As businesses seek to navigate the post-covid environment, they are being told that business support organisations (BSOs) are more critical than ever before.


That’s the view of Senator Dr. Lynette Holder, Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Association of Barbados. Speaking specifically of that organisation, she said one of their primary areas on which to focus, is lobbying. Her comments came as she said that BSOs have to continue to lobby for an enabling business environment.


“I think this is a good time to revisit some of the pieces of legislation that exist to administer MSMEs [micro, small and medium entreprises]. For example, there are some countries in CARIFORUM that don’t have laws, that don’t have a piece of legislation that treats to MSMEs and then there are many policies. So I think this is a good opportunity for us to refocus,” she stated.


Holder made the point while adding that the policies created must be enabling and address the development of sustainability of firms. Likewise, she said strategies must be crafted at the level of government that would also facilitate such.


“This is something that the BSO in my view, ought to have top of mind and to lobby their governments to be able to put in place, you must have enabling legislation at this time,” she insisted.


Meanwhile, referring to remote work which has become commonplace as a result of covid-19, she noted that many regional countries do not have the requisite legal framework to govern how employers would relate to employees in a remote environment. She is adamant that this is something that must be addressed.


“You had employers calling employees at 9 o’clock at night, at 7 o’clock at night giving them instructions to do things, because we don’t have right now that kind of legislative environment. So this is definitely an opportunity for us to address that. So lobbying is critical,” she maintained.


Senator Holder added that another area of critical importance to BSOs relates to education and training, contending that training and capacity building for MSMEs and self-employed persons are vital.


“You have to build skills; you have to understand what are the techniques and competencies needed for managing firms in this environment. Too many times you hear the point being made that when you go to the financial institution you can’t present your case; you don’t know how to develop a business plan; you don’t even know - beyond the business plan sometimes, how to even sell your concept,” she stated.

Holder said this is one of the reasons she believes that angel investing has not taken shape here in Barbados.


“...Many times the entrepreneur goes before the investors and they can’t even pitch their concept, they can’t even sell or promote their business idea. So we need to focus on training and education, building skills, building capacity especially for the self-employed persons to be able to grow that business,” she stated. (JRT)

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