The Minister for Entrepreneurship has stepped up his call for a change in the way Barbadians view entrepreneurship, as the island prepares to join the world in observing a week dedicated to enterprise.
Dwight Sutherland said he would continue to stress that a change in mindset and approach to entrepreneurial development is needed to add to the improvement of the economy.
While delivering the feature address at the opening ceremony and media launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the Minister said he is also aware that change will happen when belief is spurred by conscious and deliberate action.
Sutherland said: “It is no secret that the current path on which we thread is paved with increasing global economic uncertainty.
“Some may even dare say that this road’s embankment, which ought to represent an ark of safety for the disadvantaged, has unfortunately become the target of economic disillusionment.
“This sense of scepticism has apparently taken root among our regional SME actors.
“Knowing this, we must foster a greater sense of urgency within the SME sector if its strategic goals are to be realized.
“By extension, it must be the resolve of every Barbadian to play his or her part in making a meaningful difference within our sovereign space.”
GEW, which is being organised locally by the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT), is a collaboration of events, activities and competitions each November to inspire would-be entrepreneurs to explore their potential while networking and collaborating.
The week is part of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) which is intended to unite individuals and communities who have traditionally faced barriers to entrepreneurship or have been marginalised.
Sutherland commented that a critical part of the GEW framework has been the introduction of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), a not-for-profit research consortium which hosts the world’s largest and longest study of global entrepreneurship activity.
He said: “It is therefore obvious to me, that such an opportunity, if carefully managed, can go a long way towards leveraging the anticipated socio-economic improvements within participating countries.
“Being cognizant of this global reality and the positive recognition that can accrue the various GEN affiliates, it would be remiss of me not to congratulate the many partners within this ecosystem that allows for the successful staging of the annual GEW.”
Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs from November 17 to 23, is celebrating its 12th anniversary this year, with a church service at New Dimensions, Barbaree’s Hill, said BYBTGeneral Manager Cardell Fergusson.
Throughout the week, there will be a workshop, expo, seminar and hikes, among other activities, he said.