Minister of State in the Ministry of Business Development, Sandra Husbands (second from right), presents the first place plaque and a cheque for two thousand dollars to Kazarie Hamblin and Tyrese Hall of PVC Creations. Also pictured are Tyrese’s mother Sharon Sealy-Hall (left) and Kazarie’s aunt, Carmel Pollard (right). (C. Pitt/BGIS)

The Ministry of Energy and Business Development is undertaking a strategic review of the Small Business Development Centre’s (SBDC) framework.

This disclosure came from Minister of State in the Ministry of Business Development, Sandra Husbands, who said the framework had the potential to revolutionise the entrepreneurial ecosystem in a way that would significantly enhance and impact how business was conducted by small firms.

“This framework, which represents a collaborative relationship among government, the private sector and academia, will transition the ecosystem from a silo approach to business development into a “one-stop” arrangement that will allow the entrepreneur to get his or her needs met, and to position the business support organisations to focus more on who must matter most to them – the entrepreneur,” she stated.

Ms. Husbands made the comments on Thursday, as she addressed the Graduation Ceremony for the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation’s Twenty Dollar Challenge for students of St. Leonard’s Boys’ School, at the Sagicor School of Business, Cave Hill Campus, The University of the West Indies.

She said if small firms were not merely to survive or wear the label “entrepreneur” as a badge of honour, there must be a “whole country” approach to meaningfully engaging this critical sector.

“The time is therefore ripe for the forging of stronger strategic relations across sectors such as Tourism, Agri-business, Manufacturing and Renewable Energy, with a complementary focus on the average Barbadian committing to a redirection of their spending power to what is intrinsically Barbadian, for this is how we empower and enfranchise our own,” she pointed out.

Ms. Husbands said the Ministry continues to ensure that entrepreneurship is experienced by the youth and adult population as a means of survival, development, and an avenue to promote inter-generational wealth creation.

“A critical intervention in this regard continues to be the contribution that the Financial Literacy Bureau is making in its effort to position households and businesspersons to better understand how money works, how to use their finances more wisely, and how they can create wealth for themselves and their dependents.

“It is instructive to note that my Ministry is currently reviewing how this programme can have greater flexibility, practicality, and relevance in the life of the average Barbadian,” she explained.

The Minister of State praised the 14 students of the St. Leonard’s Boys’ School, who participated in the programme.  She described the Business Challenge as being representative of the type of effort that must be made to inculcate a determined and resilient mindset among youth.  

The overall winner was PVC Creations with Tyrese Hall and Kazarie Hamblin, while Elite Teez placed second and Fusion Bakery won the third prize. All of the participants received various prizes and were celebrated during the ceremony.

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