“Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest” – Revelation 15:3-4
NYTimes.com published an article on October 26 2009; entitled “Small is Beautiful” by Hong Kong based Jack Ma, founder and chief executive of the Alibaba Group – Alibaba.com – Global leader in business-to-business e-commerce.
The Alibaba Group makes it easy for anyone to buy or sell online anywhere in the world. They are a family of Internet-based businesses that includes business-to-business international trade, online retail and payment platforms and data-centric cloud computing services. The Group was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, a pioneer who has aspired to help make the Internet accessible, trustworthy and beneficial for everyone.
In the article, Jack commented: “The headlines of the past year about storied global corporations all but collapsing in the wake of the global economic downturn were not signs of the times, but rather a foreshadowing (revelation) that a long-awaited business revolution is actually beginning. Many of these large enterprises are relics of the last century and the financial crisis was the last straw in exposing their inherent weaknesses.
We are at the beginning of a revolution where Internet-based technologies will forever shift the power dynamics between customers and businesses. Entrepreneurial small and medium companies around the world that take advantage of these new developments and emerging trends will be the ones that come out ahead.
Over the years we had agricultural revolutions – periods of rapid change in agriculture, usually associated with increases in productivity and output. An industrial revolution, which was the transformation from an agricultural to an industrial nation in search of an improved quality of life of our people. Then the knowledge revolution which refers to a global-scale paradigm shift that many compare to the agricultural and industrial revolutions and driven by the advent of information and communication technologies. Now we are into the business revolution, which I predict, like the other revolutions, will in turn contribute to significant holistic economic growth and possibly make a lasting impact on the wealth divide.
More recently, to compound the crisis created by “911”, we have been hit in rapid succession by the triple (“FFF”) crisis brought about by rising fuel prices, food shortages and the wave of financial corporation collapse, which has triggered thoughts of recession and the sequel of “doom and gloom”.
At the weekly DLP luncheon address last Friday the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Darcy Boyce, admitted that Government’s policy for economic stability and growth is conditioned by the performance of the larger economies with which we regularly interact in the course of doing business.
Also promoted was the parallel view by Dr. Leroy McLean that encourages small states, which can indeed benefit from the fact that small is beautiful, to mobilise the competitive advantages and lead the world in the wake of the Singapore experience in order to move on a journey towards sustainable business success.
Sir Lloyd Sandiford, former Prime Minister of Barbados, who was in the audience, said that we are very good at talking but it’s time for us to start doing. This is consistent with Jack Ma’s comments: “Somewhere in the world right now, in a garage or an apartment, is the planet’s next exciting company or game-changing technology that will bring real long-term improvement to people’s lives, and with the proper support, new entrepreneurial dreams will be realized. It’s time to stop talking about supporting small businesses and take action to do so. Small is beautiful.”
Mr Peter Boos made an impassioned plea for entrepreneurship revival, in the form of a business revolution, as the way to go. He finds himself, in his sixth year of retirement spending a lot of time working with youngsters who are extremely skilled at Internet 2.0 and its social marketing influence, actually rolling out a new business paradigm. I am equally motivated working with the younger generation, the difference being that I have never really embraced the concept of retirement.
I had the opportunity last week to witness the prototype of a new website BusinessBarbados.com, which will have a heavy focus on Entrepreneurship. It goes live on 18 November at a press briefing where the Prime Minister will give the feature address.
This is the brainchild of Peter Boos who has partnered with Keith Miller of Miller Publishing and could revolutionise the way in which business is done in Barbados. Miller Publishing of course is in its twelfth year of publishing the annual Business Barbados hard copy publication which has developed a very strong brand.
One of the most recent initiatives is the CBET partnership with the government and private sector in Barbados, of which Minister Boyce made mention in his presentation, to adopt the CBET Shepherding model which includes seed and venture capital funding. The first six pilot enterprises under this model will be showcased in less than two weeks time when the Prime Minister gives the feature address at the launch of the Barbados Quick Response Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital Fund.
Righteous are his ways, mighty and marvellous are his acts. Listen to Him we shall all overcome.