Wednesday 27 May, 2020

Inniss: Make use of the recession

Barbados continues to waste the opportunities that can be had in this deep and prolonged recession.

Moreover, it seems that at all levels of society people are prepared to seek to emerge from this recession doing things the same way as when we were going into the recession.

That’s according to Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, who says that it is the “epitome of intellectual laziness” that becomes the basis of a persistently weak and unsustainable society and economy.

Addressing  a seminar dubbed 'Fuelling the leadership pipeline”'on Friday at the Radisson Aquatica, Inniss said there are some who believe that the country can emerge from the scenario with an extra-large public sector, governed by archaic rules, void of adequate cerebral innovation, challenged to effectively deploy technology and a bureaucracy that can be more frustrating than facilitating.

Too many, he declared, still expect that the country will be the star of Western economies with a robust, private sector led economy “when our private enterprise sector still heavily depends on concessions, favours, protectionism, Government contracts, 19th-century management techniques and little innovation.”

He lauded Spark Global Business for hosting the seminar where several entrepreneurs shared their experiences about launching a start-up, time management and marketing a business. Inniss noted the event was being held at a time when Barbados must seriously engage in a national discourse on entrepreneurship.

Barbados’ future, he stressed, lies in developing and sustaining an enterprising public and private sector that is actively engaged in the global economy. He echoed the call for the fostering of a culture of entrepreneurship in the society.

“At home and at school, teach our kids that is okay to be your own boss; to take risks; to get up and go again when you fail; not to be distracted by naysayers; to see the world as your oyster.”

But for him, it is not enough just to foster that culture, but he wants entrepreneurs regardless of colour of skin, religion, age, gender, socio-economic status or type of business to endeavour to be celebrated.

According to him, Barbadians must be prepared to invest in and otherwise support each other’s enterprises and stop thinking that local enterprises are second-rate.

Government too, he reiterated, must break down the walls that restrict entrepreneurship, cutting out the “red tape, paper shuffling and indecisiveness. Also penalising blockers to progress or get them out of the system – “politicians included”.


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