Industry Minister, Donville Inniss, revealed that plans are afoot to transform the small business sector into one that is more vibrant, internationally competitive and provides strategic linkages with the main proponents of academia… And, more importantly, has the entrepreneur at the centre of its focus.
Speaking recently at a small business seminar titled, Innovative Marketing and Funding for Creative Industries, hosted by Arts in Motion Inc., producers of the Barbados Summer Arts Festival at the Bagnall Point Gallery, Pelican Village, Inniss disclosed that he had given his blessings to the much touted Small Business Development Centre Model.
He explained that essentially this model would be a mechanism administered by his ministry in consultation with the Organisation of American States and the University of Texas at San Antonio as a means of transforming the way small business development is conducted in Barbados going forward.
He told craftspersons, stakeholders and other key personnel that this particular small business seminar came at a very critical juncture where there must be an infusion of new artistic involvement and expression as the country goes forward.
“Although the old ways have served us well, and the lessons learnt must forever be appreciated, we find ourselves in this moment when the proverbial baton must be passed on to those informed by a renewed creative business ethos as Barbados seeks to reach that next higher level of its socio-economic development,” the Minister stressed.
Inniss noted that it was time that the actors of Barbados’ cultural sector see it as a critical plank in the nation’s economic spatiality.
He said: “Further, and by way of extrapolation, it is you the artisans of Barbados, your bequeathed artistic expression, and passion and innovative foresight that must seek to reposition yourself on the front-burner of this economy.
“I am, therefore, of the view that if you are to be taken more seriously then you have to be representative of a more visible entrepreneurial business model intended to take this nation forward.”
Stressing that it could not be business as usual where the artistic sub-sector was disenfranchised, the minister lauded the initiative of Arts in Motion for “stepping up and being counted” as they sought to lobby, train and propel the actors of the cultural industries “unto a platform of regional and extra-regional recognition and viability.”
In addition, the minister also invited the participants and various craftspersons to convey their opinions on the draft Cultural Industries Bill which is soon to be debated in Parliament.