Thursday 22 October, 2020

Small business owners receive helping hand from Trust Fund

Participants of the Barbados Trust Fund Limit entrepreneurship programme.

Participants of the Barbados Trust Fund Limit entrepreneurship programme.

Financial literacy remains a pertinent issue among many micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). 

Therefore, the Barbados Trust Fund Limit (BTFL) sought to assist MSMEs to address the problem by hosting a four-day community-based workshop for 45 of their clients. 

From Monday, August 31 to Thursday, September 3, local entrepreneurs received training on topics such as financial literacy, customer service excellence as well as introduction to management and introduction to marketing. 

Business management officer, Kirk Dottin of the BTFL informed Loop News that poor financial literacy was the major reason for failing local businesses. 

"From an institutional perspective, one of the key areas causes the failure of a lot of businesses is the aspect of financial management," he said adding, "these are mostly one-man businesses, so to concentrate on doing your record-keeping, budgeting, and the whole concept and principles of the separation of business funds from personal funds can be difficult because you can appreciate that the funds used for the business will be used to maintain the mortgage, paying rent or sending school children". 

Dottin said the Fund sought to remind its clients they are "not just living for the time" but explore the hidden potential of their businesses. 

"Some people may build a business out of subsistence but there are some businesses that have the potential to be a long-term, viable and sustainable project," he added. 

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local MSME's the BFTL has sought to remind its clients about the importance of financial management, as well as "building a future" for their business and themselves. The pandemic has had a significant impact on the local business sector with some businesses scaling down their operations and reducing their revenue to keep afloat. 

Dottin revealed that the BFTL provided its clients with a three-month waiver from May to July, with payments recommencing in August. 

He disclosed that from November 2018 to August 21, 2020, the loan has disbursed  $11,534,686.61 for 2,556 loan clients which led to the creation of 3,523 jobs. 

"We are still working with clients because we understand that COVID is still present so we are working with a case by case to get persons back on track, get the businesses back on track and those who are actually doing business, we are trying to get payment plans to make the financial burden a little easy."

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