“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7
John C. Maxwell in his quote for November 19 from “Leadership promises for every day” advises as follows: “People rise or fall to meet our level of expectations for them…If you believe in them and expect them to do well, they will wear themselves out trying to do their best…Give others money, and it’s soon spent. Give resources, and they may not be used to their greatest advantage. Give help, and they will often find themselves back to where they started in a short period of time. But give them your faith, and they become confident, energised and self-reliant”.
It was on November 19 2010 that the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation’s (BEF) board met with the Summit and Gala team for a debriefing of the events of the past week. What a week it was!
For those who were out of the island on other business; for those who were not impacted by the publicity of the event; for those who may have underestimated the power of the event; for those who suffer from chronic cynicism syndrome; for those who thought it was more of the same; for those who thought it was a waste of time and money; and those who chose not to come for whatever reason; please contact someone out of the over 300 persons who went to the Summit and the over 275 persons who went to the Gala or better still log on to BEF’s Facebook and Twitter pages or check out the Corey Graham 2.0 blog or BEF’s website www.barbadosentreprenurshipfoundation.org, to learn about what you missed.
In an atmosphere of glitz and glamour, both at the Summit and the Gala, the first stage rocket to the moon has been launched in preparation for a moon landing in 2020. This will celebrate “Barbados the #1 Entrepreneurial Hub in the World by 2020”. This BEF vision has already been delineated in quantitative terms and the journey has begun. It shall be expertly piloted through the volunteer efforts of Peter Boos (Chairman), Damian McKinney (CEO), members of the board and participants at the Summit who have pledged their resources for a successful first stage journey. Full time project management and support resources will be put in place forthwith to coordinate the effort on a daily basis.
Here is an example of the feedback that we have been receiving (from a non resident of Barbados): “Dear Basil, I thought the summit was excellent: the best such thing I’ve been to including many national conferences in the UK which I’ve spoken at in the past. Well done to all those involved. You asked if I could feed-back some observations. I have no negative observations of any significance, which I think says a lot since if I had I would let you have them. Amongst the strengths were: Well organised; Excellent audio/visual inputs; Brilliant speakers; Relevant and added value content; Good combination of policy/strategic, practical/helpful and inspirational issues; really liked the focus on vision and on practical, concrete action planning. Just the right thing to do and improves confidence greatly.”
He went on to say that “In terms of next year’s approach, a clearer separation of policy/strategic issues from practical/helpful ones in some of the break-out sessions may help some who are more interested in one than the other? You could also get a wider range of people to contribute short papers on focused topics. Above all, case studies on successes which have happened…My main concern arising from the summit was the public sector. It is clear that this is seen as a major constraint and attracts some strong feelings. I know from many years experience of designing and leading organisational change programmes in the public sector (in the UK) that, even with strong political support… you have to work very hard and over the medium term to affect real change to behaviour…The BEF must encourage and help the public service to change by showing the path and playing a constructive leadership role.”
Prime Minister the Hon. Freundel Stuart was the guest speaker at the Gala. He stated that he unequivocally supports the entrepreneurship dream of the late Prime Minister David Thompson and as such will uphold his legacy.
I was privileged to give the vote of thanks at the Gala in which I commented: “Prime Minister Stuart, we are honoured that you could join us this evening. The participants at the Summit have unequivocally pledged their support to Team Barbados as we march in a systematic and evolutionary formation over the next ten years. Our partner will be the Barbados Government, led by yourself, and we thank you very much for your forceful and engaging message of endorsement of our Mission this evening.”
The rocket is fuelled by private sector energy. With the Prime Minister’s support we are confident that the political will is there to effect change for the economy of Barbados. We now have to garner support from senior civil servants who were noticeably absent from the Summit, in many cases looking after pressing affairs of state. The Trade Unions were represented at the Summit and we are counting on their support. We have witnessed a ground swell of support since the Summit, sometimes from those individuals whom you would least expect. We intend to give them our faith, so that they become confident, energised and self-reliant.