Govt seeks funding for innovation in SME
Government is in search of funding to support innovation in entrepreneurship in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises here.
Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss yesterday announced a plan to encourage tertiary level students establish their own businesses, pumping additional funding into the small business sector.
Inniss revealed little about funding for the programme, but said a source had already been identified..
“The view is that too many of our tertiary level students in particular, are being taught to get a job, but they are not being challenged to create enterprises. And through the BIDC we will shortly be launching a project to engage with these young minds in particular as they go through our tertiary institutions to be able to direct them towards more research and development and creativity and innovation so that when they leave, if we get only five per cent of them looking to engage in enterprise and being entrepreneurs, I think we will achieve a bit,” the minister said.
“So we are currently looking at the quantum in terms of the amount of funding that will be available. I think we have identified a source . . . and then to have the right structures in place to ensure that we target that group. Of course it will not be limited to the academic institutions, because we recognized that there is more that needs to be done,” he added following a tour of the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity this morning, where he got an update on the institution’s performance and plans for the future.
Using mechanics and plumbers as examples, Inniss said it should be their objective to own and operate “a modern day” workshop with the latest in technology.
Without giving details he said a few niche areas would be focused on, adding that it was Government’s intention to expand throughout the Eastern Caribbean.
Inniss said the programme would be a collaborative effort of his ministry, the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation and other agencies.