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PM: Lend startups a hand

Prime Minister Stuart stand beside Gerald McCaughey and Rik Parkhill of CIBC FirstCaribbean. (inset) Sign announcing Michael Mansoor Building.

Prime Minister Stuart stand beside Gerald McCaughey and Rik Parkhill of CIBC FirstCaribbean. (inset) Sign announcing Michael Mansoor Building.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart told CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank tonight, it should make financing for business startups more accessible.

Addressing the naming ceremony of the bank headquarters at Warrens, St. Michael in honour of its retiring Executive Chairman, Michael Mansoor, Prime Minister Stuart suggested the institution works with government in assisting the creative energies of young people and entrepreneurship.

He noted that over the past 10 years, the bank has been trying to change the mindset of young Caribbean people, getting them to use their talents and skills to create wealth and employment, particularly in difficult times.

“I therefore now implore CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank to follow through in the spreading of the entrepreneurial culture to all sectors of our societies by leading the charge to facilitate access to capital,” the government leader asserted. “Research by many agencies involved in supporting micro and small business enterprise, shows that a major barrier to establishing a viable business, is inadequate see funding,” he added.

The prime minister argued that even with appropriate education and training, young entrepreneurs were forced to start businesses which were “grossly” undercapitalised.

“I appeal to you to join governments and a range of business development agencies across the region, to help release the creative energy of our people, to diversify and stimulate our economies. There is no time like the present to demonstrate what Caribbean people can do,” declared the Head of Government.

In response, the man of the moment, Mansoor said enlightened leadership was critical at this time of economic and social challenges.

“Never before has the need for enlightened leadership from both private and public sectors been more critical, and never before have the tangible opportunities and rewards for courageous entrepreneurs and public sector sponsorship, been greater,” continued the outgoing executive chairman.

However, he advised that there was no magic bullet and that “we cannot expect to be ushered into a promised land of opportunity, courtesy of anyone other than ourselves.”

michaelmansoorbuildingThe bank’s Warrens headquarters will now be known as The Michael Mansoor Building.

The naming ceremony was attended by a wide cross section of dignitaries including Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, President and CEO of CIBC, Gerald McCaughey, CEO of CIBC FirstCaribbean, Rik Parkhill, Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. DeLisle Worrell, Governor of the East Caribbean Central Bank, Sir Dwight Venner, Principal of the University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, and construction magnate Sir Charles Williams. (EJ)

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