“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
The changing international environment has impacted trading and business patterns in the Caribbean region to the extent that policy makers and planners have been challenged to examine non-traditional sectors of business development and economic growth. One such sector is enterprise development.
South African Yasmine Miemiec, in November 2013, proposed the following definition for Enterprise Development: “It is the act of investing time and capital in helping people establish, expand or improve businesses. It helps people to earn a living; it helps them out of poverty; and it leads to long-term economic growth for themselves, their families and their communities.”
My vision is that Enterprise Development is the sector of the future. The primary ingredients for enterprise development are Business Model, Business Management and Business Money.
The last 18 years of my life have been dedicated to researching and testing options to diversify the traditional economies in the Caribbean. Working with several teams throughout the Caribbean has been a very gratifying experience. An important theme that has recurred in this exploratory venture is that “our people are our greatest asset and that we must develop them to the fullest”.
The fully developed human resource contributes significantly to the increase in productivity in the existing sectors. The fully developed human resource is the prime resource in an emerging enterprise development sector since: (1) through creativity and innovation, it contributes to the development of the business model; (2) through management of business systems (shepherding), it plays a part in the sustainability of the enterprise; and (3) through lateral thinking, it is essential as the driving force behind unearthing new ways of designing and collateralizing financial advances.
The outcome of the research and testing exercise is the Shepherding™ Model. Comprehensive systems have been developed for the Model which may now be franchised from country to country. Indeed, the Model may now be promoted as necessary and sufficient for sustainable enterprise development.
In November 2009, the late visionary Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson, launched the private sector-managed, government-supported Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Quick Response Seed and Venture Capital Fund (BEVCF), as an integral part of the Model.
The Barbados Small Business Association (SBA) Chief Executive Officer Lynette Holder has been appealing to the Barbados Government for funding support for the small business sector. The Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, in last month’s budgetary statement and financial proposals, promised a grant of BB $50 million. It was reported in the press last week that the Ministry for Small Business, led by Minister Donville Inniss, was currently in discussions with stakeholders to determine how to effectively disburse this grant.
My questions are: Why re-invent the wheel? Why ignore the detailed systems already established by the BEVCF and create something new? These systems are available to any country in the world which has identified a sufficient source of funds and is trying to develop an enterprise development centre.
Let us think about these things. Let us collaborate so that Divine love flows to us as abundant good, leading to prosperity.
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his columns may be found at www.cbetmodel.org and www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com.)