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BOYA programme under way
THE second instalment of “Know the Business of Your Art” (BOYA) training programme gets under way today.
The programme, headed by the Business Development Department of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), is being held this year with the kind support of the City of Bridgetown (COB) Credit Union.
“It promises to build on the footprints made by the 2011/2012 series, with an added focus on Heritage Tourism. This represents another effort to capitalise on the enlistment of ‘Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison’ to the UNESCO World Heritage List,” acknowledged Marketing Officer of the NCF, Sherwin Cumberbatch, during the media launch.
He also revealed that BOYA is designed to provide practical business skills for entrepreneurs in the Creative Industries.
“Before its introduction, there was a dire need for business training for persons in the creative disciplines and where there was no shortage of entrepreneurial training offered by business support organisations, none adequately addressed the peculiarities of managing a creative enterprise.”
Stacia Bryan, Business Development Officer at the NCF, explained that the six-module seminar series, scheduled over six months, is aimed to equip cultural practitioners with the skills needed to determine the shape and viability of their artistic enterprise, to understand the fundamentals of financing a business and to develop a solid business plan.
“The series is structured in such a way that each module builds on the other, each imparting a particular and discrete set of skills and tools, leading to a tangible outcome which is the creation of a viable, fundable project proposal or business plan.”
Senior Business Development Officer, Alison Sealy-Smith, recalled that last year, 15 of the original 25 participants stayed the entire six months of the training course and graduated. Also noting that 10 participants submitted business plans for review and five extremely strong business proposals were pitched for potential financing.
“We are proud of the practicality of the programme, the fact that by the end of the six months participants will have, not just a whole lot of information, but also a fully prepared business proposal ready to pitch to funders.”
She went on to indicate that this year they will be maximising their teaching hours by having Lunch Time Talk Backs, where they invite successful business people to share their real world experiences with participants.
In addition, the NCF is introducing a mentorship programme, allowing participants access to professional advice and support outside of the regular teaching modules.
Sealy-Smith also acknowledged that the BOYA series has been able to attract private sector partnership, as evident by COB’s generous cash donation.
Lynette Holder, President of COB, expressed that it is always a pleasure to promote and support any initiative that focuses on developing entrepreneurship in Barbados.
She indicated that the COB’s Board is very much in support of the BOYA initiative for two key reasons.
“Research has been proven time and time again to support the contribution of entrepreneurship to an economy in a developing world such as Barbados, as well as industrialised economies. It is noted that entrepreneurship is the engine of growth for those economies.
“Secondly, and equally important, is the fact that we are seeking to promote what we consider to be a sunrise industry in this country, that is the cultural industry. The creative economy is notably the next area of business development and the area for economic growth and sustainability for Barbados.”
Holder also lauded the NCF for recognising this crucial and critical sector to Barbados’ economy and seeking to help in this point in time those practitioners to have an appreciation for what is involved in entrepreneurship. (TL)