Entrepreneurship Resource Centre Opens at Cave Hill

In 2008 The Cave Hill School of Business/UWI was granted a Multilateral Investment Fund grant by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to develop a comprehensive online information portal to promote the creation of new formal micro and small businesses in Barbados as well as facilitate information and access to business development services (BDS) to existing Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME’s). This online presence is to be complemented by a business support facility.

In Barbados, SME development is hindered by inadequate access to credit, limited reach of Business Development Services (BDS) and scarce training programs for entrepreneurs. The SME development system in place in Barbados is characterized by multiple public and private institutions including the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Central Bank of Barbados, Invest Barbados, Fund Access and Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT), among others.

{FILE IMAGE – CAVE HILL VIEW} In the future, the Centre is exploring the establishment of memoranda of understanding with other business schools globally in order to expand and cement linkages worldwide.

These organizations provide a myriad of services, not necessarily coordinated, have limited scope and a large number of the entrepreneurs do not have information on the types of services being provided. There are also a large number of public-owned funds with a multiplicity of requirements to access financial and non-financial BDS. Best practices show that small businesses benefit more when they have adequate information and simple procedures to register a firm and access BDS. Entrepreneurs benefit most when road-maps to formalization are clearly stated, costs are transparent and they have access to training, financial and non-financial technical assistance.

The portal material was developed in consultation with the aforementioned SME financing and business support agencies to focus on the fundamental issues within the SME sector and basic business operational issues, and include: all the registration needs of a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) in Barbados; business plans; budget preparation; interpreting financial statements; book-keeping, accounting and financial management; property ownership; banking and insurance services; company registration process; taxation issues; pertinent legislation; human resources; and information and training on entrepreneurship principles and practices.

It is anticipated that this portal will accelerate the pace of business formation as well as provide an avenue for networking and learning, improving entrepreneurs’ understanding and knowledge of the running of a business, thus ensuring a more sustainable enterprise.

The Entrepreneurship Resource Centre is a space available for entrepreneurs to conduct meetings, make presentations and hold networking events.

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