A link to growth
Barbados has been doing relatively well in terms of creating a policy framework that supports entrepreneurship, says Lynette Holder, chief executive officer of the Small Business Association (SBA).
Speaking last Thursday during a lunchtime panel discussion hosted by the University of the West Indies Open Campus in collaboration with the Central Bank of Barbados, she said entrepreneurship has been alive in Barbados for a long time.
“We trace our history, at least in the post-colonial times, to companies like the Goddard group. . . .
“We’ve had several [companies] in the retail and distributive sector and they’ve done very well in being able to help to shape entrepreneurial development and SME development in this country,” she said during the event at the Grande Salle of the Tom Adams Financial Centre.
Holder noted that research, including that by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), shows that there is a positive correlation between a vibrant entrepreneurial economy and economic growth.
“The national level of entrepreneurial activity has a statistically significant association with subsequent levels of economic growth.
“The GEM is saying there are no countries with high levels of entrepreneurship and low levels of economic growth,” she said.
The CEO noted that there was still room for improvement as it relates to creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurship, especially in terms of access to financing and the creation of exit strategies for small business owners.
“There’s a need to facilitate entering and exiting the environment. We may talk a lot about entry but sometimes we don’t talk about exit.
“We don’t have bankruptcy legislation as yet but I believe as we continue to grow and develop, we will get there,” Holder said.
She added that society also needs to appreciate business failure.
“Many [people] who have actually failed in business have honed the experience and the understanding that they can actually put into that second enterprise and make it successful,” she said.