Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland. (FP)

Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, has commended the Ministry of Youth and Community Empowerment for the successful implementation of the Building Blocks initiative.

Speaking at the closing ceremony for the Entrepreneurship and Life Skills Development training programme, which is part of the Building Blocks initiative, the Entrepreneurship Minister stated that it “is guaranteed to reap tremendous dividends of empowering, legitimizing, nurturing and channelling the natural entrepreneurial instincts of Barbados’ marginalized youth.”

He said by building valuable business skills, and helping individuals design, create, manage and sustain their own unique income generating creativities, Barbados would move closer to eliminating poverty, curbing the unemployment rate, reducing crime, boosting entrepreneurial capacity, all the while simultaneously reversing sluggish economic growth.

“Not only are we engaging in a venturesome mission, but, little by little, we are transforming our economy through leveraging the talent, imagination, creativity, audacity and dogged persistence of empowered youth.  This is simply remarkable for a country tied to age-old traditions and customs,” Minister Sutherland boasted.

He posited that micro and small businesses are renowned for ‘packing the biggest punch’ when it comes to bridging the gap between demand and supply.

To this end, he reaffirmed government’s commitment to the promotion of entrepreneurship training and education, and partnering with successful entrepreneurs, who are willing to share their stories of triumph and of overcoming challenges and failure.

“We are encouraging divergent thinking, we are creating safe spaces for new and innovative ideas; we are challenging norms; we are encouraging leadership through ownership; we are providing new experiences; we are modelling positive relationships; we are communicating amongst ourselves and most importantly we are embracing and involving those who have been forgotten and abandoned so as to leave no one behind,” Mr. Sutherland stated.

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