Holder: Diaspora an untapped marketLynette Holder (FP)
Tue, August 14, 2012 - 10:01 AM
BUSINESS OPERATORS MUST tap the diaspora in order for Barbados’ economy to continue growing, according to Lynette Holder, chief executive officer of the Small Business Association (SBA).
“The diaspora means an untapped market for businesses, so we encourage our members to tap into those markets.
“We believe that we can no longer sustain economic growth in a market of just over 270 000 people, which is our domestic space. We have to look at expanding beyond these shores regionally and extraregionally, and a very good way of doing so is to tap into the diaspora,” she said.
Furthermore, Holder said based on the association’s experience with the diaspora in places such as Panama last year, she would be ensuring that its members maximized their chances of getting their goods and services into markets that were already open to them as well as new ones.
“Following the Panama experience we have been able to make some contacts there and we know that the Government is planning a mission to Brazil – we want to tap that [as well].
“We know of the initiatives in Europe and we are a part of those initiatives because of the connections that we have with [Britain] and some of the other European territories,” she told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
“You saw the warmth, reception and excitement [for] our products from Panamanians with Barbadian ancestry – it was really phenomenal.
“So it said to us, there is an opportunity for us to reach out not only using traditional export strategies – franchising, leasing and so on – but to see the diaspora as a specific market that can be tapped because they have a longing for Barbadian goods and services.
“Here is an opportunity for us, drawing on that history and the richness of the culture, to go back to these markets and promote our goods and services,” added Holder.
The SBA is one of three agencies from the Caribbean involved in programmes geared to training businesses and agencies in trade promotion, direct foreign investment and attraction-promotion strategies, among others. (MM)
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