Entrepreneurship! How Serious Are We as a Nation?
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.