Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Stephen Lashley, is urging young entrepreneurs to create innovative indigenous businesses that can compete on a global stage.
Addressing the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016, Lashley contended that the next crop of successful entrepreneurs would be “based on sustainability”. He held that local businesses were intimated to stand on an international platform.
“[We are] yet to see that confidence in some of our businesses to explore other markets, to establish corporate presence in other markets and of course, the drive in innovation and change,” he said.
Referring to the cultural industries, Lashley stressed that events such as CARIFESTA XIII would provide endless opportunities for young entrepreneurs.
“This event is not only another CARIFESTA but it focuses on the empowerment of men and women through the creation of business ideas that can be transformed into products and services that the rest of the world want,” he said.
Noting that the island’s creativity sector would fuel economic development, Lashley added: “I believe that economic expansion will not only be driven by the public purse, by the activities of government, but economic expansion to a large extent will have to be driven by emerging entrepreneurs who already see themselves as world leaders in developing new business opportunities”.
“Innovation is going to be a key part of that, as we see ourselves as not only importers of goods and services but that we see ourselves as creators of goods and services that can be exported to the rest of the world.”
Lashley also advised the young entrepreneurs present to pursue markets that reflect society’s needs.
“I believe that if Barbados businesses become competitive and grow their owners need to step outside of the traditional realms of business development and not only look for good opportunities but also think about social problems that can be resolved and developed through new business models,” Lashley said.
He added, “Social issues can create new markets and the socially minded entrepreneurs and enterprises that emerge can be a source of potential investment”.