Lashley: Plans for special credit union

sbaawardslashleyspeaksGovernment plans to create a special credit union to provide financing to empower young entrepreneurs.

Minister of Youth, Stephen Lashley, disclosed this plan as he made his feature address to the graduates of the second cohort of the Endless Possibilities job attachment and mentorship programme.

He said that though some major credit unions had already designed youth financing programmes, it was time that there was a very specific partnership to create†a unique financing institution, using the credit union model, that should remove some of the issues that young entrepreneurs experience when seeking finance.

“I am happy to say that in the area of culture and the creative arts†that you will not have to wait very long because very shortly we will†be debating in Parliament the Cultural Industries Bill, which will for the† first time provide a†regulatory framework not only for the … creative sector but providing for the first time financing arrangements both in the level of loans and grants to†allow for our cultural practitioners to really take off,” said Lashley.

He added: “We know that it is in that very initial stage when you are† trying not only to discover the area of work that you want to put forward† but when you are trying to form a business that you need that access to vital finances.

“That will be†one of the key innovations of the Culture Industries Bill and I hope that when you access the benefits of that bill and that you become superstars … making all of the million of dollars all over the world that you … ensure that whatever you make, about two per cent or one per cent of your billions you say that you can reinvest in the†continuous development of the creative sector in Barbados.”

The minister also said that he believed a spirit of entrepreneurship must be a part of people’s thinking for it to advance. He stated that in his opinion the cultural industries was poised to be “dynamic”†and encouraged artistes to see themselves as “more than just the person who performs but the entrepreneur that we believe you can be”. (KC)

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