With the traditional sectors “saturated”, officials of Fund Access are reporting an increase in the number of entrepreneurs who are seeking assistance in establishing themselves in the cultural industries.
Business Development Manager Kirk Dottin said he had recognized a change in mindset among Barbadians, who had started to see the cultural industries as a critical part of the economy.
While pledging the fund’s support to the sector’s development, Dottin also said he was pleased with the level of innovation seen in recent times.
He was speaking at a special awards ceremony and media conference at the Cave Hill School of Business yesterday as officials presented the winner and finalists in this year’s Bank On Me competition with their sponsored prizes.
“What has come out of the programme is the innovation. Currently the economy has regressed and for us at Fund Access the traditional sectors have become saturated. So we applaud what is happening with Bank On Me and the innovation and projects,” he said.
President of the Barbados Film and Video Association Lynette Eastmond said it was time for a change in business culture, while noting that quite often people operating in the creative sector were not taken as seriously as those “manufacturing a product that you can see”.
However, Dottin pointed out that with the advent of the Cultural Industries Development Bill, and even prior to its passage late last year, there had been increased interest in the development of the sector, with industry practitioners now being taken more seriously than before.
He made specific reference to a film development project that was getting assistance from Fund Access, saying, “From a Fund Access point of view, we are fully on board with these new emerging sectors”.
Meanwhile, the founder of the Bank On Me series Alison Saunders called on more individuals, especially those of high net worth, to take advantage of the Cultural Industries Bill and to form more partnerships with businesses.
Saunders said while the island had many individuals with “great ideas and a lot of talent” there was a lack of funding.
Sean Carter, operator of Rhema Cooling, a solar energy and air conditioning business, walked away with this year’s Bank On Me, Season two top prize.