App developers must seize opportunities
With over 307,700 mobile subscribers and more than 191,823 internet subscribers in Barbados as of December 31 last year, there are numerous opportunities for app developers here.
In fact, Minister of Industry Donville Inniss said he did not see any reason for Barbadian app developers to be missing out on the multi-billion-dollar industry given the growing smart phone market globally and with people spending an average two hours each day using apps on their smart devices.
At the same time, he has suggested a change in policy at some state lending agencies so they too could cash in on the available opportunities. He suggested that instead of giving only grants to some technology firms and technologically savvy individuals, lending agencies should also seek a stake in those technology operations.
Inniss made the comments as he addressed the opening of an application workshop at the Hilton Barbados this morning put on by the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries and Digicel.
“We need to think and act outside of the box. Therefore, I subscribe to the view that state agencies within the domain of my ministry that are involved in providing grant funding to enterprises, begin to make a paradigm shift in policy and consider opting for shares in the enterprise that equate to the value of the state’s investment. Simply put, instead of all grant funding, we must start to take some equity investment, especially in these technology-based entities,” suggested Inniss.
He said Government was very committed to creating the right environment for growth and sustainable development of the technology industry, and while the country has done well in using technology created by others, it was time Barbados get in the business of creating some of the technologies that could be used elsewhere in the world.
“We have a generation of techies in Barbados whose talent must be fully unleashed. We have to give them the moral support, the financial support and the physical space to function. We simply have to make better investments in our youths and accept that the only future we can be building is theirs,” the minister said.