The CEO’s Last Word

With the dawn of the new digital and technological era, many of the world’s daily routines and practices have become revolutionised due to inter alia, high-tech devices, high-speed internet, digital financing, artificial intelligence and 3D printing.

Similarly, as a result of many of these technological advancements, the way we conduct business - from the manufacturing stage, to the selling and consumption of the goods and services - have all been radically changed forever. 

This change, though intimidating for some should be considered by the MSME sector as it provides countless avenues of opportunity for the small business owner to be more competitive in the domestic space and to pursue internationalisation. Testament to this is the fact that a large manufacturing company in America and a Barbadian small business owner can both have access to millions of prospective consumers via the world wide web. Whether through the set-up of an e-commerce website fuelled by promotions on popular social media platforms or the creation of surveys and questionnaires to garner crucial market information, the possibilities are now endless for the success of the wise entrepreneur.

In light of this, I implore all business owners and persons with an entrepreneurial spirit to desist from limiting their thoughts to the 166 square miles we call home and to begin to
truly see the world as their oyster. Our local small businesses provide top-quality products capable of attracting profitable demand from borders far beyond our own. However, small business owners must have the zeal and dedication required to do ample research into the exporting avenues readily available to make this a reality. Forming partnerships and seeking training and development in areas of weakness is also paramount to success. Lastly, small business owners must continue to put pressure on their local business support organisations to assist them in building capacity, fostering cluster development and lobbying for better policy environments to achieve their regional and international aspirations. In this vein, the Small Business Association stands committed to the growth of the sector and encourages all stakeholders desirous of assisting in the process to step forward as we gear up to take our local MSMEs to the global stage.

The small business sector has been defined as the driving force of our economy and must now become the engine of the digital revolution on the island. In light of this, it would be remiss of me not to ask, how should government facilitate this transition and what do we need our policymakers to do to assist in this area?

Stay tuned for my comments on this going forward.