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Women fine examples

Minister of Industry, Denis Kellman, talking to small business people.

Minister of Industry, Denis Kellman, talking
to small business people.

Barbadian women need more opportunities to showcase their skills, says Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman.

Speaking on a tour of the new Women’s Organisation of Barbados store in the old Barbados National Bank building on Broad Street in the City this morning, he told members of that organisation that, based on what was accomplished thus far, they were a fine example for other women.

The store was opened in December 2012 and offers for sale local products such as hand-made craft and jewellery, upholstery, bags, souvenirs, pastries, jams, Bajan seasonings, pepper sauces and dips.

The minister said he was very happy that they were able to use local products to penetrate the tourist market and congratulated them for having the foresight to know that showrooms for local products went beyond furniture.

“You have demonstrated why that decision was taken and you have proven that bold decision was also a wise decision… In order for Barbados to get out of the world crisis we need more of you,” he said.

“I remember well when Prime Minister [Freundel] Stuart, created this ministry everybody said ‘Boy, he didn’t give Kelly anything!’ but they didn’t realise it is not what it looked like, it is what the short man had to bring to it.

“People look down on vending and small business [but] I want you to know there is no crime in being a small business person or there is no crime in being a vendor. The vendors of the world are the ones who built the world because that is the foundation for business. It is increased productivity that will change things — not welfarism and I am proud today that you are not looking for welfarism but you are looking to help yourself and once you are willing to help yourself we are prepared to help you.

“We are prepared to give you a helping hand up. We will not give you the fish, we will teach you how … to fish. You are females and it has demonstrated the females of Barbados are not the ones who would just watch soap operas, but they have also demonstrated that they do not need soap operas.

“That if they are given different opportunities that they will move away from the soap operas and the unemployment benefits and that they will be prepared to work and enhance their livelihood,” said Kellman.

WEB was first established in the early 1990s and after a lengthy hiatus it resumed business in 2011, this time with a mandate to alleviate poverty among women and meet the millennium development goals, Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Patricia Hackett-Codrington said. (KC)†

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