All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” – Proverbs 14:23

The cultivation of an unswerving positive mindset is an asset as a problem solver. This was originally inspired by the book “The Power of Positive Thinking” by the Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, which I read as a teenager.

If you focus on the positives, you will get positive results. However, if you focus on the negatives, you will get negative results. It is Divine law.

Much is written about small business, entrepreneurship, enterprise development, and the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector. Each country has it high on its agenda and some have attempted to implement solutions. The problem of converting a high percentage of startups into sustainable business enterprises remains unsolved.

Less than six months ago, out of the blue, I received the following WhatsApp message from a Barbadian entrepreneur: “Good afternoon, Dr. Springer, I am very much interested in learning more about the Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust (CBET). I believe the model advanced is exactly what I have been looking for. Can you tell me more?”

The model to which the entrepreneur referred was developed under my leadership, over the last 20 years. The model consists of three components: (1) a scalable business idea; (2) professional guidance (life coaching and business mentoring); and (3) a quick response seed, equity, working capital growth Fund.

Let me say upfront that even though the fund management system has been documented, the Fund has not yet been capitalized.

A pilot of the model was tested in Barbados (2008-2012) and Trinidad & Tobago (2012-2015) with promising results.

It is now known as The Shepherding ModelTM .

I readily agreed to help as a business doctor at the request of the entrepreneur using the basic medical doctor protocol – meet the patient, determine the symptom, perform tests, make a diagnosis, prescribe a treatment, and monitor the recovery process.

We set up a series of meetings starting with a board meeting to lay a sound foundation for the business.

It was evident that the entrepreneur was a positive thinker, very passionate about the innovative disruptive manufacturing business idea, used savings to start the business five years ago, and had a significant retail presence.

On the basis of further discussion, it was observed that the business was not doing well and the main symptom was that the business was hemorrhaging money. The tests revealed that savings were depleted, sales were on the decline, there were no profits, and there was no cash to replenish raw material stocks.

The diagnosis was management of business systems failure.

My recommended treatment was to acquire professional shepherding advice and access appropriate investment funds.

I offered to invest shepherding advice on the basis of payment out of future profits, as a financial investor would, but I was not in a position to help with access to the Fund at this stage.

Many other businesses are in the same dilemma and hence the establishment of a seed, equity, working capital Fund is urgent.

Marketplace Excellence Corporation is currently exploring an enterprise development service based on the Shepherding model, including the establishment of a Fund.

Until such time, we ask all entrepreneurs to pursue their passion, persevere and be patient. And of course, stay connected!


(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is His columns may be found at