With the economy currently facing challenges, Barbadians are being encouraged to create their own opportunities by practising entrepreneurship.
However, speaking during the launch of the Billion Dollar Dreams competition, which will see five entrepreneurs giving a business pitch before a panel of judges, Marketing and Communications Officer of First Citizens Bank Kareem McClean warned that entrepreneurship was not a fad, but “a culture” that must be instilled in the minds of young Barbadians.
He said his financial institution got involved in the Billion Dollar Dreams initiative because it recognized that entrepreneurship was “an important pillar that will drive Barbados to achieve success in future economic growth and development.
“Entrepreneurship is more than just a big idea it requires discipline, hard work and dedication,” McClean added.
The winner of the Billion Dollar Dreams competition — which was open to business owners between the ages of 18 and 35 who are making revenues of $50,000 to $500,000 annually –– will walk away with the first prize of $10,000 compliments the Central Bank of Barbados, and a scholarship valued at $6,100 from the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP).The second place prize is $5,000 from First Citizens and a scholarship from the Cave Hill School of Business worth $2,500, while the third place winner will walk away with $5,000.
The fourth prize is $2,000, compliments Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited, and the fifth prize is $1,000.
The five finalists are Delvin Howell of Beyond Publishing Caribbean; Ryan Belle of 5 Rear Meats and Nature Wines; Ryan Brathwaite of GB Geo Engineering; Gabriel Abed of Bitt Inc.; and Khalil Bryan of Caribbean Transit Solutions Inc.
They were chosen from among 11 entrants who were asked to demonstrate “high growth potential, an appetite for risk and the potential to raise foreign exchange.
“The business also had to show some element of pioneering a new approach to doing business or employing technology, as well as a cultural of innovation that differentiates them from their competition,” said Novaline Brewster, public affairs officer at the Central Bank.
Entrepreneur Toni Thorne will host the Billion Dollar Dreams Forum, which will take place on Tuesday, November 24.