Barbados minister urges entrepreneurs to keep the flame burning

Minister Kerrie Symmonds workshop.

Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, is urging Barbadians if they have a business idea to pursue it with vigour and passion until it comes to fruition.

He offered this advice today to 25 participants enrolled in a four-day workshop on How to Run a Successful Business organised by his ministry in the Lecture Theatre, Warrens Office Complex.

During his address, Symmonds said all entrepreneurs had a common thread – a passion for owning their own business – and cautioned them not to listen to the “naysayers” who are saying they cannot realise their dreams.

“One of the things as Minister that I want to do, is to … get those communities to overcome the age old practice that we have foisted on all our young people where you are told what you cannot and should not do.  The truth of the matter is, as long as you have a dream, you should be encouraged to pursue that dream and give to it the best that you can,” he underlined.The Small Business Minister reasoned that in some instances, entrepreneurs faced many challenges in different areas and he advised them not to “throw away the baby with the bathwater” but to hold on to their ideas.

“Some of the best in the world were told that their ideas cannot work and I can give you the example of the person who created the concept of Fedex.  As the story goes, [the concept was proposed in] a university paper and it was given barely a passing grade but told that it was not possible to happen.

But today, Fedex is one of the biggest businesses in the world and you have to be mindful that as you proceed along the path of life, whatever your calling is…whatever your passion is that you want to pursue, just do it!” Symmonds emphasised.

He added that his Ministry must be a partner for entrepreneurs and gave the undertaking to create ways to “hold their hands” along the journey.  One way of achieving this, Symmonds stressed, was the soon-to-be rolled out Financial Literacy Bureau.

The Minister revealed that the Bureau will be in every community in the island to assist persons who were thinking about owning their own business, or wanted advice on forming a cooperative, to get started.
Mr. Symmonds urged the participants to have a business and marketing plan to ensure the viability of their enterprises over the long turn; plan for their retirement; and invest wisely.