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The Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) has signed a memorandum of understanding to officially launch the Barbados Incubator for Music Entrepreneurship Programme – an initiative that will add a new twist to the organisation’s incubator offerings.

Chief Executive Officer of the BIDC, Sonja Trotman, made this disclosure today while addressing the official signing ceremony for the programme at the agency’s Small Business Centre on Fontabelle.

She told her audience that this incubator would allow the BIDC to better assist a sector which falls under their portfolio. It also provides the opportunity to partner with the Copyright Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (COSCAP) and the Cultural Industries Development Authority (CIDA).

Mrs. Trotman said: “We have worked with COSCAP several times before on other initiatives and we have always welcomed and appreciated those experiences so we are always happy to have COSCAP on board as well as CIDA. It [programme] looks to be an interesting and exciting programme and I look forward to hearing about it being advertised, seeing the participants and the results of the programme.”

Meanwhile, Director of the Export and Business Development Division, of the BIDC, Marina Taitt, in her overview of the pilot programme which mainly targets women, said it will run for 11 months, starting in February 2018.

However, she further explained that persons who are already in the field of music and those interested in developing a music industry business are also welcomed to apply.

Participants will be required to attend one session per week, where they will be instructed in areas such as the business development operations, the legal structures of the business industry, financial planning, industry standards, marketing and branding and how to pitch to investors and the importance of proper dress, speech and presentations.

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Apart from business training and counselling, participants will also be mentored by industry leaders and there will be networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, the CEO of COSCAP, Erica Smith, expressed thanks to the BIDC, CIDA and the Caribbean Development Bank for the work done to bringing the programme to fruition.

She said the programme was designed to ensure that industry participants were export ready and committed to “making the effort to build sustainable businesses. From COSCAP’s perspective, there is a real interest in the music industry especially among young people.  Our membership grows by a minimum of 40 persons annually and we do see high levels of creativity…,” Ms. Smith added.

Director of CIDA, Andrea King, thanked the BIDC and COSCAP for recognising the role of her organisation in this initiative. She said the programme “dovetailed well’ with their mandate to ensure that there are sustainable strategies for the cultural industries sector.

In this connection, she articulated the importance of playing more local music on the airways. “As much as we are developing strategies, music producers and artistes, if the music is not played at home, then our economy will not benefit.  If we do not find a way to legally make radio stations play the music, then we are still going to be nowhere,” Ms. King emphasised.

The application period opens next month and the forms will be available on the websites of the BIDC, CIDA and COSCAP.


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