Operators of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are being encouraged to network more and incorporate greater use of technology in their operations.
The call has come from officials of the Small Business Association (SBA) who underscore the importance of the sector to the local economy.
Chief Executive Officer of the SBA Senator Lynette Holder said it was her dream to see the day when small business operators would move away from using so much cash.
“The Small Business Association has for some years been encouraging our members to move away from the paper-based type of transaction for business and embrace technology,” she said. Holder said while encouraging members, the association was ensuring that it provided the necessary training.
Highlighting the MSME sector’s importance to the island’s transformation and growth, Holder pointed to SBA’s 2016 research which showed that the sector employed significant numbers of people.
“This data suggest that actually 96 per cent of the formal enterprises in Barbados are what we called micro, small and medium,” said Holder.
“In addition, the data also suggested that 61 per cent of those enterprises are contributing to private sector jobs … that, I think, is significant. So, we are a significant contributor to employment and also to economic activity. That tells us that this is a significant player within the market and therefore we need to do what we ought to and can to maximize the contribution that MSMEs can make in this transformational process,” she added.
The SBA official was speaking during the recent Small Business Week launch and networking session at the Savannah Beach Hotel. During the first half of the event, dozens of small business operators and potential business owners had the opportunity to network.
President of the SBA Wayne Willock encouraged them to share ideas as he pointed to the importance of networking.
“As we look forward to a very exciting week of activity, I hope you will take this opportunity to interact with each other, share business cards, experiences and ideas because that is the genesis of new business, and the way of doing things can change [through] this,” he said.
“This networking procedure has proven to be an extremely rewarding exercise not just for businesses here but for the SBA as a whole as we seek to forge relationships regionally and internationally, which can only redound to the growth of new businesses and how business is done in Barbados,” said Willock.
The highly anticipated Small Business Week 2019 will start with a church service at the Calvary Moravian Church in Roebuck Street, The City on Sunday, September 15, and culminate with a scenic bus ride on September 21.
The event, now in its 16th year, will also consist of a one-day state of the sector conference, a youth symposium and the SBA’s annual general meeting and awards ceremony. [email protected]