Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Cross-border partnerships critical

CROSS-border partnerships are becoming a trend for local and regional entrepreneurs.

So says Managing Director Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Youth Entrepreneurship, Marcia Brandon, who told the Grenada Advocate on Sunday that many organisations are working to build this type of regionalism and the Caribbean Association of Banks are a part of this group.

“Cohesiveness in the region is building, the increased recognition that together we can go very far is a trend. People in the region want to work together and share resources. The young people we work with are eager to meet each other and explore synergies and ideas and build and start businesses. They want to act.”

She further explained that banks and credit unions are becoming more entrepreneurship-friendly and persons are exploring non-traditional ways of funding start-ups, companies are becoming more entrepreneurial; for example, Automotive Arts business plan competition and people are becoming social entrepreneurs and companies are becoming more philanthropic, helping organisations like the CEYESD to help them to implement social and economic projects to benefit communities, which will in the long term benefit them.

Brandon, who is largely recognised for her work with the Barbados Youth Business Trust and other Trusts across the region, gave her take on other trends which she sees emerging in Barbados and the region.

“There is now a very entrenched philosophy among youth and adults, but moreso youth, of wanting to start one’s own business. This is now a norm among young persons ages 15-20 years in the region. The CEYESD did a survey among 150 persons in this age group in Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Bahamas.

“Over 80 per cent of these young males and females said they wanted to start their own businesses but over 75 per cent of them did not know how and had no one in their families who they think could help them to do so.”

Another trend identified by the managing director is the evolving entrepreneurial ecosystem that has been developing over the years in the Barbados and the region. “In almost every country there are organisations in place to help people to start businesses, and while we can criticise many of them for many reasons, the fact remains that they exist and many of them persist in helping their target groups in the very best possible ways they know how.”

“These types of organisations help to develop strong entrepreneurial ecosystems in the region. There is also an awareness among governments and policy makers in the region that entrepreneurship certainly has some value to sustainable development and even though a lot more work needs to be done, it has started and it is progressing.”

Brandon says that there is still more scope for more research and implementation in the region. (JH)

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