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Promote success stories of Barbadian businesses
Historian Dr. Henderson Carter believes that more needs to be done to get the story of successful Barbadian businesses out in the open, a move which he says will see a greater number of entrepreneurs coming to the fore.
Speaking during a recently held panel discussion on the findings of a Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Barbados 2012 Report, the University of the West Indies lecturer encourage more persons to come on board with initiatives that would promote the knowledge of our business history.
He said that the University was doing its part in the form of a course which it launched back in 2008 called Barbadian Business History which he reported was well attended but needed expanding.
“We have to get those success stories out there to our young people, out there to our potential entrepreneurs,” remarked Dr. Carter referring to companies such as Goddards Enterprises who have successfully become international brands.
“If we are talking about training entrepreneurs, we have to start with our business history, that is the foundation; a country without a business history, without that grounding, will not get very far”.
Referencing an interview he conducted with Businessman R .L. Seale regarding the latter’s vision of what would later become an expanding Six Roads development, Dr. Carter said that people needed to see examples of how to seize opportunities that would become available and expand the economy.
He pointed to Heritage Tourism and the Creative and Cultural Industries as two economic gold mines in Barbados of which local entrepreneurs needed to grab hold.
Another lesson to be learnt from businesses like Sagicor, Dacosta Mannings and Brydens, the historian suggested, was that many of them expanded into the region after reaching a stage of maturity. He made this observation given that there was a trend towards hesitancy in corporate expansion.
Referencing the GEM survey, he said that 53 per cent of the businesses surveyed had their customers outside of the region. Said Dr. Carder: “We would want that figure to increase, because if we are going to employ more people, if our businesses are going to grow, the mindset cannot be to just establish a small little workshop here. We must think of the Eastern Caribbean and even the Western... we must look critically at the success stories of people who have been going outside of the region to do business.” (RA)