Entrepreneur Corner

entrepreneurshipBarbados continues to grapple with the challenge to sustain its cost of living in harsh economic times. One avenue which is a historical fact is the significant contribution which Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) contribute to economies, especially those which are successful. BU hopes bloggers will post submissions, ideas, feedback about how we can fan the flame of entrepreneurship to the Entrepreneur Corner.

Thanks to Moneybrain for this idea.

149 thoughts on “Entrepreneur Corner

  1. If you really want to learn about real businesses go to CNBC.com/THE-PROFIT . The presenter Marcus Lemonis is invited in to many different businesses to help save those businesses from ruin. There is no better education for business people than this. He explains the critical aspects of People, Process, Products, Promotion etc.

  2. Just followed you here.
    Marcus Lemonis is quite good.

    I am wondering if these financial wizards (like shark tank) do not catch people at their weakest and take advantage.

    Your thoughts …

    • TheO, they are deal makers and can hardly help themselves in terms of pressing for a tough deal which most amateurs are vulnerable to. On the other hand having 1 or 2 of these people on your team, you being able to utilise their bountiful list of contacts and experience can make the difference between a good concept and success. The best product / service does not win without many other variables being developed. Always remember that Xerox has many times more Patents than just about any other American Corp but it has been weak in commercialising compared to the competition. Caveat emptor.

  3. There are more than 2 million businesses in the United States that are owned by African Americans, but most are small operations with very few employees. However, there are many Black-owned businesses that employ hundreds or thousands of people, and generate annual revenues of $100 million or more – some even generate billions.
    Here are 5 of them that you probably never heard of:

    #1 – World Wide Technology Inc: Based in Maryland Heights, Missouri, this is a global IT company that serves the technology needs of large public and private organizations. Founded by David L. Steward, this company has long been the largest Black-owned business and has grown to more than $6.7 billion in annual revenue with more than 3,000 employees. Even more, they have more than 2 million square feet of warehousing, distribution and integration space. And yes, they are Black-owned!

    #2 – ACT-1 Group: Based in Torrance, California, this company provides staffing, human resources and management solutions to Fortune 500 companies in industries from entertainment to technology, and finance to biotech. Founded by Janice Bryant Howroyd, this company generates more than $2.2 billion a year! Not just Black-owned, also woman-owned!

    #3 – The Anderson-Dubose Company: Based in Lordstown, Ohio, this company provides logistics solutions and unparalleled service to the world’s most elite corporations in the quick service industry. Founded by Warren E. Anderson, they have more than 400 employees, and generate more than $540 million in annual revenue. Black-owned – check!

    #4 – Global Alliance Automotive: Based in Detroit, Michigan, this company is a global automotive parts supplier. As a worldwide group of independent representation companies, they are an adequate contemporary answer to recent major structural changes within the automotive industry. They pull in about $520 million every year in revenue. Black-owned? Yes, indeed!

    #5 – Thompson Hospitality:

    Thompson Hospitality
    Thompson Hospitality is a minority-owned Food Service provider, and one of the largest Retail Food and Facilitie…

    Based in Reston, VA, this company is the largest minority-owned food service management company in the country. Founded by Warren M. Thompson, they were recognized in 2010 as “Company of the Year” by Black Enterprise Magazine. They have more than 4,000 employees, and their annual revenues are just shy of $500 million. Again, Black-owned!

  4. Move to help small businesses

    MINISTER OF ENERGY, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Kerrie Symmonds is pushing for a collateral registry through which small business people can be assisted in accessing financing.
    He served notice in the House of Assembly yesterday that he would be bringing the relevant legislation, as he observed: “There is nowhere in Barbados that you can secure financial assistance and loans against your accounts receivables and the inventory you have [or] the fact that you own two fishing boats.”
    After listening to Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, speak about the plight of people engaged in the fishing industry, Symmonds highlighted the difficulties associated with the financing needs of fisherfolk, charging “The insurance industry does not want to hear you in many cases because the boat is too old, though the boat has value.”
    Contributing to debate on the Appropriation (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the St James Central MP said: “We in this country have to stop cherry-picking who can get insurance for a vessel and who can’t, because there are several people who may be of a different complexion in Barbados. Their address reads ‘Ridge’ or ‘Terrace’ or ‘Gardens’, as opposed to ‘land’ or ‘village’ and they are not told that their boat is too old.”
    He said this was “a reality that we have to get right as these things stand in the way of people, and deprive small business of the essential oxygen necessary for them to succeed”.
    Symmonds said securitisation of transactions was vitally important. “If we do not get these things right, then we do not bring the level of equity that we
    need either for the people who are developing their businesses and trying to penetrate markets and grow, nor on the other side of the coin do we give the level of security to those persons who are asking to lend money to develop businesses in Barbados.
    “There has to be legislation that must assist us in the registering and the governing of transactions where we can use movable assets as security so that we empower those small players amongst us who own the small assets,” he added.
    He noted the fishing industry had fed and developed thousands of Barbadian families and “has been a mechanism which has empowered black Barbadian people to make a little money”.
    The House was adjourned until October 27. (GC)

    Source: Nation

  5. Business owners huddle for support

    SCORES OF YOUNG Barbadian entrepreneurs are being given valuable support in their business ventures through a programme in which the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) and the United States Embassy in Barbados are collaborating.
    Last week, the embassy launched Global Entrepreneurship Network Startup Huddles across the Eastern Caribbean to reinforce the entrepreneurship ecosystem and to serve as a point of contact for all those hoping to get their businesses of the ground.
    In a week also being observed as Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Barbados Youth Business Trust joined with the embassy to organise events that brought entrepreneurs together to network and to learn how to be more business savvy.
    Speaking at the US Embassy in Wildey, St Michael, last Monday, Ambassador Linda Taglialatela said “some great success stories” had already been recorded in Barbados from an ongoing programme – initially set up as a pilot through the White House and run through the State Department – in which 30 US embassies were provided with funding.
    32 women selected
    The BYBT was the local outfit chosen for the design and execution of Barbados’ programme and 32 women were selected for participation, out of the 90 applicants in the first pilot programme. The entrepreneurs were put through what Taglialatela described as “a business boot camp”.
    She said: “There are a lot of women who have really creative ideas about what they might want to do, but the biggest problem is that a lot of them
    don’t know what that means.”
    Tiffany Jones, a human resources professional who founded her own business two years ago called The Job Connect, is among 25 participants in the second cohort participating in the young entrepreneurs programme, which this year attracted more than 300 applicants.
    She touted the benefits, saying the training and networking offered had enabled her and her business associates to access business interests that showed promise for a viable future.
    The BYBT, founded in 1994 for young people who were unemployed, was started by a group of social entrepreneurs who saw the need for a programme for young people to find gainful employment.
    “What we found at that time was that the unemployment rate among young persons was increasing so high that something needed to be done.
    “What we do is we seek to get the entrepreneur ready for business in whatever way we can. Sometimes they come to us with very good technical skills and we provide them with business acumen,” said BYBT president Cardelle Fergusson.
    She said the trust was one of the first groups to implement the Global Entrepreneurship Week
    and 170 countries were now observing it too.
    “The start-up huddle we are working with the US Embassy on is like a support network for entrepreneurs. What it does is it gives one entrepreneur the opportunity to explain what they are doing in their business. And out of this opportunity, they will get feedback from the audience on how they can improve what they
    are doing,” she said. (GC)

    Nation 23/11/2020

  6. Expo push helps small businesses stay afloat
    MORE PEOPLE WERE forced into entrepreneurship this year, but at least two groups have been doing their best to ensure that they stay in business.
    Chairperson of the St George Parish Independence Committee, Reuel Bourne, made this point recently during the third St George Entrepreneurship Expo.
    During the event, which was held at the Glebe, St George, Bourne said that this year, they organised a series of online workshops where about 40 entrepreneurs were trained.
    “We know that because of COVID, so many small businesses were started. . . so we had eight weeks of online training with the Barbados Youth Business Trust and that brought out about 40 entrepreneurs that were interested in how they can register and build their business into something sustainable.
    “And we are going to be doing more things like that. We are going to be putting on workshops so that entrepreneurs, especially in this time, who have been forced into entrepreneurship have the relevant skills in order to get their goals achieved,” Bourne said.
    This year the expo was held under the theme Connecting Entrepreneurs and Building Communities, and about 25 businesses including a leather craft maker, a small cosmetic retailer and a gift shop owner displayed their products and services.
    He added that the expo was a great way to bring many of the businesses together to help them earn money and make additional connections.
    “So with all that’s been going on we thought this would be a good time for people to come out, show what they have, and help them make some connections and also be able to showcase what they are doing,” he added.

  7. Slowly but surely, David, it shall be done. The young people will do it. Like the little engine, my son’s generation think they can.

    Progress is being made. Being on the ground here, I feel it. The co-operation of the white man is not necesssary. We have the power. The young people have the attitude.

  8. David,

    I see the attitude every day in my son and his friends. And I see the self-belief, the ideas, the dedication and the collaborative spirit between him and his friends. They know they are stronger together and freely assist without thinking. No crab in the barrel mentality.

    My son is more disciplined than I ever was and he has Plan A down to Plan Z. One thing not working? He researches why and plans anew. Knock him down, he takes a break and a deep breath, gets up in a short while and goes again. He understands that failure is part of the process.

    The boy actually intends to make millions. So do his friends. They see the world as their market.

    That is step 1, 2 and 3.

    The key is for parents not to crush their children’s dreams and try to force them into white collar box offices.

    Forcing square pegs into round holes is the reason why we are mediocre. Too many people are not using their greatest talents, just plodding along on the traditional paths at which they are average. Then they have to fight dirty to defend their position from those more suited for it. Many people are kept out by dirty tricks.

    The country suffers for it.

  9. 125 get tools to starting businesses
    AN ADDITIONAL 125 Barbadians will finally realise their dreams of starting their own businesses, thanks to the Barbados Trust Fund Limited (BTFL).
    Today, they will receive their cheques during a networking session at the Parkinson Resource Centre, The Pine, St Michael, to culminate four days of community-based training in entrepreneurship, which began on Monday, December 7.
    The aim of the training is to equip clients with the tools to adequately manage their micro businesses.
    Participants will get the opportunity to interact with BTFL’s general manager Gerry Amos and other officials from the agency.
    Late last month, Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, commended Amos and his business development officers for helping entrepreneurs to develop their businesses.

  10. ‘Govt looking for printing loophole’
    GOVERNMENT IS being accused of sneaking in provisions for a return to the days of printing money through a Bill to amend the Central Bank of Barbados Act.
    It came from Opposition Senator Crystal Drakes, who charged that the Mia Amor Mottley administration has craftily increased the amount that Government can advance from the Central Bank.
    In her contribution to debate in the Senate yesterday, Drakes noted while the Bill prohibits borrowing, the bank may make temporary advances to the Government to manage its cash flow. Drakes said changes made in Part nine, section 62, clause 7 provides a computation that would allow Government to advance larger sums than provisioned in the original legislation.
    The section referenced states: “Where the bank makes temporary advances pursuant to subsection (6), the temporary advances shall be subject to the followings conditions: the total aggregate amount cannot exceed at any time 7.5 per cent of the annual average of the ordinary revenue of the Government for the three fiscal years of the Government immediately preceding for which accounts are available,”
    “Crafty, isn’t it? These sections are now going to be repealing section 59, subsection 2 of the Public Finance Management Act of 2019. It states where the minister responsible for finance in a financial year, when authorised by resolution of Parliament for the purpose of meeting current requirement, borrows money from the Central Bank by means of temporary advances, the amount shall not exceed 7.5 per cent of the net receipts of the estimated revenue of the Government for that financial year,” Drakes explained.
    “So, instead of increasing the 7.5 per cent that the Government has placed a limit on, we have some crafty language that allows the Government now to base that 7.5 per cent on a three-year average. If it so happens that the revenues for that year are less than favourable due to a public emergency, then we don’t have to count that year.”
    The Opposition Senator implored Government to admit that financial circumstances are such that it needed to increase the very cap it placed on itself only a year ago for borrowing instead of slipping it in through the use of nuanced language.
    “I suspect that given the reduction in revenue and the Government finds itself in a very difficult position which is happening globally, it might find itself in a difficult position in covering its recurring expenditures. So instead of increasing the 7.5 per cent limit, it is legally trying to access a greater amount of funds by changing the way that amount is calculated.
    “In the event that this is the case, one of the things that we can be honest about, if we are going to go through the trouble of changing language and how things are calculated, is that Government should come to the people of Barbados and let them know that the very things that they put in place in 2019 they have to now abandon,” she said. (CLM)

  11. Call for better deal for credit unions
    OPPOSITION SENATOR Caswell Franklyn wants to see credit unions granted greater autonomy from commercial banks which he has accused of taking advantage of consumers.
    He made the plea yesterday as the Senate debated amendments to the Central Bank of Barbados Act.
    Franklyn also argued the role of the Governor General in the dismissal of Governor of the Central Bank lacked clarity.
    In preceding remarks, Government Senator Rawdon Adams hailed the legislation. He said it reflected an “unprecedented transfer of macroeconomic policy from the Government to the Central Bank”. “We have never seen something like this before,” he remarked.
    Adams noted the new bill would provide the Governor with tenure of six years and streamline the functions of the institution.
    Franklyn said the Governor should have a retirement age and could be pressured to conform with Government’s wishes as his time for re-appointment approached.
    He wanted to see credit unions having a greater role in financing development and being less controlled by the commercial banks. Franklyn said people going abroad who were members of a credit union would withdraw money from their accounts and go to a commercial bank for foreign exchange. Credit unions should be allowed to offer foreign exchange services, he said.
    “Credit unions today cannot issue cheques to their customers,” Franklyn continued.
    He said commercial banks were keeping credit unions poor. “We need to get some measure of discipline in the financial sector,” the Opposition senator said. “We have been fighting these issues for years”.
    Adams touched on the issue of the past administration engaging in “printing of money” which he said debased the currency and suggested was detrimental to the economy.
    A strengthening of the independence of the Central Bank of Barbados meant there would be limits to the institution’s financial support for Government, he noted.

  12. Entrepreneurs get keys to Silver Hill businesses
    Five ‘blockpreneurs’ from Silver Hill were the first to sign licensing agreements and receive keys to their kiosks as part of the Government’s Building Blocks project.
    At the signing and handing over ceremony at Green Hill, Silver Hill, Christ Church on Friday morning, Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Dwight Sutherland, encouraged the five – Randy Went, Corey Kellman, Davico Went-Weekes, Kimberley Allen and Matthew King – “to go out there and to take on the world, and do not settle for having a kiosk at Silver Hill”.
    He said: “The Building Blocks Project initiative is about community empowerment and providing opportunities for young people to realise their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs, and I’m indeed happy to be here to be part of this historic occasion, whereby, you young people and you ‘blockpreneurs’ feel empowered and feel as if you have a stake in the economic transformation of the building of this country.”
    Giving the rationale for Government empowering men and women in blocks across the country, Sutherland said Government recognised that blocks had something to offer Barbados and many ideas came out of them.
    “This is an example of how when you decide to tap into those ideas and endeavours of Barbadians that sit on a block, as a result of high unemployment levels in the country,”
    Sutherland said. “This is what comes out of those interventions.”
    He highlighted that Government’s intention was to provide an enabling environment through the Building Blocks Project and other future projects to give the ordinary Barbadian the opportunity to build back strong communities and family businesses, and help to address some of the social issues that plague these areas.
    Sutherland declared: “The sky is your limit; the world belongs to you. You need now to take this opportunity and not only stay small, but grow your businesses on a scale. But don’t grow selfishly, bring along people with you.
    “I want you to form a cluster among you, so that you help each other, so that you give each other ideas and you lift up each other’s business, that at the end of the day, five years from now, you can look on and you can be mentors to those coming behind you, because this pilot project, we [Government] intend to build out other ‘blockpreneurs’ in this country.”
    In its first phase, the project is operating at four sites – Silver Hill, Christ Church, and Bonnets, Parkinson Field and The Ivy in St.
    Michael. Plans for phase two were already in motion, where Government had identified, and is seeking to acquire, lands throughout the country, as locations for future Building Blocks kiosks, Sutherland said.
    Also present during the ceremony was Sutherland’s predecessor as Youth and Community Empowerment Minister, Adrian Forde, MP for Christ Church West Central, under whose ministerial tenure the project was initiated.
    Forde told the entrepreneurs that the Building Blocks Project has afforded them that “once in a lifetime opportunity” to make a difference, to be able to support their families and to have a tangible state in Barbados.
    Forde told the new kiosk owners: “Treat these kiosks, this facility as if it was your home, as if it was your bedroom, I want you to care it. The Government has invested in it and it is now who you are.
    “So, I want you to continue to enjoy it, as you become the true businessman and entrepreneurs that you deserve to be in Barbados.” (BT/BGIS)

  13. If you are looking for a reliable technician, Alvin Herbert is not the person for you. He is not an honest person and he has no work ethics. I am a member of a crowdfunding group with over 200 members – we hired Alvin to build us a new system; the system should have been up and operational in December 2020. To date the system does not work. Here are some of the emails that we sent him.

    Hello Alvin,
    Please inform us when the glitches will be corrected as well as the request for a hierarchy completed.
    As our numbers grow, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maneuver the system. The members are continuously asking when it will be fixed. We want to be able to provide them with a deadline when this will be done.

    Please let us know.


    Hello Alvin,

    We have not heard from you regarding the correction of the glitches that are on the website. What is the deadline by which you will be finished?

    We are expecting to launch in Barbados on April 15th and need the system to be up and functioning as it is expected.

    Any malfunctioning will not only reflect negatively on us but you as well.

    Looking forward to your response.


    Hello Alvin,

    It is over a month now that I have communicated the errors in the system and the need to have them fixed. Due to your inability to correct these errors it has left me with no choice but to request that you close the project at your end and that you hand over/export to me all files that are part of the project and provide access to the server so that it can be understood how the website was created and worked on as a matter of urgency.

    We can no longer continue without a proper functioning system.

    Hello Alvin,

    This is a major embarrassment and not time for excuses. Our operation is in limbo because of this website. You breached of the contract in December 2020 when you did not deliver the website on time and functioning as required. The contract does not say that if you breached it that you will receive full payment or that I must pay all funds regardless of the outcome.

    I see two options available to move forward and end on good terms.

    A. That you adjust the price/balance for the work that you have done and send the files and allow access to the server.

    B. Deliver the outstanding corrections below by Tuesday April 27th 2021, including the files and whatever else is required to be given to a client.

    These are the specifics:
    1. Manual Payments are made and after making a payment, a person is to click on the button under actions and it sends a message to the person whom they are paying. That person would in turn click on their arrow under payments to confirm that they have received the payment. This is not working. In addition, we want all payment to be sent to Phoenix now, so admins of Phoenix will do the verifying and not the person whose wallet the funds are meant.
    2. After receiving all 5 payments, a person is to move up to the next level and under their profile it should state the new level. That is also not working and even though some persons including myself have received all 5 payments, it is still saying level 1.
    3. Since funds are no longer going to individuals until they receive their full payout, we need a wallet for them to show the amount of funds that they have accumulated. At level one and having received all 5 payments their wallet should state $100.00 ect. You agreed to provide this.
    4. The default to send payments must be $Phoenix20123. You agreed to do this.
    5. The password reset is not working.
    6. The rules are empty. You are confirming nothing. We can provide them to insert.
    7. I want a hierarchy built so that admins can see where everyone is in the system. I can only see a list of names email address and usernames of those in the system. I do not know who they fall under or what level they are on or if they have received all of their payments or what is outstanding. The hierarchy should be in increments of 5 as well. You agreed to do this.
    On completion and receiving the files, I will not have a problem to pay the balance due and we can part this relationship on good terms.

    I would appreciate your timely response.

    Alvin wanted us to give him an additional $775.00, when we refused he shut the site down and we have nothing. We finally had to call the Barbados government and turn him in. If he were in the USA, I would have reported him to the Attorney General’s office to have work permit revoked.

    If you have also been a victim of Alvin Herbert, feel free to reach out and I will let you know what other steps we are taking to assure he does not do this to anyone else.

  14. Entrepreneurs learn more about creating wine brands, master blending

    Tue, 07/13/2021 – 5:45am

    Several entrepreneurs in the wine and beverage industry received valuable training to help them improve their individual businesses.

    This as the Barbados Trust Fund Limited (BTFL) continued its cluster series with virtual sessions at Bagnall’s Point Gallery, Craft Centre on Saturday with two experienced European wine makers.

    On the topic of Maintaining Quality Standards, Wine Educator Magnavai Janjo, who established BAME Wine Professionals, an organisation aimed at shining spotlight on wine talent in the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, highlighted what makes a good wine and the best ways to create wine brands for leading supermarkets locally, regionally and internationally.

    This was followed by a session on Master Blending with Alexis Cornu, a master in the art of wine production.

    The session is part of a cluster series being hosted by the Barbados Trust Fund Limited to aid entrepreneurs in the manufacturing and agriculture industries in areas such as marketing, financial literacy, customer service excellence and business management, for the wider aim of improving their offerings to the customers and to therefore capture a wider client base.

    Source: BarbadosAdvocate

  15. David,

    Wine-making from local fruits should be the thrust. We may not be able to do much exporting but we could keep some foreign exchange from escaping. Futhermore, it could be our own Bajan thing rather than foreign.

  16. Bajan’s battery breakthrough
    It’s first fully renewable lithium-ion cell, says innovator
    A UNITED KINGDOMBASED (UK) company co-founded by Barbadian entrepreneur and innovator Carlton Cummins says it has produced the world’s “first totally renewable lithium-ion battery”.
    And Cummins, the chief technical officer of award-winning clean technology company Aceleron, said the hope was the battery “will continue to be used for as long as possible – preferably forever”.
    Aceleron is already offering its clean technology products in Barbados, having announced partnerships with three local financial institutions last November.
    The company said recently that its new battery called The Essential was “the first reusable, repairable and fully recyclable lithiumion battery of its kind”.
    News of the battery came ahead of Aceleron’s Environmental Product Of The Year award from the Data Centre World London.
    The accolade was for its development or new product that improved the environment by either reduction of emissions or reduction of waste (extension of product life).
    Commenting recently on the introduction of The Essential, Cummins said: “Up until now, batteries have unfortunately been treated as a disposable consumer product, without much thought to what the disposal of these batteries looks like.
    “We are passionate about making sure that 100 per cent of the materials in our batteries will continue to be used for as long as possible – preferably forever.
    “The Essential is the same size as a group-31 battery, offering up to four times the cycle life and three times more continuous power than a lead-acid battery. It is easy to install in three different positions, is half the weight of a traditional battery and is ergonomically designed to be sleek and portable,” he added.
    Aceleron said The Essential was developed “using a unique compression technology method [where] each individual part of the battery can be accessed either to repair, replace or upgrade, giving it an endless lifespan which is much kinder to the planet and keeps longterm costs down”. “Providing uninterrupted, reliable power at several different voltages, The Essential covers a range of high-spec, highvoltage applications from leisure vehicles to medical response vehicles and light electric vehicles,” the company said.
    “The Essential’s robust, rubberised, lightweight design makes it an ideal choice for a variety of uses. It is the most practical and portable battery on the market, providing reliable power at several different voltages whilst also being the most sustainable battery available today,” it asserted.
    Cummins said that as technology evolved his company had “the ability to upgrade individual components without the need to discard the entire battery, staying true to our company ethos of promoting reuse and remanufacture over waste, contributing to the increasingly crucial circular economy”.
    “The Essential’s infinite lifespan means that this powerful, highperformance battery is the most sustainable, low-waste lithium-ion battery in the world, something that we are extremely proud of,” he said.
    Regarding the recent award, Aceleron officials said they created their circular economy technology “as a response to the future mountain of lithium battery waste, anticipated from the rise in adoption of electric vehicles and other new technology”.
    “The challenge with existing lithium batteries is that they are made using permanent assembly methods and are not designed to be serviced and maintained, as a result they cannot be repurposed easily.
    “Due to the large number of batteries required by data centres, this is a key area which must be tackled to reduce carbon emissions and waste,” they said.
    “The key aim of our circular economy technology is to offer reusable, recyclable, serviceable and upgradable highperformance lithium-ion technology that can be used with first-life or second-life battery cells and thereby reducing the lifetime cost for our users.”
    (Taken from this week’s BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.)

    Source: Nation

  17. Symmonds: Show support for new site
    BARBADIANS have been urged to show more support for the locally owned e-commerce site Omniverce.com.
    If that is done, says Minister of Energy, Business Development and International Business Kerrie Symmonds, it can become successful like some of the major international online marketplaces.
    “In the same way we have spoken about Alibaba and Amazon, the same way Barbadians have sat in their living rooms and helped build out Amazon and the same way Barbadians have stayed in their beds at night with their cell phones and built out the economy of the United States, the time has come where Barbadians can do this for ourselves,” he said yesterday at Pelican Village during the launch of a partnership between the Barbados Trust Fund Ltd and Omniverce.
    The youth farming programme initiative, All Greens The Greening Company, and the Power Of Choice were also launched.
    Business development consultant of the Trust Fund, Nicole Forde, said the platform, which has 144 businesses listed, was a great way for businesses to sell their products.
    “With a concept similar to that of Amazon.com,
    they focus on small and medium-sized businesses that are allowed to create free stores online for the sale of goods and services.
    “Omniverce provides and manages the portal and storefront on a commission basis and offers all of the supporting services required for companies to run an e-commerce business – including managing sales, returns and even deliveries,” Forde said.
    “With this level of detail, savvy young Barbadian e-commerce retailers will be able to build strategies for product offerings and content to help customers feel connected, stay engaged and in turn purchase more.”
    Operator of All Greens, Rowmell Grosvenor, said they were also pleased to partner with the fund for their I Am A Community
    Farmer project.
    They are targeting individuals under 20, offering them small loans to develop kitchen gardens, which All Greens will provide.
    The funds are expected to be paid back over a three-year period.
    “In the programme, we are trying to let young people be seen as champions in their community. We will teach them how to knock on doors, to keep their shoulders back and a smile on their faces . . . . They will have a greater chance of getting their produce sold,” Grosvenor said.
    The initiative is being carried out in partnership with Power Of Choice to target students in schools.
    Power of Choice director Errol Griffith said the project would be a great way for the students to build credit scores and discipline.
    “The monthly loan repayment is something anyone can accommodate without being a burden. It helps them learn to be successful, become entrepreneurs and get a healthy credit rating . . . , so we see it as a win-win. The risks are really small.” (TG )

    Source: Nation

  18. PM: Gaming industry perfect for investment

    Barbados now is home to the first international video game company in the Caribbean.
    Playtropic Video Game Services was launched Friday in Building 5, Harbour Industrial Park, St Michael where Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley unveiled the plaque alongside president of Playtropic Joel Benton and operations manager Tristan Barnett.
    Mottley said the gaming industry was a perfect area for skill development and investment as worldwide, gaming was a multi-billion industry, 40 times the size of Barbados’ economy.
    “For Barbados to be the centre of excellence for video gaming in the Caribbean and the Americas, then we have to put in the investment. We’ve agreed we will work together on the education requirements, which will be competency-based and not necessarily looking at degrees. A degree is a good thing but if you have the ability to do this without one, then come.
    “Secondly, we agreed we would look to see how we can work, not just in quality assurance, but on the ultimate dream of one day creating our own game. We have a story to tell but regrettably, we still have that story to tell and we must now use this opportunity to be able to tell those stories,” she said.
    Benton has much experience in game development in Europe and is a frequent visitor to the island where he said he saw an opportunity.
    “I didn’t want to be just another visitor from England who just came and left again. I wanted to bring some of my skills to build a business here which would benefit Barbados. Video games are booming at the moment because of investment around the world. Barbados educates its people to a very high standard and there is
    a big gamer community in Barbados but there are no places for them to work without them leaving to go to places such as North America,” he said.
    Benton said they were embarking on a major recruitment drive, looking for 100 people by yearend and 300 overall. He said they were starting with game testing, where testers would look for bugs in games and report back to the developers. Right now he said they were working with Rebellion Developments, testing Sniper Elite 5, which was released in May but has since been plagued with bugs.
    “In Barbados there is a great deal of interest in playing games but not working in the industry because there was no industry here. Outside of Barbados, in Europe and North America, there is an acute skill shortage. There are not enough people to make the games so I’m hoping by working with universities in Barbados, and encouraging them to offer video games as a course. Young people can direct their skill, energy and intelligence into training in specific roles such as design, coding and production and make games in Barbados,” he said.
    Playtropic is the major sponsor of this year’s AnimeKon: Return of the Kon! which took place at Harrison College where it was hoped crucial connections would be made.
    One of the testers, 22-year-old Joshua Lowe from Crystal Heights, St James said the job was a dream come true.
    “I did a computer science degree at UWI (University of the West Indies) and at the end of 2021 I was trying to see how I could get overseas because I am very passionate about the video game industry but in the Caribbean there wasn’t anywhere to get my foot into the water so I was looking at [North America] to see if I could get any jobs there,” he said.
    Lowe said the chance to work at Playtropic fell into his lap after seeing posts online. He said he went almost straight from school into a job he loved.

    Source: Nation

The blogmaster dares you to join the discussion.