“The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” – Numbers 6:26

The Lok Jack GSB BizBooster is billed as a catalyst for development and growth of small and medium sized enterprises that will increase national and regional prosperity.  It is a commercial business incubator powered by the University of the West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago) – Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (ALJGSB). BizBooster is a collaborative relationship among private enterprise, academia and government, aimed at providing innovative start-ups and existing companies with a wide range of services necessary to stimulate growth, success and sustainability.

Last Thursday, BizBooster mounted a very interesting panel discussion on the topic “Investing in SMEs: Opportunities and Challenges”. The four panellists had diverse interests in enterprise development: (1) Ingrid Jahra, CEO of Giant Screen Entertainment Limited (IMAX), gave a very interesting entrepreneurial account of the many financial and non-financial challenges encountered as she converted the idea  into a commercial reality; (2) Balraj Kistow, Programme Director of Master of Small and Medium Enterprise Management Programme at ALJGSB, gave some sound information of the theory underlying SME, management; (3) Marketing Manager – Product Management Credit/Group Marketing and Communications, Republic Bank, gave an extensive discourse on the services offered by his organisation with a view of helping SMEs; and (4) Ronald Hinds, CEO Telios Systems Limited which develops and markets wireless and internet solutions for a wide range of customers including governments, corporations and wireless operators, was very provocative as he encouraged the commercial banking system to discover innovative financial solutions to mobilise the liquidity in the banking system in order to address the demand from the emerging entrepreneurial class. He was doubtful whether a commercial bank would take first mover advantage of this opportunity. A very engaging panel discussion ensued where the panellists responded to questions which were prepared by the audience during the presentations and passed to the moderator.

I certainly left with the feeling that there is hope around the corner for the emerging entrepreneurial class.  The Caribbean countries and beyond can only grow, one successful enterprise after another in each productive sector. Hence efficient enterprise development is essential. There is an opportunity for a financial institution to take advantage of the need for innovative financial solutions for entrepreneurs and their creative ideas.

There are three processes which are necessary globally for economic growth through enterprise development. These are: (1) the due diligence selection process of a mix of net foreign exchange earning enterprises and their entrepreneurs; (2) a benevolent quick response seed/venture capital fund process, with a buy back clause, thus allowing the promoters of enterprises to ultimately own their businesses outright; and (3) the introduction of the Shepherding process which increases the rate of business success by the diligent management of business systems and acts as collateral to protect the financial investment.

There was a time when there were no ATMs in the world. The first ATM was introduced in the US in 1969. The rest is history. Which financial institution will be the first to set the global trend in enterprise development support through early adopter advantage of the CBET Shepherding Model™, an innovative composite financial solution addressing the needs of the emerging entrepreneurial class. History has shown that when there is a gaping hole in the demand profile that some effective solution will arise sooner than later to absorb the liquidity in the financial system. Coupled with the ManOBiz Matrix, this combination addresses the management and money support systems required for any appropriate new idea to succeed and grow.

When this global trend is set then the foundation of entrepreneurship, the youth, economic empowerment and recognition, as exemplified by the following events, will have been nurtured to bring peace to us all. The 38th annual Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture by Dr. Victor Gooding at the Frank Collymore Hall, Central Bank of Barbados on Monday, November 25 at 8.00 p.m. on the topic “View from 45 years  North – A Barbadian Living in Canada” will explore  entrepreneurship.

The Rotary Club of Barbados South’s “The Classical Best of Youth III – Herald The Voices” involving the Barbados National Youth Symphony Orchestra, the St. Leonard’s Boys’ Choir and 14 year old sensation, Jane Small at the Frank Collymore Hall, on Sunday December 1 will showcase the youth.

Zhivargo Laing’s live evenings of motivation, in Miami on Wednesday December 4 (6 to 9pm), and in New York on Thursday December 5 (6 to 9pm), about “The Power to be good in good times and in bad” will promote economic empowerment – www.eveningsofexcellence.com.

Come and win a vacation at one of the Caribbean’s luxurious boutique resorts. Calabash Cove is keen to be a partner for this empowering and motivational series. Tucked away on gently sloping tropical beachfront on the northwest coast of St. Lucia, the luxurious Calabash Cove Resort and Spa in St. Lucia has announced its support of these upcoming events.

And finally, the Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) awards on Sunday December 8 recognises many:  Earlston McPhee, the focal point for sustainable tourism development at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and one of the Caribbean’s leading advocates for sustainable tourism development, will receive the 2013 CMEx Leadership Award.  Other awardees named by the non-profit organisation CMEx, include Puerto Rico’s Terestella González Denton and Bill Clegg of Choice Hotels International. This CMEx fund-raiser takes place at The 40/40 Club in New York City on Sunday, December 8, 2013 (7 to 10pm) and reservations can be made at www.cmexmedia.org/event-registration. Live music by Ryan J.