Owners and managers of small and medium sized businesses in Barbados have a new avenue to prepare their businesses for expansion and sustainability through a masters degree programme offered by the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business and financed by CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.
The Masters of Small and Medium Enterprise Management Programme was launched recently at the University of the West Indies. CIBC FirstCaribbean is providing financing for SME owners and managers to participate in the programme.
The new programme, which is being offered online, comes against the backdrop of protracted economic recession across the Caribbean and the need for greater support in creating an entrepreneurial culture in the region.
CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Manager Director, Retail and Business Banking, Mark St. Hill said: “The importance of entrepreneurship to the continued development of the Caribbean economy and recovery from a recession cannot be overemphasised.
“With the new global business environment there is a need for increased business competitiveness and we believe this new masters programme will greatly assist SMEs in their growth and sustainability.”
Calling the master’s programme an “intelligent investment in SMEs”, St. Hill said that the bank was committed to initiatives which were educational and had the potential to transform the communities the bank served through sustainable social and economic development.
“This programme can contribute to this transformation because entrepreneurship, supported by an adequate policy framework and the private sector, can play a major role in bringing the Caribbean and our people out of the current recession,” he added. CIBC FirstCaribbean has a long history of supporting entrepreneurship and economic development demonstrated through its involvement with Junior Achievement and the Caribbean Association of Youth Business Programmes. The bank also sponsors the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank business plan competition coordinated by UWI’s Student Entrepreneurial Empowerment Development programme.
The launch was attended by CIBC FirstCaribbean clients, SME owners, as well as officials of UWI and the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business.