After taking a hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2023 edition of Girlfriends Expo (GFE) has been a resounding success for exhibitors and attendees.
Kimtara Clarke, producer of Girlfriends Expo, provided an update on the final day of the two-day exhibition, which was held at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex under the theme ‘Back to Africa‘.
Clarke said COVID-19 placed the long-running entrepreneurship-focused expo on an unfortunately long break, but this year’s showcase was back with a bang, with hundreds of Barbadians making their way down over the course of the weekend to see what was on offer.
“It was good coming back after COVID; I mean we had two years, we planned and planned some more. Once the restrictions were lifted we were given the go ahead to be able to produce the expo on the level that we would like,” Clarke said.
“The response from the exhibitors was amazing, we sold out pretty early in terms of the space both inside and out, and I think we have a good crop of new businesses to look at, a nice decent amount of small businesses as well, so it’s been pretty good.”
When a team from Barbados TODAY visited the showcase on Sunday afternoon, the crowds on the inside were large and still growing, and patrons sought to make their last-minute visit to stalls before the 8 pm closing time.
Though entrepreneurship has always served as the major driving force behind the show, Clarke said this time around there was a definite increase in the young business persons seen applying for stalls for a variety of businesses.
“The textile market, you would find the dessert market to be booming, and as well as jewellery making but jewellery making with a difference. Some more on the fine jewellery side as well as the African, Nubian [themed] jewelleries as well.”
Clarke added that Barbadians should stay on the lookout for a number of other pop-up exhibits being organised by herself and her team throughout the remainder of the year, and she hopes to expand the stage for entrepreneurs to continually showcase their products. (SB)