SBA Emphasises the Need for Disruptive Innovation

“Change is no longer negotiable in a post-COVID-19 world.” This was the view asserted by advisor in the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology, Dr. Annalee Babb, as she outlined the need for accelerated innovation and digital transformation locally, at the Small Business Association of Barbados’ (SBA) May webinar. The webinar, entitled “Innovation through Digitalisation – Monetising Innovation in the Digital Space” provided attendees with a deeper understanding of innovation and the digital opportunities to be leveraged.

Digitalisation was described as the provision of products, services or solutions in an electronic or online format, while innovation was defined as the disruptive and successful creation of value which is recognised and adopted by people and markets. In order for Barbados to be positioned as a value-creating nation fuelled by digitalisation, Dr. Babb stressed that Barbadians must be willing to question how things are presently done.

Highlighting the history of Barbados as an extractive plantation economy and colonial entrepôt, the ministry advisor stated that the island’s oppressive colonial culture is incompatible with the very notion of innovation through digitalisation and would have to be abandoned.

Dr. Babb went on to propose eight steps which would kick-start this process and help to unlock value and increase innovation on the island. These steps included, learning to recognise value in ourselves, reimagining the ‘small’ in small business to eliminate the notion of small-mindedness, changing the order of things by destroying what exists now to create room for new ideas, finding a way digitally and embodying the ‘longview.’

For the full list of steps and to watch the webinar, visit the SBA’s website at www.sba.bb