“Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – (Isaiah 40:31)
In the last week of January 2011, Kingston BETA www.kingstonbeta.com kicked off the first in its series of bimonthly events in Kingston, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel with “SHOW ME THE MONEY” which was an interactive panel-led discussion on how Jamaican and Caribbean technology/internet entrepreneurs can develop profitable business models for their ideas and start-ups. One of the presenters shared that “Ideas are Cheap – Implementation is expensive”.
Kingston BETA observed that “The Caribbean and the Americas are on the cusp of a new era of dramatic growth in the start-up sector. Over the past ten years especially, technology has democratised entrepreneurship by making access to information, talent and online products cheaper, faster and more effective. The boom and pulse of the Caribbean technology scene is leading to the disruption of industry and culture. A region of innovation nations will emerge.”
The purpose of Kingston BETA is to connect the start-up & technological ecosystems in the Caribbean and the Americas through carefully crafted information (events, jobs, must read). They are focused on helping to better connect, educate and amplify the start-up community that can drive the Caribbean and the Americans to become home to innovation nations.
This Jamaican event was preceded by the first two monthly editions of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum in December 2010 and January 2011 hosted by the recently established Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) www.barbadosentrepreneurshipfoundation.org. The February edition will take place on Tuesday 22 when a presentation by the indefatigable and dynamic BEF CEO, Damian McKinney of McKinney-Rogers, a global business performance consultancy firm, will be the focus of the evening.
On February 01 2011, BEF appointed Chris Harper as full time Programme Manager who, under the guidance of the BEF Board and CEO Damian, will lead the five volunteer pillar champions and their merry bands of volunteers. In addition to these monthly events BEF will host ten annual November SUMMITS culminating with the November 2020 “Moon landing”. This landing will be manifested by statistical measures of achievement of success related to the closing of the gaps between today’s international and local standards for each of five entrepreneurship support pillars, namely: Governemnt policy, Business facilitation, Access to finance, Training and Mentoring. It will impact the socio-economic well being of Barbados in terms of increased GDP per capita and it is expected that the magnetic field generated by this positive tsunami will pull other emerging nations along a similar growth path.
In the next ten years the GDP in Barbados has the potential to grow in three areas: (1) existing businesses (large, medium and small) in the tourism, financial services, agricultural and manufacturing sectors; (2) start-up businesses in the creative (film, music, art, culinary art, fashion), renewable energy, ICT, business development services, education, health & wellness and construction industries; and (3) international businesses which locate their Global headquarters in Barbados. The increase in GDP will come from sustained increased growth rates in these three areas.
The Caribbean Media Exchange for Sustainable Tourism reported, on January 22, 2011, that the President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association has called on the region’s stakeholders to support a four-point campaign to strengthen the region’s most important industry, tourism: “firstly, strong advocacy for the tourism industry with government and the general public; secondly, Faster regional integration and the removal of barriers such as visas, excessive entry formalities and bureaucracy, this will also enable Caribbean nationals to fuel the tourism growth in neighbouring destinations; thirdly, lobby for better and more affordable airline access with less regulation throughout the region to make it easier to package, promote and sell our island destinations; and fourthly, the creation and launch of a sustainable marketing and promotion fund for the Caribbean”.
Over the last year, a 25 year old vision of Venture Capital as the preferred instrument to fund start-up enterprises has begun to take traction through the Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital fund. This vision now manifests itself as the CBET Shepherding Model™ and this has been made possible due to several influences over the years including exchanges in Boston, Singapore, the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management, the Malaysia Industry Group for High Technology, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. Most of the road blocks to implementation have been removed making the way for our current pilot project Bimventures in Barbados where a partnership between the Model and the Government and Private Sector of Barbados has evolved. Already interest has been shown in this type of smart partnership in Africa, India, USA, Latin America, Trinidad & Tobago, Martinique, St. Lucia, Dominica, Bahamas and Papua New Guinea.
Every country in the world is interested in models or strategies for economic growth and the CBET Shepherding Model™ (“DNA of an Elephant” enterprises to increase the marketing foot print of a country by exploiting the global market; Shepherding as a means of mitigating the risk of business failure; Quick response revolving and growth seed capital fund; Quick response venture capital fund), is promoted as a necessary and sufficient condition for sustainable business success. A franchise package is currently being developed by CBET Inc, the owner of the intellectual property rights of the Model.
The Lord enables you to start each day with renewed strength, energy and enthusiasm to live a full life.