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Focus on research, innovation and export

Innovation and research have been identified as some of the areas that local entrepreneurs need to “brush up on”.

And as the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) partners with a number of agencies to host the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) of activities, officials are hoping to provide some help in that regard.

Executive director of the BYBT Cardell Fergusson said it was necessary for businesses, and by extension the country, to become more competitive in order for the economy to grow.

Executive director of the BYBT Cardell Fergusson.

Executive director of the BYBT Cardell Fergusson.

“So the areas that we saw were lacking are those four areas – innovation, research, incubation and export. It is those four areas that we see that there is need for the entrepreneurs to brush up on,” she said.

Fergusson was speaking at a media conference this morning at the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) as Barbados joins 160 countries in acknowledging GEW, during November 16 to 22, to celebrate innovators and job creators.

The theme for this year is Increasing Competitiveness.

Fergusson said that, too often, people start a business and within weeks that business was replicated with “everyone doing the same thing the same way”.

“Nobody is focusing on building up a business model which can help them to have the same business but be different. Hence the focus on innovation,” she said.

The BYBT boss also argued that many entrepreneurs were going into business without doing the necessary research to find out: if there was a need for the product or service, where they were going to source raw materials, and the cost of production, among other things.

She said there were also many entrepreneurs who did not want to take the time to grow their operations.

“A lot of the times some businesses will do better if they take the time to grow slowly. Sometimes what happens is that the businesses just launch and they expect that within two weeks they are making $2.5 million. That is not how things occur,” Fergusson said.

She added that the reason for the focus on another key area – export – was that “we need to bring in foreign exchange into our country and we need to be able to produce something within our country that will help to facilitate this”.

The week of activities include a trash to treasure competition for secondary schools, a networking session for entrepreneurs, a female entrepreneurship day, a teacher’s forum and training sessions. 

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