More Barbadian youth must be encouraged to look towards entrepreneurship, as a viable means of supporting themselves and breaking the unemployment cycle.
With the above in mind, it is good to hear that the present Government will be seeking to develop a culture of entrepreneurship on this island, so that there is an entrepreneur in every home, in its effort to tackle unemployment and underemployment as well.
Governor General of Barbados, Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason, during the recent Throne Speech to signal the official opening of the 2018-2023 term of the Parliament, in noting the aims of the current Mia Mottley led administration stated, “My Government will confront unemployment and underemployment and build a more prosperous society characterised by high skills and entrepreneurship, in which all of our people are given the tools to build wealth, well-being and security. Existing sectors will be modernised and new economic sectors created.”
This newspaper reported that, “Dame Sandra told the over 200 persons gathered in the Senate Chamber and those watching outside, that Government has identified several new paths through which Barbadians can create and share capital, in order to take full advantage of income earning potential, stimulate economic activity, and boost the penetration of the Barbados Brand regionally and internationally.”
The Governor General also referred to the proposed Trust Loans to be made available to small businesses, noting that this initiative would serve as one of four, earmarked to assist in putting entrepreneurship on the front burner.
The Prime Minister’s Innovation Award, worth $250 000, which will be presented quarterly and aims to “spark new ideas, innovations and new business” was also mentioned, as well as a Youth Innovation Award worth $150 000, which will be open to all young people. It was also noted that Government will be encouraging all Barbadians to promote new investments in the island and those who participate, will qualify for a pre-set introduction and success fee, if the investment takes off.
Now those who have already branched out as entrepreneurs, will tell you that such an endeavour is not for those who are easily deterred. However, they may add in another breath that doing what you love daily and becoming highly successful at it while out on your own, is extremely satisfying and can indeed be profitable, once you stick with it. Given that research suggests that the top five reasons given for business failure include poor management, insufficient capital, poor leadership, lack of proper business planning and poor customer service or relationships, it is good to see that a concerted effort is being made to get budding entrepreneurs on the right footing and equip them with the tools and capital needed, to potentially soar in their chosen fields of endeavour.
As this highly anticipated culture of entrepreneurship is cultivated, we await the full results of such an investment. We hope that Barbadian youth will be bold and courageous in stepping forward into unchartered but promising waters, so that they can provide for themselves and their families and even earn us some vital foreign exchange in the future. As thy saying goes, Rome was not built in a day, but if the youth tap into the opportunities laid bare for them, we could see more budding entrepreneurs coming to the fore, more business being generated and fewer unemployed youth of which to speak of.