A culture call for start-ups

Entrepreneur Training could help boost economy and personal wealth, says YES manager


Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) manager Selma Green says entrepreneurs are “perfectly positioned” to make significant changes to the social and economic landscape of Barbados.

As such, she said, every opportunity must be taken to influence an entrepreneurial culture in Barbados.

“That process must start with training and education. It is widely recognized that serious investment in entrepreneurship training will result in a greater number of persons opting to be entrepreneurial, and ultimately to committing to starting businesses,” Green said at the recent launch of UPstart Caribbean’s workshop series
for entrepreneurs.

“Training, education and awareness programme such as this will establish the platform on which entrepreneurs can capitalize on opportunities to build
significant businesses.”

Green suggested that entrepreneurship training be coupled with creativity and innovation training, since through new products and services brought to the market, there would be diversification and economic growth, and personal wealth would be created. The workshop series, which targets people interested in starting a business, in seeking further insights and opportunities to network, or in learning more about entrepreneurship, is organized by UPstart Caribbean, endorsed by YES and sponsored by Scotiabank and United Insurance Company Limited.

Founder of UPstart Caribbean, Heather Barker, said she created the programme as a way of contributing her skills in strategic public relations to the education and development of the wider community.

“As a professional communicator I wanted to use my training and experience to begin to address some of the mindsets which daily influence our attitudes and behaviours, such as despondency and the belief that we inherently deserve to be given everything we want, oft-times without being part of the mechanism by which that happens,” she said.

She added that entrepreneurship, by its nature, challenged these and other negative beliefs by actively seeking solutions to problems, as well as recognizing opportunities and creating goods or services to take advantage of them.

“I thought that if more people better understood entrepreneurship and the skills needed to be successful, then that would be useful. And as a communicator, I thought why not create a public education programme that combines the use of mass media and face-to-face interventions to help bring this about.”

Small business development manager at Scotiabank, Ouida Murrell, noted that as the economy had contracted over the past few years, businesses too had contracted and more people had decided to create their own opportunities and forge their own futures through entrepreneurship. (DP/PR)

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