“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Last week, I recommended a 12-point afresh programme for the implementation of government-sponsored enterprise development initiatives. At the conclusion of the column I advised: “Let all governments be better prepared and ready to meet the needs of entrepreneurs”.

If Caribbean Governments have been pursuing a given path and not achieving sustained economic growth, then there is no point repeating the same formula. We need to change in order to turn the fortunes around. It is never too late to change the formula. Government has the power to act and the power to act on wise choices.

The feedback and support I have received on a topic of such importance as enterprise development is nothing short of phenomenal. I thought that I should share the following:

(1) Greetings. We are now in Grenada, having spent 12 years in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as bankers then business consultants. This 12-step proposal is practical and fills the “Start up Funds” void, demonstrates how funds can be sourced and effectively managed with robust accountability especially with the built-in recruitment of the Private Sector Board. I will be an advocate.

(2) I really love this article. I recommend you send this to all the Prime Ministers and all the Ministers in Government in the region. This may help them to stop making the same mistakes over and over since I was born. They are not listening to the persons who can give them the right advice, they need to be more careful with persons who are telling them just what they want to hear and most of the time what they tell them is not useful and not productive to help develop entrepreneurs in the region to be more sustainable and operate profitable and successful enterprises.

(3) Great ideas. The governments indeed need to focus on reducing red tape and let the entrepreneurs do their thing with “shepherding” from folks who actually know about successful business operations.

(4) Wow! Brilliant analysis and solution. I agree. One of our commendable agencies in Jamaica is JBDC – Jamaica Business Development Corporation, responsible for growing the MSME sector. My company has received shepherding as an MSME and cluster member and has been involved in two successful business clusters.

(5) Fully agree with your thoughts.

(6) Let me first disclose that I am a novice in the affairs of entrepreneurship, economic growth and sustainability, and governments’ regulatory and services roles. I read your weekly column which is sent to me by a mutual friend. I am, however impressed by your 12 suggested steps for corporate governance by government line ministries and entrepreneurship. One question that always stands out in my mind, however is: what are the criteria for any entrepreneur knowing what enterprise she/he should undertake? Other than food entrepreneurs, health entrepreneurs, and death services entrepreneurs, can any entrepreneur be sure that his/her “excellent ideas and their accompanying innovative products and services” are going to be needed, on an on-going basis, by the very entrepreneurs’ customers?

My response to this question was: “If the entrepreneur pursues excellence then success will be guaranteed (Dr. Deepak Chopra). The Shepherding process gives the entrepreneur the opportunity to pursue excellence on all business fronts”.

(7 A) I am sure you have heard, and even studied Dr. Edwards Deming’s works on entrepreneurship and production, primarily in Japan. I believe it would be difficult (especially in Bimshire) to find entrepreneurships today (21st Century) whose basic approach to business is based on Deming’s theory of “doing things right the first time (quality control production)” so that customer satisfaction is maintained and retained. Any doubt why Japan has become a country of many successful entrepreneurs?

My response to the assumption was: “Yes, William Edwards Deming was a role model – he died peacefully in his sleep after returning home from delivering a lecture at the age of 93 in 1993.” – My response to the question was: “Absolutely none”.

(7 B) I admire your tenacity and commitment to development of prosperous entrepreneurship through your “Shepherding Concept” in the region, but sometimes think that you are “beating a dead horse.” Many would be so-called “returning-nationals” like me, have a lot to offer even in our Autumn, retirement years. But we are turned-off by the somewhat insular attitude (at least my experience with Bajans) that seems to believe that pride (a false pride, in essence) does not permit acceptance of ideas from native sons who have lived or are living overseas.

My response to his observation was that: “The attitude is not exclusively reserved for native sons or daughters who have lived or are living overseas”.

Exponential Open Innovation is rapidly moving across global boundaries and combining with entirely new categories enabling advances and causing disruptions across an array of industries, functions and disciplines. The accumulation of technological advances and exponentially accelerating innovation can open the door to great opportunity. There is an upcoming Open Innovation Summit October 30 and 31 in Chicago. The following topics will be explored: The convergence of exponential technologies and innovation; Analyzing different business models for open innovation; Open innovation program development; The right tools for the right job; and Developing a joint commercial and institutional innovation strategy.

I have recently joined an international “open innovation” team which has embraced the concept of shepherding and which will soon be focusing on how to impact the Caribbean and stimulate economic growth in short shrift. More anon!

May all governments revisit their development paradigm and stop just paying lip service to enterprise development and regarding it as a solely government initiative.

With a few more strokes, perhaps the dead horse will return to life. Giddy up!

Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET. Columns are archived at: www.cbetmodel.org and www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com.