“You share with me the special favour of God.” – Philippians 1:7

The feedback which I receive from this column is very positive and this itself is an energy source which sustains the forward thrust. As we approach the end of another year let us reflect on our stewardship over the past year and plan the way forward. The hustle and bustle of the last two weeks and the prospects for this week are a mere sample of what I have to share.

The second Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation’s SUMMIT is behind us with the challenge now to determine what practices can we improve by the third SUMMIT in November 2012 along the journey to “Barbados: the #1 Entrepreneurial Hub in the World by 2020”.

The members of the recently launched Barbados Chapter of the Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants constitute a potential source of management expertise which will be required to shepherd businesses to sustainable business success. How can we effectively mobilise this resource pool to support the forward thrust?

Here I am again riding my old hobby horse “Barbados as a Donor Country”. Whereas the traditional donor country model may help the recipient country, results show that the donor country is the net beneficiary of such schemes. This is primarily because the aid is usually tied to the purchase of goods and services from the donor country.

Turkey is a relatively new player in the “Donor Country” model through the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA). TIKA was established in 1992 soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It should be noted that Turkey’s per capita income although greater than that of Guyana and Jamaica is certainly less than that of Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados. Turkey’s annual technical and development assistance abroad in 2006 was stated to be more than US$340 million and it has become an effective donor country with a net benefit to Turkey’s economy. Barbados can do the same with a relatively small initial investment. Part of “goods and services” provided to the recipient country will come from the membership of CICMC (Barbados).

BIM Ventures has now completed three years in its first phase of activity and it has been a great learning experience. The Trustees are currently reflecting on what we have learned with a view to launching the next phase towards sustainable economic development, one successful enterprise after another.

I made my first formal contact with The Student Entrepreneurial Empowerment Development (SEED) Project at the UWI Cave Hill Campus last week. SEED is an exciting, motivational programme aimed at encouraging students to think in terms of setting up their own businesses. SEED is open to all Cave Hill students and provides a safe and educational environment to explore entrepreneurial ideas. SEED makes use of interactive sessions that focus on providing information on all the components and processes required for the development of small businesses. SEED is exploring relationships with BEF, BIM Ventures and individual experienced consultants.

On Independence Day, members of the Rotary Club of Barbados South and their family members had the most rewarding experience hosting the differently able residents of the Haynesville Children’s Home at the Carlisle Bay Visitors’ Centre. The children had a ball with their colouring books, eating, drinking, and dancing to the DJ’s music.

Then I left for Bevan’s 20th edition and 10-year anniversary of the Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) on Sustainable Tourism in the beautiful United States Virgin Islands hosted by the USVI Department of Tourism under the capable leadership of Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty.

CMEx’s mission is to support and develop the ability of the media, government, the travel and tourism industry and communities to consider the importance of tourism in sustainable development, while lending a hand to the communities involved by sharing relevant expertise, financial and in-kind assistance – www.cmexmedia.org.

The CMEx 2011 theme, “Communicating for Clarity and Prosperity”, defined how practitioners in the Caribbean public relations and marketing sector can promote and enhance sustainable tourism in the region. More than 60 visitors, including tourism and media professionals, descended on St. Thomas from several CARICOM nations, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, the BVI, Martinique, the US and Canada to participate with local delegates. There were many local youth delegates in attendance.

Delegates were hosted by Governor John P. de Jongh Jr. at a reception at Government House on the first evening. We enjoyed interventions and interactive dialogue on the state of the tourism industry in the USVI; Hotel Franchising: A new Choice; Creative Industry Connections; Media Relations 101; The Caribbean Diaspora; Engaging the Youth; the Environment; African American and Caribbean American opportunities. CMEx delegates also discharged their social responsibility by making a community presentation to the Family Resource Centre.

We also explored topics such as Techniques for TV Technology; Multi-Cultural Travel and Tourism; Crisis Communications; Social Media; Tourism Linkages, Maintaining Balance in a Busy World, Tourism is Key: CHTA & the Media; and the Future of CMEx. With all that we were still able to “Dine around in St. Thomas”, be entertained by the emerging young USVI vocal artist K-Victoria, enjoy a Catamaran sail, complete an island road tour and engage in effective networking. Presentations are available on the website. CMEx thanks the 19 official supporters associated with the event.

Remember the Rotary Club of Barbados South’s “Classical Best of Youth” fundraising concert to be held at the Frank Collymore Hall on Saturday December 10, featuring The Barbados Youth Symphony Orchestra and the St. Leonard’s Boys’ Choir appearing for the first time together. Tickets may be obtained by emailing me at basilgf@caribsurf.com.