“For wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” – Proverbs 2:10

Last week we introduced the concept of Godpreneurship and concluded: “Let us now fully embrace Divine instruction and make a contribution to our region’s future.”

This was in the context of designing a sustainable strategy to increase wealth for all and reduce the wealth divide.

This week we continue in the same vein looking at stimuli to enterprise development but paying special attention to accelerating the learning process through shepherding where experience is a consummate teacher.

We also recall that the definition of shepherding has now been expanded to include business mentoring, life coaching, theo-economics and community service.

As if by Divine intervention, the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian on Thursday, September 25 and the weekly Business Guardian published a number of articles which are relevant to the theme of enterprise development.

I found five stories in particular to be fascinating:

(1) “TriniTrolley plans Incubator launch”
Mazuree Colin Ali, CEO of TriniTrolley, stated: “I would say that 99 percent of incubators in the US are privately-owned. I am talking about incubators that helped launch platforms like Twitter. I am convinced that a privately-owned incubator will foster a dynamic and robust level of entrepreneurship in T & T. I have plans to launch the first formal privately-owned incubator in 12 months with mentorship, training, access to capital, venture capitalists and more.”

I can empathise with this but would add that a smart partnership between government and the private sector with government incentives and private sector leadership would reap even greater dividends. Also, centralised incubator space is not the major requirement because of the virtual nature of some businesses or the need for specialised space. However, clients’ investment requests could include rental subsidies particularly in the initial stages of the business. Also, access to a central meeting venue for the incubator members can foster synergies from interaction.

(2) “Choosing a Mentor: A guide to finding your guide”
Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, stated: “No matter how smart you are, or how brilliant or disruptive your business concept might be, every entrepreneur needs a good mentor. Someone, somewhere who has already gone through what you are experiencing right now and who has come out the other side armed with invaluable insights.”

I support this fully but would add that even if you cannot get the ideal mentor, someone with more experience than the entrepreneur is likely to yield significant success for the business.

(3) “Entrepreneurship – The Singapore experience”
Ryan Soh and Bernard Lee, Singapore coordinators of Global Entrepreneurship Week from November 17-23, 2014 were very happy to share that country’s experience with Youth Business Trust T&T. They stated that: “Singapore is described as the entrepreneurial hub of Asia for various reasons. First the Singapore government gives strong support to entrepreneurship through funding schemes and building infrastructure to support it…entrepreneurs are an essential part in the progress of any economy. Entrepreneurs create jobs, bring forth improvements and create better lives for individuals. If you have a dream, find the courage and build it; otherwise you are going to live a life building other people’s dreams.”

Which country shall emerge as the entrepreneurial hub for the Caribbean? A mission from T & T has recently returned from “A priceless experience on the Food Catwalk” at the 2014 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York. Will it be Trinidad? The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation – Barbados the #1 Entrepreneurial Hub in the world by 2020? Or The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Jamaica – supporting the development of small and growing businesses in the Caribbean region?

(4) “Young Entrepreneurs link fun and business”
The next article stated: “For young entertainment entrepreneurs Brandon Koo and Jared Penny, the link between party and school can be a productive as it can be fun. The 19- and 21-year-old university students believe that investors ought to be aware of their social responsibility towards their target markets. Penny, serving as a Major Events Director but who is also a student at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, has formed an alliance under the banner of Trump. By working together we have found ways to innovate and to offer a party experience that is in tune with the likes and dislikes of people of our generation”.

We ought to encourage the youth – their minds are fertile and generate great business ideas, especially when it to comes to catering to the needs of their contemporaries.

(5) “Alleyne advises spiritual approach to finance”
Rev. Dave Alleyne’s book, entitled “Big Event”, has been described as a catalyst for financial change: “The book was first written in the 1990s but it was republished in the US this year. This book is about showing people the spiritual aspect of financial laws, so that wealth could come to the layperson. Once people can understand the laws of finance, it will close the gap between those who are rich and those who are poor.”

It will be interesting to compare this work with Dr. Roland Hill’s “Theo-economics: the call to responsibility”.

Over to Barbados, the second season of the BANK on ME TV reality series is upon us – www.bankonme.tv. Applicants have an extended deadline – end of September – to register their interest. There are significant benefits for those who participate in the show which include business systems management-related seminars, mentoring, prizes, marketing exposure and investment.

Dr. Chelston Brathwaite, Barbados’ Ambassador to China, sent me the following link http://video.chinadaily.com.cn/2014/0730/3580.shtml which may be of significant interest to those promoting enterprise development. The link contains a video on a new relationship between Barbados and China.

Lots of meat to chew on this week. Now, as we search for knowledge, let us never forget the role of experience as a consummate teacher.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET – His columns may be found at www.cbetmodel.org andwww.nothingbeatsbusiness.com)