Several small business members and other entrepreneurs where today challenged to maximise the numerous opportunities being provided through the staging of Cricket World Cup 2007 (CWC 2007) here, and to position their operations to benefit fully from the event.

The advice came from Business Development Minister, Senator Lynette Eastmond, during her address at a workshop today that focused on the theme “World Cup Opportunities – your chance to benefit.”

Today’s business development seminar which was held at the Sherbourne conference centre was a joint initiative of the Ministry of Commerce and the Small Business Association.

It comes at a critical juncture when government is seeking to position the small business sector among the leading sectors of the economy, as well as to facilitate its ability to grasp opportunities through the creation of an entrepreneurial culture, that is responsive to the changing demands of the global business arena.

The Minster noted that from what she had observed, there were groups that had already shown interest in capitalising on CWC 2007.

“The Baxters road group, for example, is well on its way towards organising itself to capitalise on the spending power of both the thousands of locals and the 40 000 visitors expected to be in Barbados next year for the games. BARVIN as well as the Wayside Vendors group are also advanced in their planning,” she said.

Chief Business Development Advisor with the Ministry, Anderson Cumberbatch, said he hoped the seminar would further prepare the sector for the eventuality.

“The Business Development Unit of the Ministry of Commerce continues to actively engage small business enterprise in strategic dialogue as we seek to assist them, as best as we can, in responding to the challenges they may encounter,” he said.

Small Business Association President, Senator Sandra Husbands, noted that “even without direct access to Kensington, there is so much that we as Barbadians can benefit from”. According to her, we must take the initiative to transform businesses and not be afraid to progress.

Todays seminar sought to further solidify efforts towards the realilsation of specific World Cup projects; clarify any misconceptions regarding the same; as well as create a forum for dialogue where a body of entrepreneurs and stakeholders could brainstorm as to how best to exploit the opportunities created through the hosting of CWC 2007. (BGIS)

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