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Cooperatives a good option for small businesses

Article taken from – Barbados Today March 9, 2023

Cooperatives are the way forward for local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) if they want to compete effectively on the international market, says General Manager of the Trust Loan Fund (BTFL), Gerald “Jerry” Amos.

Addressing a meet and greet for 15 businesses in MANUFEST, a manufacturing incubator programme who are now enrolled in the Export Barbados’ Voyager Academy, Amos said the time had come for local businesses to seriously consider investing in cooperative arrangements with other entities, as such moves would greatly increase the sustainability and viability of small businesses.

The participants in the first group out of the MANUFEST export certification programme are now in this new export initiative and are benefiting from additional training in the new academy to help them increase their capacity to be truly export-ready.

Amos told the attendees on Wednesday: “The BTFL has recognized the benefit of entrepreneurs and MSMEs coming together to form cooperatives throughout Barbados and the region. The Barbados Trust Fund has envisaged this cooperative initiative to allow like-minded clients to form cooperative entities to become self-sufficient and offer support in their effort to increase brand awareness for their respective businesses and further their professional business development,” he explained.

Amos explained that MANUFEST will serve as the first push in helping to kick-start a number of local cooperative entities, which in turn will increase the export viability for future products and services.

“Cooperatives can be the catalyst for many MSMEs and entrepreneurs seeking to franchise and export their products and services. The proposed cooperative entities will be formed from within the cluster established by Barbados Trust Fund Limited, which will allow clients to approach business ventures and the rising opportunities as a single business entity that would share the cost benefits and risks associated with forthcoming projects and business opportunities.”

He added: “To help streamline this push, we have on board a dedicated resource person to facilitate and organise the formation of such groupings of businesses passing through the MANUFEST programme.” (SB)


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