“Do not neglect your gift…”. – 1 Timothy 4:14

Each of us has been blessed with 24 hours a day and we have the free will to choose how we use this resource. If we waste the time, it is gone forever. Each of us is blessed with unique talents and abilities and we need to discover them and use them well.

Entrepreneurship is the development of an enterprise from the ground up – presenting an idea and converting it into an innovation for sale and, with shepherding assistance, turning the enterprise into a profitable business. The amalgam of profitable businesses then defines economic growth. While the concept of entrepreneurship may be simple, its execution is much more difficult and is manifested by the statistic that 90 percent of global start-ups fail within the first five years of operation.

The reason why start-ups fail is because of the failure to effectively manage the five business systems (corporate governance, marketing, operations, people development and investment finance) in tandem. I shepherd businesses on a daily basis and can attest to the fact that it is not an easy task reversing this “90 percent trend”, but there are pockets of hope which indicate that with passion, perseverance and patience it can be done. We have to positively pursue the effective mix of time, talent and entrepreneurship.

First of all, entrepreneurs’ personalities are intrinsically different and hence one has to work on stimulating mindset change. Secondly, entrepreneurs need help with the management of the five business systems but thirdly, and very gratifyingly, there is a plethora of interesting business ideas in the Caribbean either through import substitution or exports or both, all of which contribute to economic growth.

Let us focus today on business ideas. My clients are involved in many diverse sectors, including graphic arts, printing and die-cutting; interior design and space planning; event planning; apiary development; renewable energy and energy efficiency; agriculture and agro-processing; inspirational T-Shirts; digital forensic, ICT and industrial services; crowdfunding; and 3D printing.

Reinaldo Martinez, a 3D entrepreneur, quotes President Obama, in the 2013 State of the Union address, as follows: “3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.” The President went on to say: “I’m announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs…and I ask this Congress to help create a network of 15 of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is Made in America.”

Reinaldo commented that: “This vision is not only an American vision and has taken off globally. Trinidad and Tobago now can share in that vision through my company Blueprint Manufacturing Systems Ltd. (BM∑). BM∑ is a 3D HUB, utilizing technology that is safe, sustainable, and the first of its kind in the country and in the region. The myriad of advantages this solution brings ranges from diversification of the economy to building a cadre of new professionals. This solution has the potential to touch the lives of persons working in the energy, marine, manufacturing, medical, as well as, our scientific and creative sectors.”

Reinaldo has been successfully researching various technologies through his holding company Trinidad Reengineering Company Limited; and since November 2013, 21 monthly board meetings have been held. BM∑ was founded in March 2014 and adopted a strong corporate governance culture which has served the company well. BM∑ has developed, tested and implemented its marketing, sales and public relations strategy. Its website has been launched and its 3D printing service has been available since January 2015.

Reinaldo has compared several different types of machines to obtain firsthand knowledge of the capacity, materials, cost and the range of different products that can be produced. BM∑ has emphasized people development, specifically the shepherding process, which addresses mindset change and business systems development, and has secured a source of funds for its development.

The company has just begun to garner sales and the product which gives Reinaldo greatest pride to date is the detailed and impressive 3D printed models of the building of Queen’s Royal College (QRC – Established 1859), his alma mater, which is on display at the school and on BM∑’s website www.blueprintmodelling.com. Old scholars will want to purchase their own model and by doing so they will contribute to the school fund since part of the proceeds is donated by BM∑ to the school. 9″ miniature models are available for sale at QRC’s Office – 1 868 622-1671.

BM∑ has had a good response from its focused sales strategy and now has several customer (local, regional and international) requests which are being fulfilled. The company will in the short term focus on building awareness of the concept by offering the solution to arts and craft, promotional and personalized goods, and the technology will soon be used for tools, spares, industrial and eventually in the medical and dental fields.

Reinaldo added that to reach this goal, BM∑ will need only the finest talent and a pick of machines with the right corporate and personal support to offer a quality, reliable service that can be exported internationally and manufactured with pride in Trinidad and Tobago.

The company will also have an impact on the labour market, creating specialist roles and profiles. Reinaldo now extends an invitation to all to join BM∑ in spearheading this venture in Trinidad and Tobago. BM∑ has adopted the following triple bottom line approach – Planet, People and Profit.

For any 3D CAD/CAM service, contact Blueprint Manufacturing at 1 868 627-1065 or sales@blueprintmanufacturing.com.

There is a new book – The 3D Publishing Industry published by Italian Davide Sher (June 2015) – which explores possibilities of the upcoming Food 3D Printing Revolution.

Let us not neglect our talents and use our time well to convert them into holistic wealth through entrepreneurship and shepherding.

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