“The re is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death”- Romans 8:1-2
The Bimventures family, based on the manifestation of commitment and excitement of its members, is undergoing a sequence of uniformly awesome but satisfying experiences as we continue the journey to apply the CBET Shepherding Model to enterprise development with the ultimate aim of contributing to sustainable economic growth in Barbados, one successful business after another.
The family members are: Private Sector Trustees; the Government of Barbados; the Executive Management Team; Shepherds; Entrepreneurs; Finance, Corporate, Tax, Marketing, Export and Legal advisors; and Board members of the enterprises which have been approved for Venture Capital investment. Already there are over 60 members of the family.
Bimventures investment in Studio Caribe TV Inc. (SCTV) was approved by the Venture Capital board last week. SCTV is focused on social entrepreneurship – “Bringing the Caribbean to the World”. It is an all-inclusive production company and internet TV channel telling Caribbean stories via movies, documentaries, internet TV shows and podcasts.
The entire team has international experience and Barbadian connections and were all initially engaged in a film and documentary company. SCTV is a new multi-platform production and distribution media company.
The other members of the Bimventures VC family are: (1) Went Caribbean Inc. (Caribbean Spice for a Healthier Life); (2) Manipura Inc. (Contemporary Art and home furnishings); (3) EeZee Kricket Inc. (An educational cricket trivia board game); (4) Movementunes Inc. (Digital download of conscious content music of all genres); (5) Caribbean Streaming Network (Global provider of streaming technology between audio, visual, text and object data; and peripheral users and devices); and (6) Caribbean Tales Worldwide Distribution Inc. (Film distribution company primarily for independent Caribbean film producers). All of these companies are based in Barbados but serving the world.
Almost thirty years ago Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman published a book entitled “In Search of Excellence – Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies”. The authors presented eight basic principles to stay on top of the heap! What has the Bimventures family learned to date and what can we learn from these basic principles?
(1) A bias for action – a preference for doing something, anything, rather than sending a question through cycles and cycles of analyses and committee reports. The motto of CBET is Vision and Action; we ensure that this is inculcated in all enterprises from the outset. (2) Staying close to the customer – learning about preferences and staying close to them. We have introduced the concept of mining the Marketing Matrix which delineates relationships between the products and services offered and the potential customers and is the primary driver of revenue growth. (3) Autonomy and entrepreneurship – breaking the corporation into small companies and encouraging them to think independently and competitively. One of our companies is a result of such thinking; the other part of the original company is a candidate for becoming a member of the family. (4) Productivity through people – creating in all employees the awareness that their best efforts are essential and that they will share in the rewards of the company’s success. We encourage a culture of outsourcing resources so that each outsourced resource thinks like a company. This develops the productivity enhancement culture since each outsourced entity has to fend for itself. (5) Hands-on, value driven – insisting that executives keep in touch with the firm’s essential business. Each executive is encouraged, as an outsourced resource, to focus on how his/her area of expertise can best help Bimventures while at the same time growing his/her own business. (6) Stick to the knitting – remaining with the business that the company knows best. There is a determined focus on shepherding to mitigate the risk of failure; seed capital to remove the high risk of start-ups; and Venture Capital to provide “lift-off” for the business while we await revenue growth. (7) Simple form, lean staff – few administrative layers, few people at the upper levels. We are a virtual company (low overheads) and we encourage each member enterprise to do the same. (8) Simultaneous loose-tight properties – fostering a climate where there is dedication to the central values of the company combined with tolerance for all employees who accept those values. This is the embodiment of the seven principles above which encourage flexibility throughout. In our case it is driven by the concepts of “DNA of an Elephant” enterprises for the global market place; shepherding to reduce the risk of failure; and quick response seed and venture capital funding.
The CBET Shepherding Model resolves the dilemma of how to address the endemic high failure rates in business. Those who believe in it, no longer have to live at the mercy of credit risk departments. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in business, like a strong wind, will magnificently clear the air for enterprise development, freeing the entrepreneur from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of failure and despair.
Exciting times are ahead! Go hear Damian McKinney make the case for Entrepreneurship at the BIBA luncheon seminar at the Hilton on Tues 15 June at 12 noon. Indeed, hear him promote “Barbados as the #1 Entrepreneurial Hub in the World by 2020”. It is no longer a vision but a reality.