“If they listen, and serve him, they complete their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasantness” – Job 36:11

There is an interesting line of which I was reminded recentlyThe past is history, the future is a mystery and Today is a gift. That is why we call it the present”. Maybe we can learn from the past but tomorrow soon becomes today so we should spend our time focusing on Today. Let us make use of this very exciting and fascinating gift, Today. There are 24 hours in Today but how many of us use them effectively and efficiently? Like today’s hotel bed, like today’s consulting hour, like today’s airline seat, none of these resources can be mobilised tomorrow, they must be consumed Today. Let us change our mind-set, manage Today’s time well and relate to the journeys towards prosperous horizons and experience a life of happiness.

My predetermined travel schedule resulted in my absence from Barbados when my grandchildren Maia and Josh and their mother Nadia, all resident in Dubai with Kevin who was busy at work, passed through to Trinidad where Nadia’s parents live, on their annual visit to the Caribbean. I later caught up with them in Trinidad and am likely to be in Barbados when they pass through on their journey back home. I arranged with Nadia for the children to join me for a morning at the Zoo followed by a Pizza experience. What a great time was had by all and what a revelation for me. I was really happy to have the opportunity to interact because they are growing up so quickly and with such sophistication and ITC readiness that in no time they will undoubtedly be contributing in their own right to new prosperous horizons.

I am a member of the “Bank on Me” team led by Executive producer Alison Saunders of Blue Waters Productions Inc. Bank on Me is a new reality TV show, an innovative effort to stimulate enterprise development in Barbados and the region. The show hosted by radio personality Alex Jordan is to be aired from late September on CBC TV 8, Caribvision and online. It reflects the current realities of raising funds for start-up, spin-out and scale-up enterprises and creates awareness about how small and medium-sized enterprises could attract investment in an entertaining format as it ultimately seeks to develop enterprise development in Barbados and the Caribbean.

Last week, the first public event following the launch of the show in early July took place at CMC headquarters. It was a briefing session for promoters of enterprises who had already applied or who intended to apply to participate in the show. The organisers were overwhelmed at the response of over 30 persons who turned up to the event. Later this month twelve persons will be chosen from the applicants by a panel of well-known entrepreneurs to participate in the Bank on Me reality show. As the attendees arrived I personally and informally chatted with them. I never cease to be amazed at the plethora of creativity and innovation which is dormant in the Caribbean awaiting for opportunities like Bank on Me to promote the environment for enterprise development. These and others will undoubtedly be contributing in their own right to new prosperous horizons.

The three major issues inhibiting enterprise development and hence sustainable economic growth are: (1) poor selection of enterprises and their promoters; (2) the high failure rate of start-up, spin-out and scale-up enterprises; and (3) timely access to appropriate investment finance. The CBET Shepherding Model™ and the ManOBiz Matrix™ Shepherding tool have been developed to provide solutions which mitigate the impact of the issues which inhibit enterprise development. The enterprise development sector in Trinidad has responded very positively to the advent of the CBET shepherding model in that country. One telling comment was why should we reinvent the wheel, let us license the CBET Shepherding Model™ and get on with the process of enterprise development which can contribute, in their own right, to new prosperous horizons.

The Barbados government, having consulted the stakeholders of the cultural industries sector, is in the final stages of bringing before the country a Cultural Industries Bill that would address the cultural dimension of our society and economy. The Ministry of Culture has promised to find creative ways of bringing the cultural industry to the fore, as a major player in the economic and social order. The Ministry of culture, through one of its many consultations has been made aware of the CBET Shepherding Model™ as a business model to systematically develop the industry so that cultural industry practitioners can contribute in their own right to new prosperous horizons.

I met with two directors of a media and technology company which I have been shepherding since 2010. I was very gratified to see the progress that they have made not only in the Barbados market but also in the Caribbean and internationally. They are contributing in their own right to new prosperous horizons.

Barbados has taken another step towards the development of a food secure future with the launch of the proposed University of the West Indies (UWI) Centre for Food Security and Entrepreneurship in St. Thomas so that agricultural industry practitioners can contribute in their own right to new prosperous horizons. Just as was done for the cultural industries sector the CBET Shepherding Model™ is available as a business model to systematically develop the agricultural industry, one enterprise at a time, so that agricultural industry practitioners can contribute in their own right to new prosperous horizons.