Entrepreneurship! How Serious Are We as a Nation?

Wayne Cadogan

Wayne Cadogan

In September of 2012 as I was preparing to go on preretirement leave and as the word got around, I was approached by a number of concerned citizens, government officials and businessmen regarding what I was going to do with my knowledge and experience. I was told that I should not take all of my knowledge and experience to the grave. I was advised that I should re-open a learning facility to undertake training in the garment and business field. I thought long and hard over the issue and came to the conclusion that God would not be happy with me if I did not honour that request to my fellow countrymen and women.

In November of 2012, I was advised to submit an application to BIDC Small Business Centre for space to conduct the training, as there was space available there for such small businesses. I submitted the application and was told then that there is a committee that meets monthly whom I would have to meet with, before an approval could be made. Well a year has passed and I am yet to hear from BIDC in any form or fashion regarding my application. Meanwhile, I am constantly being bombarded by members of the public when I am going to start training.

Unfortunately for the public and the country, due to a lax or inefficient public system; where work is not of a high priority for some workers and where some workers are paid only to be present at work and not producing, causing productivity to be actually non-existent within some government departments in the public service and which needs to be addressed if the country is to go forward.

What is so unfortunate regarding this whole scenario is that the country and more so the public lost the opportunity to benefit from the training which was to be offered to the public free of cost. This training was going to be facilitated by a Foundation set up by myself and a wealthy visitor to these shores as their contribution to this wonderful island that they love so much. This individual cares so much about the people of this island that they wanted to give back something to this island which they also call home.

The country has lost the opportunity to learn such courses which would have been offered by the Foundation over a period of time, such as Pattern Making and Grading, Men’s and Ladies Tailoring, The Art of Sewing, Costing, The Art of Fitting, Alterations, How to set up a Small Business and other business related courses.

Over the years, the governments of this nation have spoken about and try to encourage entrepreneurship by young people to get involved in business ventures. One can ask if the government and politicians are really serious regarding entrepreneurship or is it that they only use the word as a buzz word, since it is a worldwide topic and we as a nation is just jumping on the bandwagon. How serious are we about entrepreneurship, we have numerous qualified and experience Barbadian consultants here in every field, yet we overlook our own and bring in foreigners to do the work and in many cases, these same foreign consultants have to depend and consult with the local consultants to get the work done. When are we going to stop over looking our own? Why is it that many local Barbadian technocrats and consultants are sought out abroad by other companies and countries? Why is it that we have no regards for or own, or have we forgotten the old term that home drums beat first.

26 thoughts on “Entrepreneurship! How Serious Are We as a Nation?


    Wayne Cadogan@ are you sure you are not talking about this government , They seem to behave the same of what you wrote off,

  2. There is no government in Barbados now, or that was ever in place in this post independence period, that has ever taken entrepreneurialism seriously in this country. None.

    Notwithstanding that there have been some persons within these intellectually and politically bankrupt and backward DLP and BLP governments, that have for many years – and even now with this DLP being at the helm of government – been entrepreneurs in various areas of business, there has been this fundamental conflict that has long been taking place between people in government and those in business over each other’s access to money and its uses.(Just one of the major conflicts between government and business)

    It is this unnecessary unholy conflict that has profoundly – in many cases – though not all – been helping to define and present how and why DLP and BLP governments despite what they say about entrepreneurialism and the benefits of it, do not really care much about it, and in fact use exploit and bludgeon it, and go as far as to deliberately destroy it sometimes.

    So, whereas businesses – established or not – in Barbados, generally legally morally use their and many others own property (goods, buildings and such like) to engage in the business of passing on some of these goods to many others, or, in the case of services, for many others to use such properties and derive services , continually commercially, and whereas many of those who are in receipt of such goods or use of services, and at around the same time or within the same context, pass on money to these business persons – or do say that they would pass on such money to them, the fact is that the government hardly engages in the just described events , and is hardly in receipt of such monies therefore.

    Yet, the government, with so many skilled workers, assets, lands, under its control, does not substantially involve itself in such commercial business processes, and at such a time when it is clear that they (the government) and the workers of government should have by now evolved to a stage where they ( the government and these people currently called workers) ought to be maximizing the government’s commercial stocks and their uses.

    Rather, the government of Barbados in a very criminal illegal immoral sick way – continues to seize – and on a massive basis – what is these business people’s – portions of these entrepreneur’s incomes – portions of their properties (not the only set of people the government does this to though) in violation of the government’s laws against theft and in violation of the constitution of the said government of Barbados.

    Furthermore, these wicked evil DLP and BLP governments have over the years been passing many very criminal illegal immoral TAXATION laws that are fundamentally anti-entrepreneurial in nature and form and effects.

    Finally, while it is true that good, efficient and responsible government is necessary in any human society any place on this earth, and that the government like any other personal business entity has to access and use money for multi-farious purposes, the fact is that it is only when government is forced to make full use of money and to respect the rights of all other to have full use of money too, and when also it becomes fully entrepreneurial in its internal external customer, legal, human rights and other relations with other entities – to the point where it can be said to be an entrepreneur, that that would be when government will begin then and there after to take entrepreneurialism seriously. Not until then.


    • @PDC

      Agree with some of your comment, not the taxation part.

      Entrepreneurship is regarded as something good to talk about but we have not given it the respect it merits. We have anchored our hopes and aspirations on the coat tails of ‘traditional’.

  3. If the govt followed what this man has done all his life they could avoid the the 3000 layoffs and satisfy the IMF……pay them by piece work

  4. We have in this country some un-serious people
    who see everything as some kind of a joke
    They dismiss every idea with a sleigh of hand.
    Many of them are to be found in the Public Service
    Your time means nothing to them
    They waste it and treat you bad to boot
    Bruggadung Johnson said it . Too Many Bajan workers ==LAZY
    MINDS and
    Yaaaaaaaaaagga–pon top
    West Indies get beat !

  5. Let me see if I understand this – you want to teach entrepreneurship so your start and end your efforts to secure room space at BIDC (of all places)?! Entrepreneurship is about hustle, problem solving, being flexible, perseverance.

    Have you spoken to the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation about what you are hoping to achieve? How about the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries? The former Fashion and Design Association of Barbados? Barbados Arts Council? etc.

    If this is the message you want to impart to your students, in a challenging market like Barbados, I would suggest you stick to the technical bits and leave the topic of entrepreneurship to someone else.

  6. David,

    It is not a matter of whether you agree or not, it is that what the PDC has just put out there. – including the TAXATION part you referred to – is the UNVARNISHED PLAIN TRUTH.

    Nobody can reasonably disagree with the UNVARNISHED PLAIN TRUTH unless they intend to be or are simply strangers to this UNVARNISHED PLAIN TRUTH.

    And in such cases of that, what is getting between them and the UNVARNISHED PLAIN TRUTH, is their putting themselves between the purveyors of it, and looking at, unnecessarily criticizing, the purveyors, and NOT looking at, not examining the UNVARNISHED PLAIN TRUTH themselves.


  7. Good God man, the man is retiring. He is NOT obligated to unduly stress himself for the sake of providing a working example for others to follow. Why the fck should he. The BIDC is packed with well paid operatives who at the very least should demonstrate some level of professionalism. His opinions are spot on, in my mind.

    • Of course he’s not obligated to do anything. Volunteering in Barbados is never easy. His issue is with the BIDC and he has extended his argument to make a case against entrepreneurial support in Barbados. Yet, his challenge is exactly representative of what entrepreneurs in Barbados suffer from – lack of innovation, quick to give up.

  8. Really?
    Are you a moron
    There is no excuse for the laziness of the BIDC- NONE!



  9. A moron indeed, as I have stayed committed to entrepreneurship despite the hurdles I also face daily. Let’s all give up. If it’s not BIDC, it’s some public sector agency holding up the process. You may get your wish, with 1000 layoffs in statutory corporations, the BIDC will likely be affected – much less “suffering fools” but more fodder for for halfhearted entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs to give up.

    • @Really

      Isn’t transferring knowledge part of the entrepreneurship build we need? This should be encouraged by the authorities and if it isn’t must be exposed.

    • David, are you referring to the above bitching? This is hardly helpful as the suggestions for improvement (beyond “fire the lot of em”) are missing from this exchange. Transferring attitude is the part of the entrepreneurship build we’re great at – “it’s they’re fault”, “it can’t happen”, “just give up”. How serious are we as a Nation? The author’s suggestion is right; we could care less.

  10. A retiring man offers to return to his society with information that could make a difference and is snubbed by the one leading institution that is set up to facilitate initiatives such as his. He then chooses to retire. God speed …!

    Had he NOT been retiring in the first place, there would be merit (for me) in what this Really? guy is saying. But again the only lesson to be taken from this is:- avoid the BIDC should you have an idea and seek a timely response. The youth can learn a lot from this.

    Well done Cadogan

  11. Wayne has taken an initiative that most retirees in Barbados don’t do – partner with a billionnaire with interest in giving money to Barbados whilst he shares his experience, knowledge, gift through teaching for free (Wayne’s services are free).

    The BIDC turned it down and disrespected Wayne a former employee of YES Programme, correct?

    @Really? what more knocking of doors should he experience? He is a retiree, old age, worked fixed hours in the system, a man with experience, class, and love for the people of his country – what more did you want him to do? He is not a start-up businessman.

    The least BIDC could have done was given him a response and investigate the authenticity of the Foundation.

    @Really? please, as an entrepreneur read the article again. For your own personal reasoning. Quietly pay attention to the verbs and subject and noun but look at the verbs first in context.

  12. The public service is going to be relieved of 2000 Barbadians some of whom could have be stepping gleefully into fashion designing without a cent in training. In addition, the Foundation could have sourced overseas contacts for additional training and product exposure. Their colleagues prevented that. Their colleagues some of whom will still be employed also prevented rental revenue for the very Government that will lay them off. Furthermore 1000 human beings some with an acumen toward fashion designing maybe among those that will follow.

    Maybe the Government should shut down the BIDC first.

    @Really? Can you really see Wayne and not the inefficient, uncaring, insensitive employees in our Government.

  13. Today ‘s Sunday Sun carries a supplement highlighting the achievements of UWI,and the many Barbadians who have secured degrees ,we are also subjected to testimonies on CBC TV,relating to UWI.
    In the same newspaper there is a report that Kampla, on attending the funeral of Mandella, has come back to Trinidad and Tobago from South Africa, guilt laden or not, with a specific purpose of introducing legislation to raise the school leaving age ,in that twin-Island republic, from 12 ,yes TWELVE , to 16 years.
    Is this the same Trinidad and Tobago, which owns and operates most of the big businesses in Barbados,and have many of its nationals heading up departments in the public sector,while Barbadians with a “degree in every home” is turning up on the door steps of COW and Bizzy looking for a job?
    There is a old Bajan saying- “Head ain’t Brain”,and a few generations later, it appears to have been reversed.
    For once it looks like PM Stuart got something right.

  14. @ Colonel Buggy,
    So are you saying that we should revert to a school leaving age of 12, or that we should abolish university education? And what has Stuart got right in this context?

  15. Thanks, David. In that regard,I beg to differ from the Colonel. It might very well be the case that our education is still relevant, but our mindset may not be. After all, the Trinidadian curriculum does not differ significantly from ours at the primary and secondary levels and is identical at the tertiary level.

    Perhaps it is a cultural thing. Remember when Barbados produced good batsmen and fast bowlers because we had a heritage of proficiency in these areas to build on and emulate? Maybe it is that the spirit of entrepreneurship and risk taking abounds in T&T for those who are there to follow while it is absent here.

    • @About the risk taking in T&T and we add Jamaica is a cultural difference which separates Barbados that we agree.

Leave a comment, join the discussion.