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Report: low rate of entrepreneurship


Report: low rate of entrepreneurship

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A NEW REPORT assessing entrepreneurship in Barbados has concluded that “improvements will need to be made in many areas of entrepreneurship if Barbados is to “accomplish its vision of becoming the world’s entrepreneurial hub in 2020”.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Barbados national report concluded that although its results “point to a positive trajectory in terms of entrepreneurial growth between 2011-2013, the low percentage of persons who indicated that they intend to start a business in the near future is a cause for concern”.

It said this suggested that Barbados “still requires further development in terms of creating an environment that fosters business start-up activity”.

GEM is “an annual assessment of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activity among factor-driven, efficiency-driven, and innovation-driven economies around the world”. The Barbados report was authored by Dr Jason Marshall, Marjorie Wharton and Egbert Irving of the Cave Hill School of Business, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

Barbados joined the GEM consortium in 2011.

“This year’s GEM findings indicate that although Barbadians believe that they are competent enough to start a business and are not dissuaded by fear of failure, the business start-up and intention rates are relatively low. This may be due to the perceived unavailability of good opportunities to start a business,” the report stated.

“These results not only suggest that additional structures and policies need to be put in place to create a more positive perception of the entrepreneurial environment, but they also point to the need for continuous programmes that train potential entrepreneurs on how to recognise business opportunities, particularly in a stagnant economy.

“Such training programmes should place emphasis on innovation in business so as to enable the potential entrepreneur to recognise that business opportunities are not always in ‘plain sight’ and may require innovative thought.

“More specifically, although entrepreneurial support structures are in place, access to financial support and bureaucratic hindrances, as well as the red tape involved in business start-up, may serve to dissuade persons from commencing a business. As such, steps should be taken to remove these barriers and create more efficient systems which serve to quicken the business start-up process,” it added.

The latest Barbados GEM report was compiled using the results of an “orally administered” questionnaire answered by 2 302 residents “from across different parishes in Barbados”.

This was in addition to the views of 19 business experts, who participated in an online National Expert Survey in which they gave “factors that influence entrepreneurial activities in Barbados.” (SC)