Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Lack of creativity No. 1 local business setback

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LACK of creativity is hampering the development of business and entrepreneurship in Barbados and the Caribbean.
This is the view of Lynette Eastmond, a former minister of commerce who was one of four contributors on a panel discussion at the University of West Indies, Cave Hill, Guild of Students.
Also speaking on the topic Endless Possibilities Creating Prosperity and Sustainable Development were Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Maxine McClean, banking consultant Patrick Tannis, and Sandra Husbands, former president of the Small Business Association.
Eastmond said within the Caribbean and Barbados there was “a situation where the majority of our people are still shackled because a person’s worth is still determined by who they are and where they come from, not what they can actually do”.
She said the international market did not care about where people came from “but whether you could get their work done and get it done at a reasonable cost”.
“That is what the world holds for us if we could unleash the shackles that are upon us in Barbados and in the Caribbean and could allow our people to flourish.”
Eastmond said Caribbean people were not allowed be creative and were criticized when they wanted to be.
“The majority of people are . . . thinking and going and getting highly paid jobs for somebody to give you a living, when in truth . . . if you are the cream of the crop in Barbados and the Caribbean, you really should not be looking for somebody to give you a job, you should be creating jobs for people who are not cream-of-the-crop. We are sitting on our laurels and believing because we get an education at the university, that is the end of it.”
 Eastmond also said the people  in the region were still largely consumers of product.
“We don’t produce [as much as we should], we have never in Barbados registered a patent, as far as intellectual property we are poor, and that is where the value lies in the world; so I think we have a great challenge ahead. ”
Senator McClean rejected Eastmond’s statement that no Bajan had ever registered a patent and cited the late Professor Rawle Hollingsworth who lived in the United States.  
McClean also challenged the students to ask themselves how to free themselves in order to take advantage of “the endless possibilities”.
She said one must not only think of wealth in terms of money, but there must be a strong sense of security and self-actualization.
She also told the students that they must think “about creating opportunity for yourself and others in a way that allows us to leave this planet in a condition capable of supporting generations after us, and therefore there is a level of concern about the footprint we leave on this earth.”
Tannis told the students to see the world as their canvas, where they can realize their dreams professionally.
“. . . Why is it that we have not so far put something together that says to the world that the experience you are having here at the university is a story that you can tell to the world,” he said.
Husbands told the students there must be a climate for success.
“And if you look at Government policy and regulation in the various sectors that our people want to operate in, a lot of the regulations can at times be suffocating, especially for enterprises that are new,”  she said. (JS)

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