By Julie Carrington
Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, is hoping that the advice and assistance offered through the Financial Literacy Bureau (FLB) will result in continuity for two and three generations, especially among black businesses.
He made the comment today during a media sensitisation and overview of the FLB, which will be rolled out on Sunday, October 18, at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael.
The Minister told the gathering that historically, most businesses were started and then fall by the wayside after a generation and do not enjoy continuity and this situation must be corrected.
“We, therefore, have to make sure that there is an opportunity for wealth to be created and passed across generations. That business continuity can only come about with the assistance of an entity and in this case, Government is trying to work with businesses to avoid the pitfalls that lead to the collapse of the business enterprises and keep them afloat,” he explained.
Mr. Symmonds said a discussion on wealth creation across generations will be tackled in phase two of the programme, which will be rolled out in primary and secondary schools across the island.
According to the Minister, the programme will be rolled out in community centres and schools in five zones for ease of access. There are the Northern Zone, which included the parishes of St, Lucy, St. Peter and St. Andrew, where participants will utilise Darryl Jordan Secondary School, Checker Hall Community Centre and The Alleyne School.
In the Southern Zone, residents will go to the Christ Church Foundation School, Deighton Griffith Secondary and Briar Hall Community Centre. In the east, Princess Margaret Secondary School and Rices Community Centre will be the venues.
For residents living in the western part of the island, they may interact with officials at Queen’s College, Frederick Smith Secondary School and for residents living in St. Michael, they will proceed to The St. Michael School and the Parkinson Resource Centre, The Pine.
Additionally, residents living in the central parishes of St. Thomas and St. George may use the Lester Vaughn School, St. George Secondary School and Ellerton Community Center.
Mr. Symmonds said the zoning process for the satellite clinics allowed Barbadians to take full advantage of the programme’s modules, which would also be delivered virtually.
Thanking the private sector for its commitment to the programme, he pointed out: “Every banker, every cooperative understands that their clients are a root to their success and they need their clients to come and borrow and have loans that perform. Non-performing loans hurt the financial sector in Barbados and also hurt the borrower and their credit rating.
“So, this is something that is critical to the evolution and strengthening of the Barbadian economy. It is very important that every business is involved and none are treated as too small or too insignificant to be left behind.”
The Small Business Minister said once communities were more conversant about matters of finance, more willing to take risks and form themselves in groupings for investment purposes, the better the recovery process of the Barbados economy would be.
Following the address by the Minister, there was an overview of the FLB by Technical Advisor in the Ministry, David Simpson.