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#BTColumn – Marshall and Walters on sustainable small businesses

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

By Walter Edey

In celebrating Small Business Week 2022, UWI professor and political economist, Dr. Don Marshall (at a Sir Arthur Lewis Institute lecture), and the manager of a global business franchise in Barbados, Ryan Walters (writing a media guest column) presented designs for the sustainable development of small business. The lecturer and manager each asserted that small business development was a creative process and greater than an event, a single motion, some extent of sale or human effort.

Based on media reports, amongst other things, Marshall believed that:

(1) Transformation calls for a level of state intervention, and a level of partnership with the private sector elements.

(2) The companies and countries that were doing well, were those where there was a value-added ethos that drives innovation, that drives a continuous disruption that thrives in creating greater value for the client.

Walters in his column, wrote amongst things opined that:

(1) “We want to create an entrepreneurial economy and dispose of the notion of micro and small business.

(2)  Small business is everyone’s business.

(3)  Most businesses start from humble beginnings, small in nature and eventually scale and grow over time to grow to be the magnates they’re today… There’s something counterproductive by labelling the sector with a word that connotes size – “small” making its significance appear little. While individual business could also be small, the sector as a collective, makes a giant contribution.”

Ryan Walters

Dr. Marshall, in making his case for a public policy/private motion partnership and progressive approach beneficial a price – added ethos – a proven orderly and systematic path towards sustainable business enterprise.

Value-added ethos is an progressive business mindset that’s directed towards creating value for others at every step of a services or products’s life cycle – from its conception to its eventual disposal. It’s the form of continuous effort that leads to efficiency, customer loyalty and satisfaction. The form of process which differentiates businesses in a competitive marketplace, and, effects and impacts the national growth process.

However, Walters, a manager of a fast-food chain, spoke about small business as a purpose and fervour. He argued for a change in the best way the event of small business is currently done and perceived. He also wrote: “Trust me after I say that. I understand it [small business growth and development] doesn’t occur without exertions, commitment and sacrifice…Before we chip away on the things to be done, we must embrace once and for all of the perception of how we view small business owners.”

A scientific (the dynamics flow systems) working definition of an entrepreneurial economy is an interactive network of companies evolving structurally, over time, in their very own self- interest. For instance, just a few large and plenty of small businesses, given freedom by the continual changes in policy changes by governments and management – in response to business environment changes, and external shocks), spreading across the social, cultural and economic landscapes.

Specifically, business enterprises individually and collectively, response to value added processes like: mobilizing labour through training; and increasing the flow of services – and the movement of business from one level to a different by adjusting rules that constrain their movement.

On this constantly evolving progressive space doing business is less complicated. There may be a high level of new business creation. Growth and performance are measured mathematically: when it comes to the variety of new businesses being created, the speed of expansion of existing businesses, the extent of investment in new ventures and the novel business ideas, services or products that emerge. In multiple way, the value-added ethos concept complements the concept of an entrepreneurial economy. In addition they have invaluable similarities.  Each require:

(1) A supportive environment that encourages risk-taking and experimentation.

(2) Aspects resembling access to capital, development of a talented workforce, and favourable regulatory conditions.

(3) Emphasis on sustainable growth. Long-term pondering and planning relatively than a concentrate on short-term gains and/or maximizing profits.

(4) A businesses and policy making environment that’s nimble and adaptable.

When value-added ethos and entrepreneurial economy concepts are activated, businesses large and small – and the country or island where they exist, usually tend to flourish, generate new opportunities for employment, and assure cultural and social prosperity and civility.  The explanations. Each emphasize and live or die by progressive and inventive processes. Each of them typically result in more stable and predictable growth patterns, and each ensure proactive responses to market volatility.

Dr. Marshall and Ryan Walters of their presentations showed how the kites of small businesses might be raised and flown. More importantly, they did in order national winds of adversity proceed to rise. Whatever you readers might imagine of their presentations, it’s indisputable that kites rise against the wind and never with it. This fact is consistent with the creative and progressive process, which is difficult and only rewards exertions.   

Walter Edey is a retired math and science educator in Barbados and New York.

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