• Richard Blades

What if we got serious about entrepreneurship?

In Barbados, we have been poking at entrepreneurship for some time; both the private and public sector. We have rules in place and the infrastructure for performing at seemingly international standards. However, our professionals are still studying for a grade rather than how to get paid.

Our local stock exchange is regulated however, the management at the helm of public companies don't seem to understand what they can do from a performance standpoint to encourage the increase in the value of the company's stock prices.

Start up ventures, are still seeking to get loans to begin their entities which from the outset puts the business at a disadvantage since before it can gain its foothold in the market, it is burdened with monthly commitments of repaying the financial institutions. These institutions for the most part give the entrepreneurs less than is required, even when they have business plans, to adequately function at the levels in their plans; yet they are expected to perform as if they had received the full quota of funds requested.

This being the case, it made me question, why are we not using the tools available to us adequately. Many know how to use their mobile phones for sharing good times in terms of jokes and events; yet they don't know how to raise capital for their businesses.

Sure we hear the often repeated statements that have been bandied about from time immemorial. The reality however is that businesses need to understand the importance of forming teams of leaders to adequately capitalize on available opportunities to be realized by their collective knowledge, skills and abilities.

Why are most of the businesses going the route of financing for start ups as opposed to investment?

Can you imagine through answering these questions how the business climate just may be different? Here's what I mean:

  • What if businesses got more involved in offering shares as opposed to seeking loans to facilitate their start up and expansion?

  • What if business owners understood how to use ordinary shares and preferred shares for the capital requirements of their businesses?

  • What if business owners developed sound business models that enhanced the businesses in terms of scope and performance?

  • What if businesses had an entity that they could call on to assist them in developing and accessing funding via these processes?

  • What if entrepreneurs no longer needed to rely on banks as their primary source of funding?

Entrepreneurs, through businesses, are seeking to cater to the needs of those they intend to serve. Burdensome policies and practices, hinder the development necessary in these businesses for them to fulfill their often researched roles. Nowadays, when entities try to market themselves through launches/anniversary announcements, they are met my the statutory compliance officers the next working day. Many, the entrepreneurs, are told what they should be paying and to whom, even when they haven't even been paid themselves. They then begin to wonder if it is worth setting up a business where everyone but them who undertook all the risks are paid, and all they have to show for it is the struggle of getting and keeping the doors open. Though a few strive a bit longer in the hopes that things will get better, many businesses fold under the strain.

Business is a team effort! Often, many business owners haven't yet found how they can access this assistance nor who is best suited to help them navigate the waters of uncertainty often found in entrepreneurship. So again we ask - what if we got serious about entrepreneurship?

Share your thoughts with us. Your insights just may help some of our readers.

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