Government is willing to provide the enabling environment to help the plethora of digital businesses across the island, including those owned by women, to take off.
Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle, believes that the way forward for Barbados’ economy, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, rests in a vibrant e-commerce platform and other forms of digitalised activity.
Addressing a large online audience via Zoom on Saturday during the Soroptimist International Barbados Club’s Professional Development Workshop: Sister Put Your Best Foot Forward, Caddle said creating the enabling environment for digital businesses to take off was “almost the best investment we could make”.
She stated: “We started that with the National Payment System Bill. A big part of the motivation for that was that right now, sellers in Barbados really are not able to participate in global marketplaces because of issues with our payment system. Once we solve that, as we are doing through this legislation, and as we will do with coming legislation, then people with products will be able to sell on Amazon; people will be able to create their own unified marketplaces and sell, but we need to first create the digital environment for that.”
The Minister continued: “For me, that is one of the huge opportunities for women’s business, especially in the kind of lifestyle products, so there are a range of products that can be offered online.”
Caddle cited the example of one of her friends, a domestic helper, who, though unable to work now, had created a business offering advice on the best ways to keep homes clean, which has been well received by homeowners. The Minister reasoned that as long as Government provided the enabling environment, the greater the opportunity for women’s employment and income- generating capabilities.