“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:27
T.S. Elliot wrote: “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
After writing this weekly business column for nearly 23 years, my public relations adviser has counselled that I should reduce the column size but accompany it with a graphic. I have also decided to focus on generic Caribbean content which may have a wider appeal. This new look column is a part of my life of “new beginnings”.
Caribbean economies are faced with the challenge of economic growth and development. Economic growth is a necessary but not sufficient condition for economic development. Economic growth can only take place one successful business after another. If we were to be successful at doing this (i.e. increasing the GDP), it is possible that we might still have a disparity in wealth and living standards for several reasons: (1)benefits accrue to a small percentage of the population; (2) corruption; (3) environmental problems; (4) traffic congestion; (5) failure to grow what we eat and eat what we grow; and (6) expenditure on military protection and crime prevention services, at the expense of health care and education.
To achieve economic development we are at the mercy of our public and private sector leaders. We must pray for their positive Vision and timely Action. To achieve economic growth, we must be buoyed by the maxim “nothing beats business success”.
The accompanying graphic may depict an economic (or business) gearing system. It is the business gearing system concept, across all sectors, that needs to be diligently and aggressively pursued to drive economic growth. The example given here is driven by the tourism sector with a linkage to the agricultural sector primarily because the tourists must be fed. The tourism sector example can creatively be replaced by any other sector, without any loss of generality in the gearing system.
When the large tourism sector gear completes one revolution (arrival of long stay or cruise tourists), the medium gears of tourism services (e.g. hotels, restaurants, museums, festivals and diving) and agricultural linkages (e.g. farming, fisheries and agribusiness) spin faster as they respond to market demand.
The medium gears then create opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) (e.g. taxi drivers, craft persons, operators, bartenders, waitresses, cleaners, attendants, small farmers, hucksters, fish cleaners and boners as well as packaging and trucking personnel), depicted by the small gears.
The faster the big gear spins (the greater the tourist spend), the more activity is created at the level of the small MSMEs gears. It is, however, the large gear that drives this sector not the small gears as is often implied.
Let us focus today on positive belief systems, e.g. self confidence, ambition, good relationships and security, and eradicate the negatives, e.g. worry, anger, fear, guilt and hate in our lives, as we pursue meaningful enterprise development.
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his columns may be found at www.cbetmodel.org and www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com.)