Business pillars

The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation has been working since 2009 with many partners, stakeholders and sponsors in the Social Partnership to transform Barbados into the Number One Entrepreneurial Hub in the World by 2020.

We pursue strategic projects in five areas that are essential to create a supportive entrepreneurship ecosystem that enables start-up and growing business enterprises in Barbados to flourish.

These pillars of the entrepreneurship ecosystem are Business Facilitation, Finance, Mentorship, Education/Talent Development, Government Policy.

In measuring progress we seek to benchmark against other countries that demonstrate best practices.

The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation has published the results of a recent study on Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development and Expansion in the US, which is useful research for referencing our efforts in Barbados.

It is encouraging to see that many of BEF’s projects being pursued in collaboration with the social partners and NGOs are similar to the new and innovative programmes being pursue in the US.

More resources need to be committed to these types of programmes which will transform our economy to one characterised by innovation, growth and global trade. Urgency, investment and focus are needed.

These are the types of successful programmes being pursued in the US:

* Accelerator initiatives that focus on starting high-growth firms by turning startups into enduring companies.

* Economic gardening initiatives that focus on expanding existing firms with strong growth potential.

* Business plan competitions to identify companies with exciting ideas and high potential.

* Business ecosystem initiatives, often with a regional focus, that take a comprehensive approach to creating an environment that is highly conducive to startups.

* Workforce development initiatives that help small businesses find and train the talent they need to operate and compete.

* Seed and venture funds that focus on startups and expanding firms.

* Networking and collaboration initiatives that bring small businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs together with large companies and universities.

* International trade programs that help small businesses reach out to new global export markets.

* Streamlined state administrative processes and regulatory procedures for small business by cleaning up the DURT (delays, uncertainty, regulations, taxes) that impede small business success.

* Broadband investments that provide small businesses of all types with the online access necessary in the 21st century.

— Peter N. Boos

Chairman, Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation Inc.

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