Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Patrick Todd, has touted sustainable development as a key element in the modernisation of the small business sector.

??He made this observation recently, while addressing a thanksgiving service to launch Small Business Week at the Jackie Opel Amphitheatre, General Post Office, Cheapside.

Mr. Todd intimated that sustainable development in businesses required a shift in the utilisation of resources throughout the sector, to cut out wastage and improve output.?? "…This requires us to change the way we design, produce, use and dispose of the products and services we own and consume.?? The ways we produce and consume present many of the environmental challenges we face, that require us to urgently develop products and services, using fewer resources to prevent waste."

He further stated: "This will certainly mean using cleaner technologies and the adoption of new ideas or solutions to meet our needs in different and less harmful ways."

Given this expectation, the Minister of State challenged prospective entrepreneurs to consider alternative energy as a niche. "One area that is ripe for innovation and new businesses is renewable energy in response to the increasing cost of fossil fuels. So, starting a business in this area has an advantage over traditional vocations, particularly since environmentalism is a growing area.?? As such, you will be establishing a business in a growing market that would ultimately, enhance your reputation and brand, foster customer loyalty and motivate your staff," Mr. Todd added.

He also suggested the development of environmentally friendly cleaning products and green building technologies, as two areas that entrepreneurs can use to gain the competitive edge.

"Green building requires products that could become the foundation of your new small business, for example from water saving devices, fixtures and fittings, lighting, filters and products that can assist in fire proofing the home," Mr. Todd contended.

Activities for Small Business Week, under the theme: Small and Medium Enterprises – the Catalyst for Sustainable Development, continue tomorrow, Thursday, September 23, with a roundtable discussion on the small and medium enterprises at the Savannah Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church, starting at 9:00 a.m.

On Friday, September 24, there will be a dinner and awards ceremony at Mahogany Ridge, Plum Tree Road, St. Thomas, starting at 7:30 p.m.?? The activities will climax with a Twenty/20 cricket match and pork lime on Saturday, September 25, at the Bridgefield Playing Field, St. Thomas, commencing at 6:00 p.m.

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