel Warrens.??Mr. Inniss lamented the lack of financial access for developers.

???We want to know that as these app developers roll out their development tools and what not, that there is that level of finance available.??There is nothing more frustrating when you as a developer have spent hours and weeks and months working and you think you have your coding right and then you just can???t find the money to get it to market,??? he pointed out.

The Minister stressed that more faith must be placed in our fellow Barbadians, and noted that sometimes that faith must be manifested through our financing.

???I note that today it is not just the traditional commercial banks that we can look to; they are the angel investors and those serial investors who are prepared to take your projects and look at it and invest your money. Of course, you have to share a bit of the profits with them going forward. Human capital markets and of course institutional infrastructural support is all necessary for us to move the sector forward,??? he maintained.

In giving some background information on the project, Executive Director of the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI), Lisa Cummins, explained that two years ago, the World Bank started a project in Nairobi, Kenya, and in the South East Asian region, where they looked at developing incubation projects around tech entrepreneurship.

She noted that the BCSI was pleased to receive notification from the World Bank in its bid to host the Barbados hub, and said that other hubs were located in St. Kitts, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. The Executive Director further expressed the hope that another hub would soon be launched as an extension in St. Lucia.

Meanwhile, Digicel???s Chief Executive Officer, Conor Looney, told the audience that the growth of the Barbadian tech community held great promise for entrepreneurs and app developers across the island.

He continued: ???This global reach and accessible technology offers an immediate platform for entrepreneurship and economic growth for Barbados, whether that is developing mobile applications for global audience or suited to local needs.

???PitchIT Caribbean is the next step when one takes into account the fact that it was developed to support growth-oriented mobile app businesses across the Caribbean. Added to this, the fact that Barbados, through the BCSI, was chosen to be one of the mobile innovation hubs (known as mHubs) in the Caribbean to help position the mobile apps sector in this region as a global player, speaks volumes for the talent that exists on the island.???

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