Entrepreneurs are being hindered by a controlling public sector and jealous bankers, says prominent businessman Ralph “Bizzy” Williams.
He made the charges on Tuesday during the Barbados National Entrepreneurship Summit at Hilton Barbados.
The founder and chief executive officer of Williams Industries said while there were exceptions to the rule, “in general the Public Service in Barbados appears to act . . . more as a body of controllers who are there to stop entrepreneurs rather than to facilitate them”.
“My experience is that they look for ways that they can interpret the rules to enable a refusal rather than to give permission.
“We need to find ways to change that attitude . . .,” Williams said.
He noted that many small businesses failed because they relied too much on Government which took too long to pay for goods and services.
While this may be manageable for big companies, before small businesses “get into business good the bank is foreclosing on them because they can’t get paid by the Government,” Williams said.
He added that sometimes bankers encountered “a guy or lady who went to school with them and who was not so bright”.
“They now have their own little business and they’re doing well. They go to the banker and they need to increase their overdraft or do something to expand the business.”
According to Williams, the banker may promise to get back to the entrepreneur but never does so.
“The truth is that the banker is jealous of the achievement of the not-so-bright guy and they are going to make him grovel to get the assistance,” he said.
Williams added that, in general, big companies showed a lack of empathy for the plight of entrepreneurs. (NB)