FOREWORD Welcome to the inaugural issue of Evolving Business: a one of a kind magazine for entrepreneurs and about entrepreneurship development. With its broad scope of topics, the magazine is dedicated to a challenge rather than to a topic or an intersection of topics. This challenge is to create employment for young people while contributing to sustainable economic growth. In contributing to a solution, we need to understand how businesses are started and sustained and the necessary skills needed to enable this.
CARDELL FERGUSSON General Manager, Barbados Youth Business Trust, Equity House, Pinfold Street, St. Michael, Barbados E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twenty years ago, the Barbados Youth Business Trust was started to improve the social and economic conditions of young, underserved persons between the ages of 1835 years old. Our successful business strategy has been providing an integrated package of business mentoring, start-up loans and grants and other developmental support services to this target group. BYBT is a founding member of the YBI Network and the Barbados host of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) initiative. GEW is undertaken in collaboration with business support organizations aimed at inspiring people to embrace entrepreneurship. Barbados Youth Business Trust promotes Youth Entrepreneurship Development by providing persons with the necessary tools to start up a business. We offer the following: • Business start-up capital as a lender of last resort • Business support grants in the following categories: Go and See, Feasibility and Educational Grants • Business Mentoring • Business Services – Practical Business Training, Personal Development, Networking, Marketing & Promotion, Advocacy / Lobbying, Community
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Engagement/Outreach, Internships, Access to Co-working Space and Training Facilities Today, we start a new phase in the development of entrepreneurship which reacts to the changing environment in which we operate. There are currently a number of organizations across Barbados and the world that address the unemployment problem. Yet, despite making great strides and growing interest in entrepreneurship, wide gaps continue to prevent us from achieving greater successes. In this situation, the mission of Evolving Business is to foster a greater understanding of how entrepreneurship can assist in solving the challenge of youth unemployment. In doing this, the magazine will provide sound solutions to key questions. E.g.: What components are necessary to support sustainable start-up businesses? What do entrepreneurs need to start-up and expand? How do we use innovation and technology in business? The inaugural issue includes several interesting articles. We will publish topical areas and the viewpoint of the entrepreneurs while giving insights into the challenges that are being faced on the path to entrepreneurial success. We are very interested in your views, so tell us what you think and what you would like to find out about. I would like to take this opportunity to thank many people who created this magazine and who made it happen. The list includes all current eaditorial team, the entrepreneurs and partners, the BYBT team, and many others. In particular, my greatest thanks are due to Mrs. Nicole Niles and all at Caribbean Dreams Magazine for their tireless support. We appreciate the time and energy that was put into this.
EDITOR'S NOTE The year is 2017 and to say that business is evolving is now a gross understatement! In this age of globalization, the boundaries which once existed are now a thing of the past; small businesses and young entrepreneurs can now fight alongside the corporate giants from the basements of their homes, their back yards or small offices to gain rewards on a leveled playing field.
EDITORIAL Nicole Forde-Niles
DESIGN Caribbean Dreams Publishing
The acclaim of such companies, individuals & brands is well documented: Facebook, Yahoo & Google were conceptualized in dorm rooms; Apple & Hewlett Packard started at home in a garage; and these billion dollar successes are now celebrated from their humble beginnings.
CONTRIBUTORS Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme Fund Access Scotia Bank Gregory Fergusson Jerry DaC Blenman Donna Every Kimberley Sandiford Richard Dixon
ADVERTISING David Niles
PUBLISHER Caribbean Dreams Publishing
NICOLE FORDE - NILES Editor, Evolving Business Caribbean Dreams Publishing
While this fledgling flight may seem impossible to some, to those that embody the entrepreneurial dream, their moment in time is simply around the corner. The endless possibilities and the desire to reach the stars keeps them awake at night. Forcing them to toss and turn, relishing in the thought of the success to come in the days ahead. But it's not simply the passion that drives entrepreneurs, itâ€™s the desire to be apart of greatness, to learn from others, to be a part of the network, to showcase their unique skills or talents and live their dreams. On the heels of the 50th year of Independence of Barbados, the island is poised to looks towards excellence, sustainability, environmental protection, preservation of heritage and the investment in human capital. So too must the light be shone on the innovations and the growth of the local entrepreneurial spirit and the small business community in Barbados be lauded, highlighted and extolled. Finally, as your business evolves, remember this is not a sprint but a marathon, embrace the failures that will come and use them as the stepping stones to future growth, always to believe in your self, and never stop dreaming.
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CONTENTS " OUR END GOAL IS NOT TO BE JUST KNOWN AS THE T-SHIRT GUYS WE WANT TO CREATE A FULL BRAND." Jamar Odwin Azure Studios
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THE START UP
From Idea to Enterprise 08 Tips to get your small business off the ground
10 Making a Mark: Azure
15 The Honest Hustle
MANAGING YOUR BUSINESS 18 Fundamentals for fortifying business finances
24 6 ways that small business owners can stay motivated
26 10 Inspirational Business Quotes for Small Business Owners
28 Making a Mark: Supreme Delights
34 The Internship 35 Too fast for the long ride
PLOTTING YOUR FUTURE
37 if success is a choice do some of us choose to fail?
38 WINC Acceleration Programme
40 Making a Mark: M.Grafix 44 BYBT Activities E V O LV I N G B U S I N E S S - 5
BARBADOS YOUTH BUSINESS TRUST
MS. SELMA GREEN Manager, Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme in the Division of Youth, Ministry of Culture, Sports & Youth leads a vibrant team of full time and consulting staff at the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme to provide critical business solutions for young entrepreneurs to enable them to be formidable drivers of economic development, job creation, innovation and social change
The future growth and competitiveness of Barbados depends on preparing our young people to be critical thinkers who are entrepreneurial, skilled, innovative and highly motivated to capitalize on entrepreneurship opportunities especially in high growth sectors such as Agriculture, Health and Wellness, Cultural Industries, Sports Tourism and Information Technology to generate significant economic impact. In Barbados, we continue to grapple with rising youth unemployment and I see the the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) as an excellent response to not only addressing this burning issue but also empowering, connecting and advocating for young entrepreneurs. YES and BYBT share a common purpose of empowering young people to create wealth and generate the solutions to youth employment since they are uniquely positioned to innovate, create change and actively contribute to development in meaningful ways. YES provides a suite of service to meet the critical business development needs of young entrepreneurs including access to finance. As a consequence, YES and BYBT have enjoyed a long and productive partnership dating back to 1995 when these two organisations were formed and worked synergistically to support the advancement of young entrepreneurs and the development of youth-led businesses. Our success in promoting Youth Entrepreneurship to date has been founded on our strategic partnership and YES is pleased to be a part of collaborative efforts with BYBT to provide ready
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access to affordable micro start-up capital to scale up youth-owned businesses As Manager of YES, it gives me great pleasure to endorse the BYBT and the tremendous work it has been doing in Barbados and across the region to promote youth entrepreneurship. I am delighted that this organisation has answered the call and acted on the expressed need of young entrepreneurs for assistance in particular early stage financing, mentoring and business development support. I wish the Management and staff of BYBT every success with the launch of this publication and with its efforts to support a new generation of entrepreneursâ€ŚBlessings!
WHAT IS THE YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP SCHEME (YES)? YES empowers young people to acquire profitable and sustainable micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with a view to stimulating the productive sector through income generation and job creation. It is a research-led entrepreneurial development system that integrates a wide range of programmes and tailors products and services to meet the diverse needs of young entrepreneurs. The YES programme is comprehensive, flexible, culturally sensitive, integrated and collaborative. Resources are brought together through collaboration with government, private sector technical partners, funding and business development agencies and communities to stimulate and encourage Youth Entrepreneurship.
STARTUP FROM IDEA TO ENTERPRISE
TIPS TO GET YOUR SMALL BUSINESS OFF THE GROUND
MAKING A MARK
T H E S TA R T U P
FROM I DEA TO ENTERPRISE
TIPS TO GET YOUR SMALL BUSINESS OFF THE GROUND BY SCOTIA BANK
Develop a sound business plan Successful entrepreneurs do a lot of background research before they sell their products and services. A business plan pulls it all together. Your plan should include: The type of business you are creating.
Get your finances in order
Keep your overhead low
Learn from the experts
The goals of your business – both shortand long-term. How you intend to accomplish those goals. An understanding of the marketplace, the competition, and your potential customers. How you intend to finance your business. Try Scotiabank’s interactive Scotia Plan Writer for business®. Find it under the Small Business tab at barbados.scotiabank.com
Invest in your own education Self-education could be as specific as learning how the latest piece of software can help your business. Or it could be mastering the different skills you’ll need to run your business, such as marketing, finance, and customer service. The more you can learn about the overall operations of your business, the better your decisions will be - particularly if you run a smaller company that requires you to take more than one role.
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Save as much money as you can before you start your business; you may need to draw on your savings in the early stages. You should also establish and maintain a good credit history, which will help you when you need to borrow money for your business.
There are many stories of entrepreneurs starting out in their garages until they have built up their business. Starting small and keeping your costs low lets you make mistakes on a much smaller scale and gives you the time to learn from them. Email and the Internet make it easy to start your business from your home.
Take advantage of the expertise of an accountant and business banker. An accountant can help you with the books, find ways to keep your costs low, and do your tax return. Your business banker will be able to guide you on cash flow, the use of credit, investments, and borrowing, among other things. He or she can also share best business practices.
S E R U AZ MARK
EVOLVING BUSINESS How do you find the
Ask Azure Studios
Their brands - influenced
founders, Jamar Odwin,
by TV, pop culture, social
24, and Daniel Nicholas,
media & anime have
25, where they expect to
gained publicity though
be in ten years and they
endorsements by the
will say, “revolutionizing
Barbadian Social Media
the world of graphic
sensation Seth "Xcel"
design”. With their
Bovell, and increased
creative minds, eye for
visibility though the
detail and bursting with
passion for what they do,
television program Bank
the team can expect to
on Me. Recently they
achieve this goal well in
shared their thoughts on
DANIEL NICHOLAS There's a certain satisfaction
advance of that. Since
their future, the struggles
2012, Azure, a graphic
of entrepreneurship and
and t-shirt design firm
the positive influences,
has been producing its
which continue to help
Animelove, D’Culture and
to grow their Evolving
in entrepreneurship, it allows you to more or less set your own rules, it gives you an outlet to try new things and to push yourself. I couldn't have gotten where I am now without Jamar so it allowed me an avenue to do new things I never thought about. It is really an eye-opening experience.
their signature OdBo!h
(pronounced: odd boy) lines for the masses.
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garment industry is going currently for small business sector? JAMAR ODWIN I think there is more that can be
done, we try as much as possible to use locally made shirts or dresses but unfortunately more and more persons are exposed to things from overseas, traveling and shopping online and they want the quality of garment they get overseas. We like River Bay because that allows us to have a quality 100% Barbadian garment. Would you suggest entrepreneurship to others and if so why?
S O I D U ST
T H E S TA R T U P
Do you enjoy being your own boss? JO For me it's not about
being my own boss there’s a certain joy you get when someone gets to purchase their first Odbo!h or Deculture shirt. We recently had a lady who brought 2 shirts for herself and 1 for a friend and she was in the car park screaming… because she just felt so excited; From there it went to selfies "I got my deCulture shirt! What are you doing with your life?" WoW! There's a certain joy you get when someone purchases something new. DN For me personally its
getting to do what I want. I quite enjoy designing a lot. I'm pretty good at it and there's a feeling of seeing something created that you share with so many people and then getting to see their reaction as Jamar said. I remember the 1st time we sold an OdBo!h shirt it was at school and someone came along and saw the shirt and said "I really like that shirt can I buy it?" Yes. So, Jamar had to giveup something he wanted just to give someone else joy. That's something special that we get, that feeling is really important to us.
FROM I DEA TO ENTERPRISE
JO It is always
important when in a partnership to know your partner's strengths and weaknesses. For us we are both good at what we do but honestly when I first met Daniel I thought "Wow this guy is great." Because he just had this patience about him this design skill that I think was lacking in himself but I know when it comes to maybe having certain meetings I will meet with the persons, get the information, I will build that relationship and Daniel takes design lead. Yes, there are certain times when I would take design lead so it is to honestly know your partner’s strengths and weaknesses in order to make the business grow. DN For myself like Jamar
said it's like a contrast, I'm not good with numbers but he is. If I was to describe our partnership he would be the brain and I would be the heart, so its really good when you find someone who shares the passion and who wants to achieve something good. It's a good experience. What advice would you give to others with entrepreneurial dreams? DN I would say follow
How difficult is it work together as partners, as a young men and as a small business.
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it! Have determination, you aren't always going to succeed the way you think; and you wouldn't always fail the way you
T H E S TA R T U P
FROM I DEA TO ENTERPRISE
"FAILURE IS ONE PART OF THE JOURNEY, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT NOT TO SEE IT AS A DETERRENT. SEE IT AS A STEPPING-STONE TO YOUR SUCCESS." think; so every time you are met with adversity just move forward. Every dream is important enough, just go with it! JO Honestly and truthfully failure
is one part of the journey, but it's important not to see it as a deterrent. See it as a steppingstone to your success. It may not be what you want to do or may not be your favorite solution but there are the things that happen to entrepreneurs. Things don't always go well but it's up to you to decide that you will find a way to turn a negative into a positive or just walk out and let the business die because one thing didn't go your way.
What obstacles have you over come along the way?
consignment when we first started. And they still prefer that now. Do you intend to have your own equipment for screen printing. DN Hopefully in the future Yes.
Do you have a motto or mantra that guides your activities?
JO The plan is to own our own
JO Azure has its own motto
screen printing equipment, hopefully have our own vinyl printing equipment, our own laser printers for regular documents and stuff and if we can have actually our own manufacturing as well that would be pretty good.
"Where design meets creativity"
Do you manufacture clothing as well or do you just do the printing?
DN That was one of our major
problems when we got started convincing people that this product is something for you to invest in, that is good value for money. JO Our stores were mostly on
DN I feel like most of what we
did came from our partnership where design meets creativity, where creativity meets design whichever way you want to spin it. It's honestly all about us and it’s about what we built together.
How do you deal with the negative influences? DN I feel there's always going
to be someone who doesn't particularly like your work. But for us that not really something that we focus on because we can't please everyone and whether or not they say “nay” we are going to say “yea”, so we just keep pushing through it. How did your mentor contribute to your success?
Tell us about your unique logos.
DN Currently we only do the
printing, it's something we are looking to in the future...
JO One of the biggest problems
was just getting the product out there. Persons would say, "its very nice but we prefer to bring in the stuff from overseas that people are more familiar with".
because there’s that person who likes the brand but who isn’t really a t-shirt person. So, we are trying to create something that is there for everyone.
own slogan - "Made For You By Us", not to be likened to the FUBU brand. When we started we wanted to create garments for persons “just like us” who were studying; young adults who like to go out but can't afford to purchase a $85 shirt each time. We wanted to create something for them because we know what they are going through
JO All our brands have their
own logos. But Odbo!h is the only one that has its
JO Our end goal is not to
be just known as the t-shirt guys we want to create a full brand like billabong or Quiksilver. We want to get to the point where we have a full range of garments (t-shirts, swimwear, button-up shirts)
E V O LV I N G B U S I N E S S - 1 3
T H E S TA R T U P
FROM I DEA TO ENTERPRISE
JO He was there with us in the
beginning when we needed him most. We told himâ€Śwe wanted in a mentor, we wanted someone who would guide us not spoon feed us, so he was there to ask the necessary questions so that we could find the right answers ourselves.
done and even now she still supports us. Additionally friends have always been like "hey I like what you are doing and you should keep doing it, cause you can go far with it". So we push every day knowing that we have people who believe in us and think that what we are doing is a good thing.
DN Mr. Pitts has been very helpful. It
JO Varia Williams from Mustard Seed
was a very good experience, he gave us the information that we needed to successfully run our business on our own so we thank him. Jamar: I think that actually now he would be really proud of us as well.
Productions was our first client. She walked into one of our classes at BCC and she originally wanted a poster done for one of her plays and everyone in the class was just looking aroundlike, â€œWho's going to be the person to say yes?" I signaled to Daniel, we went outside, discussed it with her and from then on I think she has been one of the main reasons we have been able to grow and develop to where we are today.
How has the support from your friends and family helped you to grow? DN When we started my Aunt
Maureen, she has always been supportive, she gave me half of the money I needed to start-up with Jamar and she didn't expect anything in return. She lives overseas but that does stop her from supporting us. She has always believed in what I have 1 4 - E V O LV I N G B U S I N E S S
who have said that they seen the stuff somewhere but weren't sure where to find it and because he has such a great presence it has allowed as to reach more persons who may have known about the brand but not known how to find the brand. How would you describe the whole experience working with the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT)? JO BYBT has definitely helped us
from the get go. With business plans, mentors and that sort of stuff.
How do you promote your brand? JO We have a new partnership with
Seth "Xcel" Bovell where he wears some of our stuff in his videos and tag Azure studio. We actually have persons
Azure Studios' clothing lines can be found at the Blu Motion Skate Shop in Sheraton Mall and Sneakerheads in Mall 34. Email them at email@example.com for more information.
Follow Azure Studios on Instagram: @azurestudiosbb @theodboihwayoflife
T H E S TA R T U P
FROM I DEA TO ENTERPRISE
HONEST HU$TLE BY GREGORY FERGUSSON
The process to building a sustainable business calls for a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Over the years, I’ve come to an even greater appreciation for those who decide to chart this path in their lives. It is truly a source of inspiration for younger persons building their dreams and reaching their full potential. From what I’ve seen, each phase of development in business is important not just for the business but for the individual to grow with and learn from. Forbes describes seven (7) steps for how businesses which is aimed
at getting persons up and running in a much more timely manner. One of the overarching processes across these seven steps seems to be “the hustle” where you learn a lot more about yourself, your business and develop many critical competencies. Many successful business persons around the world all agree that business planning is at the core of their journey but something else which seems to a key characteristic early on is what I refer to as “the hustle”. Officially, the dictionary describes it as something negative but many of us in the Caribbean associate the word with working
hard which comes with an inner purpose and drive to be better. Here at the Barbados Youth Business Trust, we have seen many persons over the years grow in success while others failed even though they had great ideas, support and sound planning. It made me wonder why? So I did some digging to analyse the various persons whom I had come into contact with, along with other stories of business persons around the region and the world. One day someone mentioned how they had to “hustle” early on to make ends meet and it made E V O LV I N G B U S I N E S S - 1 5
T H E S TA R T U P
FROM I DEA TO ENTERPRISE
THE HUSTLE Officially, the dictionary describes it as something negative but many of us in the Caribbean associate the word with working hard which comes with an inner purpose and drive to be better.
me think. Hmmm is that it? Sure enough, I did observe that many persons lacked that willingness, drive or inner motivation to succeed at all costs. It called for much sacrifice and oftentimes they described the loneliness that comes with it. Out of that realization came the hypothesis: Is it critical to the success of businesses? The hustle shows everyone that you’re serious, purpose-driven and dependable. And the search continues . . .
Forbes lists these steps to efficiently starting your business
DETERMINE YOUR OFFERING AND MARKET DEMAND
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2 3 4 5 6 7
DETERMINE YOUR PRICING
DETERMINE HOW LONG IT IS GOING TO TAKE TO MAKE YOUR 1ST SALE
DETERMINE YOUR DIFFERENTIATOR
LEARN HOW TO SELL
LEARN HOW TO EXECUTE THE STEPS NEEDED TO TAKE PROJECT TO COMPLETION
Steps 1 to 5 speak to planning, step 6 speaks to trying it out and the 7th step is about doing. It is at this point we know the hustle is on. Many businesses seem to fail there. Execution! Bloomberg says that 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months. Most of them would have said things are hard or they need more money and cash ran out but we all know that the signs were all there long before. Essentially, things like not truly listening to your customers, lacking sufficient product differentiation, failure to communicate value propositions adequately, breakdown in effective leadership (yes – “founder dysfunction”) and your inability to pinpoint a viable model with proven revenue streams. I’m saying we should combat these things early on with the hustle. You plan, you learn and you execute! It’s a loop. So embrace the hustle.
BUSINESS FUNDAMENTALS FOR FORTIFYING
MAKING A MARK
FOR THE LONG RIDE
YO U R B U S I N E S S
BUSINESS FINANCES BY JERRY DaC BLENMAN
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The economic realities of today are unique, and without question, are among the most daunting of times we have seen in our era. So, whether you have been financially prudent or not one thing is very apparent, the events of the past three years within global financial and economic markets have resulted in considerable pressure on economies, businesses and households. Among the key concerns across all spectrums has been the management of a very volatile economic environment where the issue of sustainability has been causing governments, business owners and individuals much concern. In reality, the world is in crisis and in need of brave souls that will give birth to a level of thinking and creativity that will rescue vulnerable nations from further levels of poverty while establishing platforms of growth and a sustainable future that outlives them and positions future generations for continued growth. It is important therefore that the conversation of the imminent future be not limited to a rehash of the challenges facing businesses, our nation and by extension the region, but instead extended to urgent address of actions aimed at minimizing further threats to our economic and social wellbeing. Clearly among these have been the inadequacies of financial resources manifested primarily in weak cash flows to meet imminent needs at domestic, business and governmental levels. It is therefore important that we keep before us one little question -
WHY DO CASH-FLOW CHALLENGES OCCUR? In addressing the subject of cash flow management and its importance to stabilizing and creating future opportunities for investment, I wish to share some
principles (fundamentals) which great grandma and great grandpa applied to the managing of their finance which significantly contributed to the fortification of business and personal resources both in and during crisis periods. 101 years ago when the idea of managing finances was not as sophisticated as it is now, great-grandma and great grandpa sat one afternoon and decided they had to find a way to make ends meet. It was my dad’s fortunate privilege to have been visiting that afternoon. The story passed down to me. Grandma’s immediate comment as they sat to meet that afternoon was “Don’t rush de brush, ya may throw away de paint.” – grand pa agreed. It was not a lot of money, but they recognized that they needed to have a plan and that haste could make waste. Well the story follows that grand-ma said “let us keep $5 under the bed like we usually do”, that was her liquidity plan, “put $6 aside to buy ‘goods’” as groceries were called in that day, “send $10 down to Barclays and the other $7 we will send to the Civic as the nestegg for Christmas shopping.”
F U N D A M E N TA L
O N E
FORECAST & BUDGET They had a plan and they also had a budget. It allowed then to analyze what money they had and what they could do with it. Among the questions they most probably asked were:
WILL WE HAVE A BALANCED BUDGET?
WILL WE HAVE A DEFICIT OR SURPLUS?
HOW WILL WE COVER THE DEFICIT?
WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THE SURPLUS?
This in essence allowed them to allocate money appropriately that they did not have to withdraw inappropriately. When they put money down it was for a purpose and the long haul. With the remaining money
E V O LV I N G B U S I N E S S - 1 9
YO U R B U S I N E S S
left, grandma was adamant “we got ta make ends meet” and she would emphasize among her household “don’t hang ya hat where ya hand can reach” They understood that central to the fortification of a successful and progressive financial future was the management of cost, and that it was not embedded in some mystical or illusionary frame as some would have us believe, but alternatively rooted in common sense principals, which if managed, would serve them well and be the bedrock of survival in and out of business and or economic shocks. From grandpa and grandma’s plan and a budget, they knew well that if they took a “six for a nine” they would have a deficit. For them their budget was:
A tool for taking some control of the use of their money.
It provided them with a snap shot of the outcomes of income earned.
It was their guide to expense allocation and an indicator of expense shortfalls.
It provided insight into their ability to engage in saving and investment activities.
It also helped them to exercise some restraint to impulse (spontaneous) spending on the new coal pots that Fogarty was selling or on the broad rim hats that were at the 5 and 10 store on Swan Street.
In essence it was their guide to understanding what they could achieve and when as well as an indicator of their ability to meet emergency expenses.
It was a plan for achieving financial stability, success and peace of mind.
As granma paid her bills each month and bought groceries she would always insists on getting her bill, which she would take and push through a solid piece of wire. It was her record of spending and dare anyone mess with it ‘less they experience a backlash from grandma’s left hand.
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F U N D A M E N TA L
T W O
Grandma and grandpa were very emphatic that “ya can’t spend what ya don’t have or don’t count ya chickens before they hatch.” They were of the view that spending what you have not yet earned was dangerous and should not be entertained. Moreover, they believed that every cent had to count and that saving cents made $ense. Grandpa would often say “Yuh head ain’t mek fuh hat alone - use your common sense”. They were of the view that: It isn’t always the dollars we earn that determine our capacity to create wealth, it is more often or not the cents we save.
will find success. And another thing, “It en’ de gun dat does kill yuh, it is de shot.” “But what do you mean by that?” my dad asked – they replied “It is usually the small problems, not the big ones that cause the most difficulty.” “Son, you planned when you were going to build that nice house, and you also planned and had a budget when you were about to go off to study - tek we foolish advise – make hay while the sun shine and set aside something for a rainy day”. After hearing grandma and grandpa on the matter of budgeting and cost management my dad was so intrigue that he asked them, “but what about having a solid cash flow? Where does this come from?” The immediate response was “smart and safe investing.”
Seventy-five people throwing away a cent every minute equals $1,080 a day or $394,200 a year. Seventy-five people saving a cent every minute also equals $1,080 a day or $394,200 a year. Don’t throw away your $ense. Some of the most profitable companies in the world trade in products that cost no more than 100 cents. Coke, Pepsi, Wrigley’s Chewing Gum, Financial Times. Hope this makes $ense. The arithmetic calculation throughout history of moving from 99 cents to a dollar was adding 1 cent. The common sense calculation of moving from 99 cents to a dollar today is saving 1 cent.
F U N D A M E N TA L
F U N D A M E N TA L
“Now on smart investing this we will say to you It don’t tek a big axe tuh cut down a big tree, in other words - Size, or lack of it, does not limit capabilities – IT IS HOW YOU MANAGE WHAT YOU HAVE."
There is a cost attached to investing whether it is in a stock market instrument, business venture real estate or otherwise. It is important you pay attention to the cost associated with your investment as it will dilute your return on investment.
If you are investing in business, the upfront cost is typically in the form of set up expenses, legal and related fees and stock purchase. The higher the cost the lower the ROI and payback period. You will therefore have to wait for a longer period to realize a respectable return or get back your upfront cost
In essence therefore pay attention to the upfront and carrying cost of your investments as “Oneone blows does kill ole cow and what may seem like a trivial irritation may create a catastrophe if repeated often enough.
T H R E E
Moving off of the principles of budgeting and cost management, dad recalled them saying, “there is a little something we want to tell you son” they said, “If rain water en’ full yuh barrel, dew water can’ full it” in other words - If you did not successfully convert the opportunities offered in your life, it is unlikely that when there are less, or no opportunities available, that you
F O U R
Pay close attention to the sector and companies you chose to invest in. Your investment is unlikely to perform better than the sector or the company.
Wha’ hurt turkey don’ hurt duck - What may pose a problem for one company may not have that effect on another. As well, sectors perform differently under similar circumstances. Ask some question about the sector : •
How effective is the particular sector for investment compared to others (e.g. oil sector is likely to result in a higher return that craft sector) Is the sector likely to survive a catastrophe?
F U N D A M E N TA L
F I V E
SMART INVESTING “So granma, what about safe investing?” This is where grandma took full control of the conversation and became very passionate. She said “it is the principle of longevity, why do you think gran gran live to see the great grans? Mek sure better than cock-sure - It is better to make absolutely sure that everything is all right rather than assume that all is well.” Manage the Risk associated with the investment and you are likely to realize a better return. Then she started to rattle off:
“Bucket gine up and down in well evah day, de bottom boun’ tuh drop out.” - Sustained pressure and exertion will eventually lead to a breakdown. If things are beginning to look bad in an industry, “don’t wait until de horse get out de stable to shut de door”, in other words, don’t wait until the situation gets out of control to then take corrective action. This she reinforced by emphasizing that:
“Crow does fly high, but when ‘e come down, de ants does still eat out ‘e eye.” You may be enjoying great prosperity, but keep a close eye on market developments as if things surface and you don’t anticipate it, you are likely to suffer severely.
“BUCKET GINE UP AND DOWN IN WELL EVAH DAY, DE BOTTOM BOUN’ TUH DROP OUT.” If things are beginning to look bad in an industry don’t wait until the situation gets out of control to then take corrective action
Establish a risk-aversion structure before you commence you investment activity – immediately she got up broke an egg and put in
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the pan to fry and said very affirmatively “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
“Leave some to eat.” I call that liquidity.
“Put some to hatch...” I call that medium term investment “but hear me again, don’t count the chickens before they hatch”.
The Objective of a risk-aversion structure is to: Spread investments between low, medium and high risk instruments
“Put some to sell to the supermarket...” I call that speculation and high risk, because some may get broken along the way, “and if ya frighten to lose eggs then leave out the supermarket, because egg ain’t got no right at rockstone dance In other words, you should avoid situations which can be harmful to you.
Ensure there is a large percentage of investments in safe and liquid instruments with an acceptable return (provides a good base for investment portfolio) Provide for a percentage of investments in instruments that provide for solid income and capital appreciation
In essence son what I am suggesting you do is create a Risk Aversion Financial Pyramid.
Keep level of speculative and high risk investments in check.
INCOME & LONG TERM GROWTH
LIQUIDITY & SAFETY
Structure your portfolio on the principle “The Higher the return the higher the associated risk” and remember “When a bird fly too fast he does fly pas’ ‘e nest” It is never wise to be overly ambitious.
“Son it is time you hurry on home but as you leave ponder on this: While we paid close attention to managing our finances we also considered it very necessary we invested in the following:
Recognize Risk & Return as two major considerations for managing surplus - Yuh can’ plant yam and reap eddoe.
Risk is the chance that other than the expected outcome may occur.
Stand-alone risk–associated with an investment held by itself. Portfolio Risk – associated with a combination of investments.
After their much pontification, grandma and grandpa recognizing the time said to my dad,
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The futures market – “we invested in your education and I proud of you. You are our futures market.” We invested in community and neighborliness “That is why I could have saved a cent – you see my burglar bars were my neighbors and when I needed a little salt they were there to help –we planted food as projects – they planted bananas and I had breadfruits – so there was no need to buy these things – we just exchanged them – my grandmother, bless her in her grave, called it barter. We invested in what we call the cottage industry and made home seasoning, smocking and yes the very clothes that we wore – where you think these emerging fashion designers like your daughter in
the BYBT program got her skills from – it was in the great great grandparents blood.
Finally we invested in balanced lives – we knew that life was not all physical, intellectual and social, but also spiritual and so the ten commandments, Psalm 23 and many other scriptural values became the bedrock for our principled business activities. We did not go around killing and robbing people to get money. We worked.
“Son, I may not have ma teet, but I got my sanity and my money – Use the $10 I just give ya and put it ta work. I expect when I talk to ya again that it would have grown to at least $12. Get home safe and tell ya wife good night fa me.” With that my dad said thank you to grandma and grandpa and off he went, a wiser man. Thank God for grandmas and grandpas.
BANN E R S , S IG N S , C A N V A S P R IN T S , V
E H IC L E G R A P H IC S , G RA PH IC DE SI G N, TE E SH IR TS , PR IN TI NG , FE AT HE R/ FL UT TE R BA NN ER LI CE NC E PL AT ES , PR S O M O TI O NA L DI SP LAYS , BA NN ER ST B ut to ns , na m e ta gs AN DS , pr in te d ri
bb on , la be ls Tel:429-9708 Fa x: 43 653 55 E m ai l:firstname.lastname@example.org Sinckle r ro ad , H ag ga tt H al l, St. Michael, Barbados.
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6 WAYS THAT SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS CAN STAY MOTIVATED Being your own boss can often be a rewarding experience, but that’s not to say that it wont be a difficult journey.
Re evaluate your current goals and set new ones
as many of us are can also be a daunting task. Small businesses face a myriad of challenges, on a day to day basis that at times
dwarf the challenges of our larger
State exactly what you want to accomplish, (Who, what, where, why)
business counterparts. And it has happened to us all, the tasks pile
Measurable - How will you determine the extent to which this goal has been met.
up, the bills pile on, the team is not performing, the deadlines
Achievable Goals are challenging but still within your business capabilities to achieve.
are swiftly approaching and the and stress
Relevant & Realistic - How does the end point meet with your overall objectives, can it be done with your resources and responsibilities.
piles on , causing us to loose our focus our drive and our
Time Bound – How will I track my progress? Give each goal a target date for timely completion (set deadlines, phases, and frequency where necessary.)
motivation to carry on. If this is something that you and your team have experienced then these tips may be helpful to move forward, while motivating others in the workplace.
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If you are the lone wolf, you can still find motivation by reading about the challenges of others. Read the stories of Milton Hershey, he opened 3 candy companies that failed before founding Hersheys; Steve Jobs, who was fired from his own company; Walt Disney – once fired from a newspaper because “he lacked creativity” or Bill Gates, whose first business called Traf-O-Data was a flop. All familiar names with inspiring small business to great success stories. Ted Talks is also furbished with inspiring stories to help get the mind in gear, try Eddie Obeng – The World After Midnight.
If you are feeling unmotivated it may be as a result of vague, unattainable & immeasurable goals. Goals should always be SMART.
the chief cook and bottle washer
that support network.
Network! Network! Network! Seek to access a network of like minds - other small businesses who understand your challenges or have overcome similar issues. Its comforting and inspiring to know that you are not alone. Consider joining the SBA, BYBT, YES, BMA or other associations to find
Try a new approach Review and assess your standard practices and routines. Is there room for improvements? It may be time for a welcome change - the same routine can lead to boredom and lost motivation.
Reflect on the Journey Confucious once said that “…we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection…” SO take a moment to reflect on the reason you first decided to start your
business, how far you have come and how much you have already accomplished overall â€“ sometimes its about the big picture. Congratulate yourself and your team on each small achievement, itâ€™s a great way to get excited to keep on going! Congrats - Its celebration time!
Take care of Yourself Running a fortune 500 company and
owning a small business may be more similar that you expect, both can be high stress environments, where decisions can make or break the company. A single working day for a small business can often times stretch into tomorrow, however work and success should not be to the detriment of your physical & mental health and well being. Take the time to take care of YOU! Unplug, unwind and exercise regularly to stay fresh and condition that body for the long days ahead.
Find an Accountability Partner Much like a small business network, a cheerleader or two can go a long way. These accountability partners; can lend support on a hard day; hold your hand through the tough times; challenge you to stay focused or give you an earful when you slack off. We often times stay motivated if we feel accountable someone other than ourselves.
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10 INSPIRATIONAL BUSINESS QUOTES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS “Small businesses represent an ideal at the heart of our nation’s promise- that with ingenuity and hard work, anyone can build a better life.” PRESIDENT OBAMA
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” NELSON MANDELA
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” BILL GATES
4.“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” THOMAS EDISON
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“An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hopping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.” ROY ASH
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” WINSTON CHURCHILL
“Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.” RONALD REGAN
“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” RICHARD BRANSON
“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.” THOMAS WATSON
“Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” WILLIAM DURANT E V O LV I N G B U S I N E S S - 2 7
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SUPREME DELIGHTS Supreme Delights has been delighting the taste buds of local confectionary connoisseurs since early 2015. This tasty, family run business, was conceptualized by Corey Boyce - the owner and manager of the award winning organization.
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Their offering is extensive and customers can select from a wide range of traditional confectioneries including nut cakes, tamarind balls, glassies and cookies. However, their best seller, and main attraction, is their old fashioned sugar cake – with a twist… An 18 flavour twist! – Ranging from plain or spicey, to rum and raisin, berries and cherries, sorrel and his latest edition sea moss. Supported by his mother Joanna Boyce and girlfriend Anesha Francis, the company continues to bloom with plans to expand in the near future. Read about his journey, struggles and successes as he moved from idea to enterprise.
EVOLVING BUSINESS Why did you decide to
become an entrepreneur?
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then I will look to get back into juices, pastries and the food truck. I would like at least a kitchen in the truck itself, where we can go and cook on location.
COREY BOYCE I started work as a chef when I left
PomMarine however it was always seasonal and from 2010 through 2014 I found myself unemployed. When I couldn’t find work I thought to get a food truck to put on the road but I didn't know how to go about getting it done, so I made some calls. I called the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) and YES (Youth entrepreneurship scheme). What I wanted was a loan to get the vehicle to on the road but they didn't do loans like that. What they did was help me start the business.
How would you describe your experience working with BYBT?
Why this particular field?
What hurdles have you had to overcome while managing your business?
The idea was actually suggested from my officer at YES. (They) suggested that rather than starting with something big and putting myself in debt with the food truck - start small and build big. Why not start with the confectionery, grow the business and branch off into food once we get to that level. We gave it a try and persons liked it and everything just started happening fast after that. So how did you hear about the BYBT? BYBT was one of the organisations that I had first called. I didn't get back to them originally because I was busy with YES, but after things settled down I went back and met with them about funding and that is how they really got involved. How did BYBT assist you with moving your idea forward? The business was fully operational when I had went in to them. They provided training and workshops that really helped me to look at things in a different light because I didn't know anything about business. They also provided a grant, support to participate in BMEX and assistance with a vehicle.
BYBT is smaller than most of the other organizations that do assist with entrepreneurship. Honestly it is more of a family setting to me. They are small and so they give off the feel like you are family. I can call them at any point in time and they will answer the phone and they will assist you how best they could, they always make time for the entrepreneurs.
The biggest hurdle was financing! We didn't have any capital to start with. We got grants from the BYBT and YES and thats how we really got started! What would you say has been the most enjoyable experience about entrepreneurship? There’s more freedom! You don't have to worry about being unemployed or working a certain amount of hours for anybody, the freedom over everything else is most enjoyable. Would you suggest entrepreneurship to others? Only if they have a strong will and a strong mind. It's not for everybody. It has a lot of challenges. You have to be really focused and know what you want in order to stick with it. What do you think are your key charactertics that has allowed your business to prosper and grow? I would say drive, dedication and innovation. What advice would you give to a young entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs at heart?
Where do you see yourself in five years? Once the confectionery business smoothens out
They have to know what they want and go after what they want. It's not easy but honestly in the end it
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would be worth it. What motto does your business live by? My personal motto is, “what I don't want for myself I don’t want for others”. We don't go out there and treat persons badly, the same treatment we want for ourselves we give to people. In terms of the quality of the product what we wouln’t want for ourselves we don't do. How has the mentorship program helped you to progress as an Entrepreneur. Mentors actually sit down and they go through everything with you. They don't necessary hold your hand and guide you along the way but they point you in the right direction in terms of the business. I got a lot of great advice from the mentorship program and the mentor opened my eyes and allowed me to take things to the next level.
"MY PERSONAL MOTTO IS, 'WHAT I DON'T WANT FOR MYSELF I DON’T WANT FOR OTHERS'.” also assists with the product development. I then deal with the marketing and sales, while bouncing between the other two roles. What makes Corey, Corey? It's my skills interacting with persons - people skills. And a never give up attitude as well. I would say that's what makes Corey, Corey!
What roles do your family members play in the business?
How do you balance work and play?
My mother does the production and raw material collection. My girlfriend, Anesha, does the packaging and
I just like to relax, read, go to the beach and just take it easy.
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Contact them at supremedelights246 @gmail.com for a full listing of their products.
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INTERNSHIP BY MAEVA TORIBIO My name is Maeva Toribio, I come from Guadeloupe and I became a Bajan Girl after 9 months in Barbados. Guadeloupe is a beautiful, butterfly island in the French Caribbean, so my first language is french. I’ve always had a passion for travel, entrepreneurship, meeting new people and language. So it came as no surprise to my family and friends that I decided to complete my studies in an english company, on a english island. So I could be immersed not only in the language but also to be exposed to the world of business in the English speaking Caribbean.
The first month of your internship is the time where you discover the spirit of the business - Be really open minded!
I would say that an internship is a necessary tool to help to you to find your real purpose for your future professional life. I became an intern at the BYBT the 2nd of March 2014. I had expected that there would be a big difference in culture and work environments, but it was a big jump into a new life and a way of thinking. For me it was really interesting to discover that the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) was not just helping but also taking care of young entrepreneurs, so the company was a great fit for me, my goals and my personality.
Take the time to define the various goals that you want to accomplish during your internship – by doing this it will allow you to easily carve your place in the company.
Your internship lays a great foundation for your professional career and if I could give any advice it would be: Be sure your aspirations are in accord with the main business of the company.
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Be courteous, curious and cautious - make sure that you have all the information you need to fit in with your new team of co-workers. Work hard to find ways to earn the trust of your supervisor and teammates.
Be yourself – being myself helped me to quickly integrate with the team and allowed me to establish strong relationships with others. Place trust in managers and supervisors, who you can talk with respectfully and openly. This is key as they will be the best persons to advise you on the various professional goals that you have. It is important that while you are not working you feel at home, and connected to the local people. Again be open minded, when
experiencing new cultures - it will help you to enjoy all the parts of your internship even more. Because being an intern in a different country is not only for work, it is also an internship of life. While in Barbados Maeva acted as wedding planner for a local wedding, organized many successful BYBT events, became godmother to the child of a co worker and made a host of life long friendships.
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FOR THE LONG RIDE BY KIMBERLEY SANDIFORD I am very passionate about taking care of others - young and old, humans and animals alike. When I decided to start a business doing what I love the most, I was all in. I registered with BYBT and participated in business plan development workshops, and pitching competitions to raise start-up capital. I was able to get the business launched quickly, building a network of clients and working closely with a mentor. My business, Trusted Care Providers Inc., is a nanny and senior care agency in Barbados. Our mission is to take care of people that need support, with the vision of treating other families like our own. To expand the business I decided to hire two people, one on sales, and one as an office manager. I also found someone to work on our website, which was an important tool to reach clients and increase our sales. Things were going well, until they started going really wrong – all of a sudden. We got scammed by the company we had paid to create our website. We lost a lot of money. The person I hired for sales was not selling anything – but how could I fire someone? I panicked. I was late with payments, and I was not even able to pay myself. I had tried to go too fast, and
suddenly I was paralyzed by stress (I even learned that stress could spill over to the body. So much so at some point I could not move my neck anymore from the pain!). I was also very aware I had to increase prices in order to match costs, but I was uncomfortable doing it because I wanted to provide accessible care. People were giving me lots of advice but I did not know who’s to take. I began seeing the glass half empty and did not know how to react. The turning point came after attending a young women entrepreneurs’ retreat offered by BYBT. I guess I needed a moment to see things from a distance. When I was able to stop indulging in the anxiety of feeling overwhelmed by the situation, I started making important decisions. I realized I was trying to grow too fast. This experience made me realize that starting a business is not just crunching numbers and knowing what one wants to do. It is really about knowing yourself. Reflecting on my own strengths and weaknesses was very important. I was able to ask myself ‘whom do I really need in the office?’ I had a tough but good conversation with my employees, and I was honest. I ended up letting go of one person, and keeping one part time, on a contract basis.
So what? Here are some of my lessons learned that I’d like to share with other young entrepreneurs:
MAKE YOURSELF FEEL GOOD! Stress really affects your capacity to make decisions. Take care of yourself, especially of your mental and physical health.
YOU CANNOT TAKE EVERYBODY’S ADVICE. Anyone can give you advice. Finally, you need to make your own decisions, and be accountable for them.
HIRE CAREFULLY Hiring employees can be very time consuming. Reviewing resumes, sitting through interviews, sifting through unqualified candidates – but the effort will be worth it. Hiring someone is a huge decision for a young business. Don’t hire too quickly until your business is really established.
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FUTURE IF SUCCESS IS A CHOICE
DO SOME OF US CHOOSE TO FAIL?
MAKING A MARK
WINC ACCELERATION PROGRAMME THE
YO U R F U T U R E
IF SUCCESS IS A CHOICE, DO SOME OF US WILLINGLY CHOOSE TO FAIL? BY RICHARD DIXON It is believed that no one intentionally sets out on a journey to fail. We all have great intentions but something happens which alters our course and creates the destination called failure. The biggest challenge without any doubt to achieving your desired results has to be discipline.
HOW DISCIPLINED ARE YOU? Did you take that 10, 15 or 30 minutes to exercise like you know you should this and every morning, or were you running late and decided to put it off until tomorrow when you will “make up” the time lost today? Are you applying the principles and practices recommended for your business consistently, on a weekly or monthly basis as suggested? Those practices that you agreed will give you the desired results? The problem generally is not for a lack of knowledge, skill or even talent, it's just that inability to be disciplined. To achieve discipline like anything else requires not just a plan but a plan of
awareness. This plan becomes our guide which determines our starting point and the road we must travel to get to our destination. Without it we are usually struggling to maintain our focus and our direction. We tend to go off track, we tend to get derailed. How you ask, do we stay on track?
Let’s look at 5 key principles that can help us to be disciplined;
PLANNING You must first and foremost know WHAT you want to achieve, HOW you want to achieve it and WHEN you want to achieve it. The WHO in this equation involves you! Purpose – Whatever your plan is, it must have a direct purpose. It must be intentional! You must know WHY you’re doing it as this will allow you to stay the course.
PRACTICE You must practice the proper fundamentals. This leads to the creation of good habits which in turn creates a measure of consistency. Remember, "Practice does not make Perfect, only Perfect Practice makes Perfect...” Vince Lombardi.
Ensure every day brings progress. It’s all about building momentum and consistent forward movement even where there are challenges. For every one step backward there are always two steps forward being achieved.
Always perform at the best of your ability consistently. Always aim to improve on yesterday's performance. If you think at the level of a top professional in your field, you will perform in that manner. Following these principles can create the discipline in all of us. Discipline therefore involves; Purposeful Planning and Progressive Practice all Professionally Done on a Consistent basis. Take the challenge and be more disciplined starting today. Consistency is the Twin Brother of Discipline.
Richard Dixon is a CILC ActionCOACH. Visit their website at cilcactioncoach.com
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DID YOU KNOW?
WINC ACCELERATION PROGRAMME Calling all growth oriented women entrepreneurs BY DONNA EVERY
Donna Every is the Barbados Facilitator of the Women Innovators Network of the Caribbean Acceleration Program (WINC AP). The WINC AP is one of the programs of the Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC) which is designed specifically for growth-oriented women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean. It is part of the larger Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), which is funded by the Government of Canada and being implemented by infoDev, a global entrepreneurship program in the World Bank Group. The WINC Acceleration Program (AP) has been designed to equip participants with new tools, knowledge and skills to innovate in their business with confidence, improve their competitiveness, and grow substantially. One of the exciting features of the program is the opportunity to network with other female entrepreneurs in the programs across the Region. Over a nine-month period, participating entrepreneurs benefit from a comprehensive suite of support services: 4 Technical workshops with experts on priority topics.
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3 Personal development sessions. - 2 Motivational sessions by successful entrepreneurs. 8 Peer-learning sessions covering topics critical for business growth. 6 One-on-one coaching/mentoring sessions.
The graduation ceremony for the first group of WINC participants was held during the Womenâ€™s Entrepreneurship Day event in November last year. It was a graduation with a difference. Each WINC graduate introduced themselves and had to give their elevator pitch before receiving their certificate. Three of the graduates Celia Collymore of Bajan Fusion , Patricia Mash of Island Plates and Shawna Rollins of Delicious Treats, shared how the program helped their businesses. For Celia, networking and discovering synergies between her business and some of the others in the program was her biggest take away. She held several events during the duration of the program, which were attended and supported by many of the participants. Her events also benefitted from prizes being donated by Portia Doyle of Spa Eâ€™Scentials (another of the graduates) to attendees. Shawna Rollins, owner of Delicious Treats a catering business and deli,
DID YOU KNOW?
hired an assistant manager as a result of prompting and encouragement by her mentor, which allowed her to take a staycation for the first time in 17 years. She also attedended a franchising conference in NY, during the program, where she met franchising consultants to help her get the business positioned to become a franchise. Patricia Mash, partner in the award-winning restaurant, Island Plates, shared how the mentoring aspect of the program also helped
her business. Through mentoring she realized that she needed more structure in her business so she began to act on that immediately. Input from her mentor and being able to step back from her business and work “on” it rather than only “in” it also enabled her to develop and add three new product lines to the business. Being encouraged by how Shawna had benefitted from hiring an assistant manager, she took the plunge and hired two chefs to help in the restaurant. That allowed
her to take a holiday in December without closing the business for the first time. The testimonies by the participants, and the benefits they derived from the WINC AP, were very encouraging. As a result, we now have a full complement of mentors as well as financial and in-kind support from a number of organisations for the next round. I am looking forward to working with the next group of entrepreneurs.
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A new program will be starting in a few months. To find out how to apply, contact email@example.com
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M.Grafix is a design-based business, creating signage, banners, flyers, business card, vehicle graphics and even memorabilia items, for over 25 years in Barbados. The M.Grafix Brand, located in Haggatt Hall, St. Michael, was borne from the parent company Mpact Screen Printers and was created to meet the increasing market demand for design solutions outside of the t-shirt industry. Thus allowing Impact to expand their product line and increase their market share. Today the two companies employ roughly 14 full time staff members and also own a quick copy center Mpowered operating for over 10 years and currently located in Sky Mall. Hereâ€™s what Samuel Gittens one owner of M- Graphix and Impact had to say about his businesses evolution and entrepreneurship in Barbados.
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Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? SAMUEL GITTENS It
was something that I grew into. We started at school (Queens College), myself and my business partner Ian Holligan. It was one summer at school, most of us would have done CXC art & craft, but we did screen printing, gaining our first basic knowledge of printing. That summer everyone was looking for a summer job so we decided that we would try to break out on our own, so that's how we started the business. We then had a business that operated for roughly the final year and a half of our school lives.
MGRAFIX How did you hear about BYBT and come to work with them?
We had signed up with the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES), we were probably one of the first clients of YES. They did a lot of training at the time,
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but they didn't provide any type of finance. So when BYBT came on stream soon after we were referred from YES to them. I believe that we might have been one of the 1st clients BYBT would have had also. So, I guess as old as we are. How did they assist with moving from idea to entrepreneurship? We were already in business when we approached them but they then facilitated our expansion through loans for additional equipment, etc. But they have been there along, whether it's mentoring or through their network of clientsâ€Śthey would have also sent work directly our way and provided a number of business opportunities for us. In the past 25 years, what types of hurdles have you had to overcome while running your business? There are hurdles that come with every business, I guess the good thing is when we started initially there were eight of us at school. Then after school, when we went into it seriously, it dwindled down to about four of us now there are three who are still active. So, I deal primarily with M.Grafix and Ian deals with mainly with Mpact and I have one other partner, Terry who operates another business that we have in construction it's called Firm Structures. All of us
initially would have worked within Mpact with different areas of the business, partnerships can be difficult but they also have their positives. I have some partners who are also pretty good friends, today we are always evolving and growing. And I guess thereâ€™s been the assistance of the BYBT and YES and organizations like that. I guess it's really about resilience being able to keep going. It's not easy as business, it never is. You think it might get easier or be less hours, it doesn't. With growth, you put more things within the structure and organize your time differently to allow you to not have to be 100% hands on with everything that needs to be done. However it's really down to hard work and continually pushing past hurdles and looking at other avenues for growth. Finding the right people, that's a huge challenge, we do have some people who are pretty dependable so they are a blessing in that sense, but with every organization especially if it is fairly dependent on human capital it can be difficult. How would you describe your overall experience with BYBT? It has been positive. Today we see ourselves more as partners with BYBT. We would assist
where we are needed and we would work together. They were instrumental in financing and so on, in the past for us and it has been positive. We were there from the beginning, I myself would have benefited from traveling through the trust, I've been to world entrepreneur summits and different things like that
would have help to build that relationship. What would you say would have been your most enjoyable experience about being an entrepreneur? I think the freedom, the freedom to do, to make my own way. It's the freedom, although it also often it means that when everyone else is gone I still might have to be here with stuff, you know the
"IT'S REALLY DOWN TO HARD WORK AND CONTINUALLY PUSHING PAST HURDLES AND LOOKING AT OTHER AVENUES FOR GROWTH. "
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hours are long so it may seem like a conflict saying that there’s that freedom but being able to make my own decision and build and grow on my terms, having that flexibility it what I enjoy most.
grow on your terms and once you believe that you are cut out for it I would definitely encourage you.
Would you suggest Entrepreneurship to persons who are now coming up now and if so why?
Well I believe it’s a bit of both. It has to be that character that you are born with. But there are a lot of people, I believe that can develop it. As with other things you might not like a certain type of food but you can grow to love it, you can grow accustomed it and grow to love it. Even though it wasn't something that you would necessarily be born with.
I definitely would! Once they have the mentality to support it! It would allow you to grow and expand at your rate at a controlled rate. That’s as opposed to working as an employee in an organization wherever it is, no matter what unless you are right at the top you still have restrictions. But working on your own, the sky could be the limit. It depends on what you want to do, where you want to go. You don't have that restriction that says, “ok, well I can't go there because this is the box that I’m in”. So, yes definitely! You have that opportunity to create and to
Do you believe that entrepreneurs are born and not made?
What would you say are your key characteristics that has allowed your business to prosper and grow at the rate it has? The people that I work with and that work for us. It’s also based on having the attitude that you know you're not going to give up. You may have to change your plan or
alter it! Yes, there are times when you have to let go, we have had other businesses that don't exist today. It's all a learning experience but it's all about having that attitude. The drive to keep on going! In a business like ours that employs technology, you always have to keep on top of what is happening and keep abreast of the technology, that’s critical! Did you receive the support of friends and family in order for the business to succeed. Definitely! You will always have those who said, “why are you doing this…there are so many areas you could have tried to enter, with your education." But I would say that is the minority. We have always had family support. When we were at school , if we need shirts, one partner's father was always up and down going to the factories collecting shirts. Even where our location is now, this is where I grew up. This is
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where I lived, and my parents were building next door, and when the new house was under construction but we had a space in there to work and then when they moved over ( to their new home) we came here, so I always had that support. When you leave work what are your hobbies? What do you do to relax and unwind? I have 2 daughters, one is 4 and one is 9 and they can take up a lot of my other time. Before them I did a lot of photography, but since then I’ve put the camera down. I've also used to dive I enjoyed diving, I would do that almost every weekend maybe up to nine years ago, when my 1st daughter was born and so I guess it has evolved that way. I still do those things, on the odd occasion but now what I do is family. I can be here a lot of nights sometimes late and I try to keep weekends and certain times for them. E V O LV I N G B U S I N E S S - 4 3
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Young Entrepreneurs...BIG impact!...Evolving Business!