Professor at the University of Miami, Dr. Esteban Petruzzello, addressing the opening ceremony, while Minister of Energy and Business, Senator Lisa Cummins, Commercial Manager at BNOCL, Wesley Carter (centre) and representative of Tradewind Tankers, Mikel Juan Panek, listen. (GP)
An initiative to assist local businesses – Scale Up Barbados – will be launched this year.
This disclosure has come from Minister of Energy and Business, Senator Lisa Cummins, who said the business side of her Ministry will be taking the lead on the project, in collaboration with FundAccess and the Barbados Trust Fund Limited. Senator Cummins was speaking at the opening of a four-day Business Development 101 Session for 15 entrepreneurs, at the Barbados National Oil Company Limited (BNOCL), Woodbourne, St. Philip. The training is being facilitated by Tradewind Tankers, Miami Herbert Business School (MHBS) of the University of Miami, and BNOCL.
The Minister told her audience: “Scale Up Barbados…is meant to take those businesses that start small and help them to scale to become medium. Those businesses that are medium and help them to scale to become large; those businesses that are large and help them to go into export spaces, and those that are large and already in export spaces to help them to find new market access. “That’s where we see ourselves going, because we want to be able to mirror in our business ecosystem our own evolution as individuals and as people, but most importantly, a nation that is prepared to lead.”
Entrepreneurs and officials of the Miami Herbert Business School of the University of Miami listening attentively during the opening of the four-day Business Development 101 Session. (GP)
Senator Cummins noted that her Ministry has also been focusing on local content, so businesses here could take advantage of the opportunities being made available in the island’s emerging offshore oil and gas, and renewable energy sectors.
Therefore, she said, it was important that more entrepreneurs create businesses that “are first movers” in the industry, and have export capacity.
She stated: “Small businesses in Barbados must never be afraid to lead…. Do not be afraid to lead. Do not think of your market as 166 square miles and 300,000 people. Your market is much vaster than that. Do not think of your business as a small business that will remain a small business. Think of where you want to grow and where you see yourself.
“Find partners; work through the development of your business plan and integrate how you’re going to attract venture capital and investment capital more broadly. Rationalise what your debt to equity ratios will need to be so that you’re able to scale your business.”
During the ceremony, representative of Tradewind Tankers, Mikel Juan Panek, said the project, which was designed to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and resources to succeed in the long-term, would empower the entrepreneurs. Mr. Panek noted that through a series of workshops and one-on-one consulting sessions, the team from MHBS would provide training in critical areas such as Social Media and Marketing; Business Plan Development; Leadership and Emotional Intelligence in Business, and Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship.