Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler is recommending an appropriate regulatory framework for micro-financing in Barbados.
Sinckler, who was opening FOROMIC Barbados, a forum for micro enterprises, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this morning, told the estimated 1,000 delegates from across Latin America and the Caribbean, that such a framework would make micro-finance more productive and contribute to economic development.
Sinckler suggested that once the right environment had been created, it would facilitate the commercialisation of ideas, selection and motivation of the micro-entrepreneurs, capacity building and institutional strengthening arrangements.
The Minister of Finance informed those attending the three day conference, that the establishment of market linkages for the region’s goods and services would also be accommodated.
He is also insisting on new and flexible financing modalities which would create better opportunities for Barbadians.
However, he added, this would require the commitment of all stakeholders to invest in, and support the building of new institutional arrangements necessary for economic and social development within the region.
Directing his remarks to the forum that comprised policy makers and representatives of multilateral components of donor agencies and micro-finance institutions, he also outlined a number of specific objectives which he wanted them to consider in the spirit of co-operation and collaboration.
“Your deliberation during the next few days should encompass a shared vision that seeks to strengthen inter-agency collaboration in relation to the development of a more vibrant and more relevant micro-finance architecture,” he noted.
Sinckler also told the delegates, that included the top brass from the Inter-American Development Bank, that their talks on micro-entrepreneurship, must focus on innovation, sharpening of strategies and connecting entrepreneurs to efficient financing mechanisms which would support income generating activities.
“In essence, I am making the general case for micro-enterprise to become a more integral part of the business environment in an effort to improve productive development outcomes,” assrted the government minister.
The forum, which is also being attended by academics and enterprise development service providers, wll be discussing Caribbean Youth Entrepreneurship Development,, Empowering Women Through Microfinance, the Role of Microfinance in Driving the Cultural Industries Sector and Credit Unions. (EJ)