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#BTColumn – Entrepreneurship is essential to global recovery

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the writer(s) don’t represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.

by Dr. Basil Springer

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who’s hasty comes only to poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5

In 1998, the Caribbean was faced with the declining fortunes of staple sugar and banana exports. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) had a vision to create a system to facilitate Caribbean entrepreneurs and contribute to the region’s diversification and sustained economic growth by turning their ideas into export realities.

I had the consideration to steer a team to convert that vision into motion. The Caribbean Business Enterprise Initiative (CBEI), operating on sound private sector principles and underpinned by sound financial private and public sector arrangements, emerged in 2001 and the Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust (CBET) was formed under the chairmanship of Sir Neville Nicholls, former CDB President with trustees from across the region.

Over the following seven years, CBET innovatively promoted the initiative by engaging in quite a lot of financially self-sufficient projects throughout the region. The three-component Shepherding Model (“DNA of an elephant” idea identification, shepherding, equity fund) was born.

The Barbados Government then funded a CBET (Barbados) pilot project (2008-2012) to check the efficacy of the model, which was further informally tested through the NEDCO IBIS project in Trinidad and Tobago (2012-2015).

These tests revealed that entrepreneurial ideas abound, experienced shepherds and shepherding systems can be found, however the establishment of a donor-provisioned equity fund was a constraint.

I recall a weekend event in Trinidad where entrepreneurs were invited to learn from a panel of businesspersons the way to pitch to prospective investors of their businesses.

One young artificial it quite clear that if he were to have access to one million dollars, he wouldn’t know the way to use it for the sustainable development of his business. That was music to my ears since it was in sync with what we had discovered within the CBET (Barbados) pilot project and in Trinidad and Tobago.

The term Shepherding involves each personal life coaching and mentoring in management of business systems for the entrepreneur. This is strictly what the young man was searching for.

The opposite major final result of the pilot test was the improved sophistication of the operational manual of the short response seed, equity and dealing capital growth fund.

Today, the donor fund remains to be to be capitalized and comprehensively implemented for entrepreneurs to contribute to global economic recovery.

Kawal Preet, President of FedEx Express for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, writes that “the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the US$90 trillion global economy – from job insecurity and rising unemployment to very large stress on people and health care services.

At the identical time, we have now seen positives emerge. Small businesses tapping into e-commerce for the primary time. Greater use of technology. More flexibility within the workplace, including working from home. Much has been written in regards to the way forward for work after COVID-19, but what in regards to the way forward for entrepreneurship and its impact on the worldwide economy? How will this disruption affect the following generation of MSMEs?”

In her article, she shares the “top three trends for the longer term of entrepreneurship”:

1. Defined by the digital experience (agility, resilience and speed) – It’s actually becoming easier to grow to be a worldwide entrepreneur.

2. A new age of diverse entrepreneurship – Access to technology enables start-ups from Ghana to Bangladesh to participate on the identical global stage as those in additional developed countries.

3. Location-independent solutions – The pandemic has created opportunities for entrepreneurs and adjusted how all of us work – possibly for good. Future entrepreneurship will likely be defined by new solutions that work anywhere. Solutions independent of location, serviced by distant staff.

Out of crisis comes opportunity. Donors, help us seize that chance – we’d like your help to get the entrepreneurial show on the road in the end, and for the good thing about us all.

Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is [email protected] His columns could also be found at www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com

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