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Innovate!


Natasha Beckles

Innovate!

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There needs to be more innovation and less duplication among small businesses in Barbados – including beauty salons, mobile food vans, freighting companies, and clothing stores.
This was the assessment of Michael Callender, FundAccess manager of credit and project development, who said too many entrepreneurs were “doing the same thing at the same price”.
“What I tell entrepreneurs is that even if you’re opening a bar and restaurant, let be known for something [unique],” he said, cautioning against simply copying other businesses.
Callender said a lot of entrepreneurs were complaining that with less disposable income available, it is becoming a much more competitive marketplace.
“And what is happening is that despite even increased marketing opportunities, they are still not getting the number of clients they had before,” he said during a recent interview with BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
This view was shared by general manger Hamilton Roach.
“In a small economy like Barbados there are only so many customers that require a particular product or service so the challenge for businesspeople is to try to increase their market share,” he said.
Roach said entrepreneurs need to offer new products and services and where possible, export them.
“That’s the next frontier that some of our clients will have to go after. They need to ensure that what they do is something that other people outside Barbados require,” he said.
To their credit, Roach said, a number of clients were expressing interest in alternative energy and information and communication technology.
“We are seeing applicants who recognize that they have to be innovative and they can’t just believe that the traditional areas for business will be successful for them because some of them are saturated,” he said.
“It is heartening even in harsh economic times that we still have so many Barbadians who are looking to start and expand their business, which shows that they have great faith in the Barbadian economy, and we have a number of clients now who are getting into new areas using technology,” Roach added.
FundAccess is a Government-funded agency set up to foster the development of micro-enterprises in Barbados through credit, training and technical assistance.

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