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Companies test-drive finance pitch


rhondathompson, [email protected]

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A PROJECT CONCEPTUALISED by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) to help small and medium-sized enterprises get funding has brought its first batch of entrepreneurs face to face with potential financiers.Recently, nine companies – Cell Directories Inc., Bella Diva, Renchris Enterprises Ltd, Ezleraner Inc., Carimobile Inc., Barakel Howells Inc., Makaio Creations Inc., Nago Energy and Bethel Marketing Inc. – were able to pitch their business ideas to representatives of the Enterprise Growth Fund, Barbados National Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, RBTT, Caribbean Financial Services Corporation, Scotiabank, Caribbean Export, Caribbean Development Bank, and the United States Embassy.Paula Bourne, senior business development officer, entrepreneurial development division at BIDC told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY in an interview at Bagnall’s Point Gallery, Pelican Village where the Investor Readiness: Pitching For success seminar was held, that the initiative was meant to help small, innovative businesses to develop and commercialise their ideas.“Very often we hear small businesses, especially those with new ideas, or start-up businesses talking about the difficulty of accessing financing. The idea was to take them through a process where they can develop their pitches so they can find out what an investor is looking for.     And the final day, today, they go before a panel of banking and non-banking institutions and they are making their pitches to them,” Bourne said.    She said BIDC had chosen businesses from its database that they deemed highly innovative, to work with over the last year. Three days before their individual meetings with lending institutions, international business development consultant Ian Ivey from the company Next guided them through different strategies, such as negotiation and how to engage a financier.Ivey, a New Zealander who lives in Trinidad and Tobago and works throughout the Caribbean, said: “We started off by working through some things that are happening globally to see where they are positioned – whether they are in tune with those trends, whether they are in an area that has potential to create a lot of value, or whether they are in a commodity area where there is very little value.” (SR)

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