Entrepreneur links internet service to developmentPiers Linney, Britain’s most successful black entrepreneur and the son of a Barbadian. (Kenmore Bynoe)
By Natasha Beckles | Wed, April 06, 2011 - 12:00 AM
BRITAIN’S MOST SUCCESSFUL BLACK ENTREPRENEUR, Piers Linney, believes the quality of a country’s Internet connectivity plays a major role in its economic development.
The chief executive officer of Outsourcery, Britain’s first carbon-neutral unified communications and hosted information technology solutions company, was the featured speaker at the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation’s fourth entrepreneurs’ forum.
Speaking at the Plantation Garden Theatre, he said: “You cannot build an entrepreneurial economy or any economy these days without decent connectivity.”
“In the old days you built roads, canals and railways. Now you’re building information superhighways, Internet connections.
“You can’t expect an economy to grow and be all it can be with one [megabyte per second] download and 250 [kilobytes per second] upload. It’s not going to work. That will have a direct impact on GDP,” Linney said.
The qualified solicitor who has worked as an investment banker, venture capital fund manager and hedge fund manager urged Barbadian businesspeople to think beyond these shores.
“You can have a fantastic business here but the market is only so big. Think about global trends. You don’t have to be confined to your own country,” he said.
Linney, who was born to a Barbadian mother, noted that Barbados “is a place that people want to visit” and features a well-educated workforce and a growing number of entrepreneurs.
“The question really is how you put this all together to create a country that can be a leading entrepreneurial hub by 2020,” he said.
He also advised entrepreneurs to treat equity “like gold dust” and structure it in such a way “that if people leave, you can take it off them”.
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