Page 1


Business Magazine Aruba


as Watchdog

Sign Language Target Audience

Business Plaza Get Started!

Qredits Aruba

makes Dreams come true

Modern Way of


Chamber of Commerce

Dancing with

having Meetings

Facts and Figures Q1 2017

new Possibilities

Business Partners

Re-energize your Business

Business Magazine Aruba in Collaboration with the Aruba Chamber of Commerce | Q2 / 2017


Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Content 4 Think again Marketing Budget Dancing with your Business Partner


6 Amigoe as Watchdog 10 Sign Language how to communicate



12 Communicate Effetively with your Employees 13 Apps WhatsApp 14 Dancing with your Business Partners

Social Media

and the Elections


16 Communication in Transfer Pricing 19 Column Women in Business 20 Qredits

Re-energize your Business


makes Dreams come true



24 Profile Ernst Mohamed 25 Chamber of Commerce Aruba Facts and Figures Q1 2017 28 CaribConnect new Possibilities 30 Chamber of Commerce Aruba Events JUNE - AUGUST ‘17 32 Business Plaza Get Started! 34 Social Media and the Elections 36 Modern way of having Meetings 38 Re-energize your Business

Communication ‘If companies keep on doing today what they did yesterday, there will be no tomorrow’, people say. Manufacturing a nice product for a reasonable price is not enough, nowadays. You will have to strive for excellence. This means your work needs to be transparent, your positioning close to perfect and the customer service including your internal and external communication has to be extremely effective. Effective communication brings the outside in and the inside out. It demands making a connection, building trust and creating a need for the product you sell. In daily life everybody is communicating constantly, both consciously and subconsciously. The way you dress, your attitude, your expressions, your body language, it is all communication. When you blush, you probably do not have the intention to tell people how uncomfortable you feel, but your body does anyway. Therefore it is important to know and be conscious about your communication, all communication. In fact it is impossible not to communicate. Even when something or someone is absent, we are bound to communicate. Or did you really think that not showing up or being late when you have an appointment is not going to leave a message?


Michael Voges Amigoe newspaper


Marnix Stoorvogel Colophon Publisher Conté | Marnix Stoorvogel Authors Patricia Bergwijn Dick ter Burg Jeannitza Felix Bruce Harms Brechtje Huiskes Paul Janssen Jeanise Job Tom Kok Sonja Velthuizen Translation: Artie de Vries \ Patricia Bergwijn Final editing Write | Patricia Bergwijn

Oliver Vieira

- Qredits Aruba


Realisation Conté Distribution Fast Delivery Services N.V. Photography Conté \ ACoC \ Paul van Driel \ Amigoe Edition 4 times a year

39 Next Entrepreneur Infastructure

If you would like to advertise or react, please contact the publisher: +599 770 7723 | HVO paper represents woodfree offset paper. This magazine is printed on wood-free paper also called tree-free paper. The raw material used might be, inter alia, rice, straw, bamboo, hemp or cotton.

Facts and Figures

Chamber of Commerce Aruba

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

You think you’re not ready for a Marketing Budget?

Think again... Text:

Ask nearly any startup founder what their marketing budget is, and you’ll often be met with a chuckle and: “Marketing budget? What marketing budget?”. Cash restraints and unpredictability can equate to rocky projections. And while the idea of having an actual marketing budget may seem unattainable for many early-stage companies, the good news is that today, marketing experimentation is relatively cost effective and approachable making it easier to build an actual budget. Before you begin, your leadership team (even if it’s just two of you) must outline clear strategic objectives and generate sales-revenue targets. From there, it comes down to brass tacks. The following tips will guide you through the marketing tactics that can help entrepreneurs and young ventures give budgeting for marketing a proper try.

1. Start with standards

There is no one-size-fits-all method for developing a marketing budget. Generally speaking, the amount you devote should be a percentage of revenue generated - often between two to ten percent, depending on industry standards. If the data is available, look at the past twelf months of revenue, and determine an appropriate percentage. Your established future sales goals will also come into play here. From there, use your monthly sales targets to determine a short-term budget that will enable you to reach those targets.

Be sure you leave room for some flexibility. It’s not uncommon for newly seeded companies to naively throw funds into marketing and promotion without much aim or direction. This leads to unmeasured outcomes and a mentality of waste. Instead, think like you are bootstrapping the entire operation. This will force you to drive for effectiveness and push only for decisions that add real value.

2. Measure everything

When the budget is small, you should have as much knowledge as possible before making spending decisions. It takes time, but the more you know about measurement, the more informed your decisions will be. Every dollar you allocate should have a specific purpose, and knowing how to check those dollars spent for effectiveness is imperative for early-stage companies. It will allow you to quickly pivot and adjust your tactics before you spend too much. Put quantitative measurements in place in order to help prioritize those designated dollars. Marketing budgets can be used on speaking engagements, sponsorships, advertising, promotion and beyond, and if you figure out how to gauge success, you’ll be able to see which of these is most effective for your business. If you’re lost on how to start, try inviting product managers and line owners who know the market intimately to offer their opinions as to prioritizing your marketing initiatives. 4

It’s not always easy to draw a straight line from marketing efforts to the revenue generated from the dollars spent, but where you can measure, do so. Business-tobusiness firms can track new leads, while business-to-consumer firms might want to measure new users. Growth hacking, a common term used in today’s fast-growth organizations, simply means to experiment vigorously with various marketing tactics. This helps you to identify specific methods of measurement, see what is working and capitalize on repeating that process.

3. Stay flexible

Once you’ve established what metrics matter to your company, you’ll be able to stay on top of critical information that informs you when to adjust tactics. The benefit of tracking effectiveness is that it doesn’t leave the marketing strategy to chance - something many young ventures make the mistake of doing. It encourages and enables purposeful decisions, and keeps spending conservative and purpose-driven. Experimenting with the marketing budget is an ongoing process that is rooted in hard data and refined with measurements. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the budget evolves with changes in the company, sales revenue, monthly goals and product launches. Recognizing this evolution helps any size venture make better budget estimates.

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Amigoe - Leading the Way as Watchdog of the Dutch Caribbean Islands

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Michael Voges, Managing Director

Text: Patricia Bergwijn | Picture: Amigoe

The original mission of the Amigoe, one of the oldest Caribbean newspapers, has never really changed since it started out as a weekly published by the Diocese of Curaçao in January, 1884. The Catholic Dominican Friars would happily go the extra mile to annoy or cross the Dutch Protestant Colonial Administration in every way they could, but their most important task was to monitor and write about every move the colonial rulers made. According to Michael Voges, Managing Director, that is still the core business of the Amigoe newspaper. “A newspaper needs to be a watchdog, needs to be critical. It is our duty to get the answers to questions everybody has, but no one dares to ask.”

Overview Amigoe Publications 2017 Publication

A press release only communicates what the people in charge want you to know, that doesn’t necessarily mean it tells you what you should know

Starting date


Print run


Newspaper Amigoe Curaçao





Curaçao and Bonaire

Newspaper Amigoe Aruba






Amigoe at school






Amigoe Express






ñapa 1979 weekly 10.400 Dutch


Curaçao and Bonaire and Aruba

More than a Newspaper Originally a weekly, the Amigoe became a daily newspaper issued by the Catholic Church in 1941, and about 36 years ago, the Catholic journal was bought by a group of seven people. It became an independent, daily, afternoon newspaper taken over by the Voges family in 2005. The Publishing Company Amigoe, Inc. has its own printing office. Besides the newspaper Amigoe that is distributed in Curaçao and Bonaire, it also publishes Ñapa, the weekend supplement, the Amigoe Express, a tabloid in English with weekly reviews, local and international news and an entertainment calendar, the Amigoe Aruba and the Amigoe at School for the students of Colegia Arubano [a high school on Aruba]. With a total of 185 part time and full time employees on Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba, the Amigoe is a reasonably big employer. Challenging Times Being a newspaper in the digital and social media era is not easy. Lots of newspapers all over the world are struggling, and the Amigoe is no exception. Theft in the broadest

sense seems to be one of the biggest challenges; radio stations reading Amigoe articles out loud, companies spreading the PDF-file of the paper and all kinds of collections of cuttings on the internet. If potential subscribers can read the articles for free, they won’t be willing to pay or subscribe. The irony of this kind of piracy is that it clearly demonstrates the widely appreciated quality of the Amigoe throughout the Caribbean. But quality comes with a price, so to make it harder to access, the publisher changed its website, the format, and adjusted the firewall. According to Managing Director Voges, another challenge in regard to social media is the double standard that people apply. Everyone can say or write anything on Facebook or on their blogs, and once it is written, it suddenly seems to become the truth. A newspaper simply cannot. It isn’t allowed to do so and should not, for that matter. While Facebook isn’t held responsible or accountable for the things people write on their pages, the newspaper is. Therefore, Amigoe checks and double checks and does research before publishing their news. This also means 7

they won’t just publish press releases to fill the newspaper. “A press release only communicates what the people in charge want you to know, that doesn’t necessarily mean it tells you what you should know,” clarifies Michael Voges. So the reporters of the Amigoe ask, investigate, inquire, explore, and verify first. By delivering high quality news through research, the newspaper wants to distinguish itself from other newspapers in the region. But this strategy to avoid the mere editing of press releases and just publishing everything is not without sacrifices or consequences. As a result, the Amigoe has had to downsize the paper to twenty or sixteen pages. In the opinion of the publisher, the majority of people, boards, shareholders and stakeholders underestimate the pressure on production and the time it takes to do research. “If one copies and pastes, it is easy to produce six articles in less than an hour,” he explains. “It is really not that difficult to just fill the pages, but if you want to produce a high quality newspaper, you need to give your staff time to investigate, and this will influence production”.

JOB Bedrijfsblad 2016 Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

If every company would take one person on their payroll, we would solve the problem of unemployment

In short, the Amigoe chose quality over mass production and quantity, even if that meant reducing the pages of their journal and even if they might have given their readers the impression things were not going so well. Bring it on Last, but not least, the Managing Director worries over the latest trend of passivity, if not to say the indifference, of the societies on the Caribbean islands and the lack of accountability. At times, it makes the tone of the newspaper sarcastic, because what is the use of being a watchdog if hardly anybody seems to really care? Political developments, nontransparent and obscure decisionmaking, arbitrariness in enforcing the law, the Amigoe denounces it, but the community remains silent and apparently indifferent. He wonders why people do not blame the media for not doing their job and why people do not complain about politicians who are not acting ethically. But when the Amigoe exposes things and asks, for instance, how Curaçao was sold to the Chinese for the coming forty years, or what is going to happen with the 33 million guilders of state support for the airline company, or how that support is even possible considering the damning indictment of 2016 and the absence of annual accounts, the same people tell the paper to shut up because they are being too negative, and the island needs to make progress.

According to the newspaper boss, it is the general lack of responsibility, the culture of naming and shaming others, the almost seemingly apathetic state of mind that needs to change. In his opinion, politicians are just a reflection of our society. “Sure we can blame them for everything that is going wrong, that’s so easy to do, but if we don’t really care, if we, the people, don’t act upon any wrongdoings or right ones, if we, as a community, don’t take any responsibility, why should they?”. The latter is exactly what motivates Michael Voges, an entrepreneur at heart. His suggestion to match the 3,000 unemployed with the 3,000 companies on Curaçao is an example of taking and sharing that responsibility.


“If every company would take one person on their payroll, we would solve the problem of unemployment.” Moreover through the newspaper, he wants to verbalize and stimulate an entirely different sound and movement, by making room for experts with creative solutions. These voices can be economists, for example, or teachers who take their students to a hotel pool and make them do their chemistry tests there, instead of in the classroom, just to inspire them, and make it clear to their pupils why they have to learn to do those tests. So, besides improving and continuing on the chosen path as an ever alert watchdog, Amigoes’ Managing Director hopes the newspaper can provide, and will become, a platform of change for groups of people who care and act accordingly, solving the basic problems of the communities they live in. By being part of the solution, taking responsibility, offering a platform of change, asking the questions nobody dares to ask and thus setting the example for the whole of the Dutch Caribbean society, the publisher is still acting upon and holding true to its 133 year old mission. Therefore, it is a more reliable and determined cornerstone of society, present and future, than one can hardly hope for.

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

“Sign Language” How to communicate your Business to your Buyer Text: Brechtje Huiskes | VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne

As a business owner you have to communicate with your target audience to interest them in buying your goods or services. Often, specific images or words are used to make it easier for a potential buyer to remember your products. This is a very effective way of communication. No one can see the Apple sign without thinking of computers and iPhones. No one can read the word Heineken without thinking of a cold bottle of beer.


hen a business consistently uses the same image or words to recommend its products, it becomes a brand. When a brand does its job, it evokes positive feelings in consumers. As a result, people buy the product and therefore brands can become very valuable. That’s why you do not want other people to use your brand for the benefit of their business endeavors. To help businesses protect their brands, all countries in the world have some sort of intellectual property

(also called IP) legislation. A specific way to protect a brand in Aruba is by using a trademark. As of 1989 Aruba has its own trademark legislation. The Bureau for Intellectual Property Aruba (often referred to as BIPA) is responsible for the registration of trademarks in Aruba. What is a trademark? A trademark is any sign that is used to distinguish the goods or services of a business from those of other businesses. It is important to note that the name of a company cannot be a trademark. A trademark regards the products; a trade name regards a company. Still, the definition of trademark sounds pretty broad. And you are right, it is. That is why it is helpful to look what can and what cannot be used as a trademark. What can be used as a trademark? It can be a word like Nike or Swiffer. It can be a combination of words like Dolce & Gabbana or Ben & Jerry’s. It can be an image like the red and yellow shell form of Shell. It can be a combination of a word and an image like Toblerone with the mountain image (fun fact: did you ever notice there is an image of a bear hidden in the image of the mountain?). It can be a combination of letters like DA for the drug stores, or a 10

combination of numbers, for example 501 for Levi’s jeans. It can be a combination of numbers and letters like 7-Eleven supermarkets. Or it could be letters with an image like TUI with the winking face. And the list still goes on: it can be colors (Milka purple or Zwitsal yellow), shapes (Pringles) or sounds (Nokia ringtone). By now you may be wondering if everything can be a trademark. Fortunately, the answer is: no. What cannot be used as a trademark? Trademarks that lack a distinctive character for the product cannot be recognized as a trademark. You cannot use the word ‘apple’ as a trademark for apples but you can use it for computers. You cannot use trademarks that are contrary to morality or to public order. This is of course quite subjective but you can think of trademarks referring to sex or drugs. Also national symbols or flags or signs for public services like the police cannot be used. Trademarks which could deceive the public are not allowed as well. The Bureau for Intellectual Property Aruba refuses to register these kinds of non-registrable trademarks. The BIPA however does not check if your trademark violates existing trademarks.

You violate trademarks in three cases: 1. if your trademark is the same as or too similar to an existing trademark for similar goods or services, unless the true holder of the original trademark gave you consent; 2. trademarks which can be confused with a well-known (international) trademark unless the true holder of the original trademark gave you consent; 3. trademarks that are too similar to a trade name which may confuse the public about the origin of the goods and services. These types of trademarks will be registered by the BIPA, but if an Aruban judge draws the conclusion that there is a violation, your trademark loses its protection and you might face a claim for damages from the original trademark holder.

How do you get a trademark in Aruba ? If a (first) user of a trademark in Aruba has used that trademark for certain products for three years, he automatically obtains the right to exclusively use that trademark for those products. Registration of a trademark is not obligatory in Aruba, in contrast to all other parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. However, the first one that applies for a trademark registration is also considered to be the first user, unless someone else proves differently. The BIPA registers the trademarks upon receipt of an application. The protection of the registered trademark lasts for ten years, after which it must be renewed. Both a person and a legal entity can apply for registration of a trademark. It is not necessary that the applicant has a business to which the trademark relates. This means that a trademark can be registered by one party and used by another (of course with consent). You don’t even need to have the intention to use 11

a trademark yourself, to be able to register it. Foreigners may also register trademarks in Aruba via an Aruban trademark agent.

Final tips From experience, we’d like to share the following tips and suggestions with you: • Remember that it is easier to register a trademark than to prove that you used it first. • Do not forget to renew your trademark registration. • Do not use or register trademarks that look or sound like existing trademarks. It can cost you! • For more information regarding trademarks and the use thereof, visit, and download tailored Trademark Guides for all of the four jurisdictions in the Dutch Caribbean.

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017




Communicate effectively with your Employees

Snapchat soon offers advertisers the opportunity to advertise depending on user behavior. This new ad format is made available in the third quarter of 2016, Business Insider reports on the basis of an ad report of the company.

lf-relaint, be more se to u yo e lik and “ I would re initiative osibility show mo resp l a n o rs e ater p first.” accept gre k with me

APP: Android Google Play APP: iOS Apps Store Prijs: free

but chec


Effective communication with employees takes effort, repetition, thoughtfulness and most importantly needs to come from the heart. Communication needs to be something business leaders seek to do whenever they can rather than considering it a check box before getting back to the “real work” of running the business.


urrently, I serve as the CEO of a local marketing solutions company that was created by combining two business units that were previously part of a bigger company. I was tasked to manage this complicated company carve out with the objective of transforming a legacy print business to a thriving digital business. A major challenge was the employee base. With more than 5,000 people with offices in 34 states, which meant regular and effective communication across the organization was critical to success. From day one I chose to create an environment of open, transparent dialog about the company, our progress and what we need to do to win.

Here are some strategies I recommend putting in place for creating a culture of communication and alignment:

happening in the business from these sessions, which can help you and your leadership team make better decisions.

Send weekly correspondence to all employees in the company. Every Monday without fail for the last three years I have sent a personally written email to every employee in the company about things I am thinking about and important topics for the business.This kind of communication serves as an opportunity to truly connect and engage with the entire organization.

Put on an annual senior leadership conference for your top leaders. This type of conference is a working session where every leader can hear the company strategy, plans and messages together and bring the information back to their teams. An equally important value is the informal network building that takes place that enables leaders to have effective communication with each other throughout the year.

Build comfort in talking about what is not working. Many companies have a culture of looking for the positives and avoiding calling out and discussing the negatives. Great companies focus on what is not going well so they can dig in and get better. This approach allows employees to feel they have a say in their company’s culture and their ideas are valued.

Answer every employee email within 24 hours. We are all busy but always have time for communicating with employees that work hard every day to serve your customers and build your company. Your team wants to be heard and feel appreciated.

Hold town hall meetings. Whether you have offices in one city or nationwide, plan for travel to have face-to-face conversations with these groups no matter the size. Make sure you aren’t just lecturing. Foster a twoway candid dialogue. You will be able to learn a great deal about what is really 12

Commit to effective communications and you’ll be glad you did.

It is according to the site to users within the app’s behavior. Conduct outside of the app, such as browsing the web, is not followed. Snapchat already shows ads since 2014. This advertising will now be adjusted on the basis of gender, age, location and mobile service provider. The makers of Snapchat also expect the number of users by the end of 2017 will increase from the current 150 million to a whopping 217 million users. According to the same report.

WhatsApp opens the door for companies

APP: Android Google Play APP: iOS Apps Store Prijs: free

WhatsApp wants companies to use the messaging service to communicate with their clients. The app has therefore adapted zjin privacy terms. That said Matt Steinfeld, a spokesman for WhatsApp, to Soon, an airline will for example be able to send a boarding pass via the service or will a bank account holders can send a WhatsApp message when there is a suspicious transaction. Although WhatsApp stresses that no major banner ads will be places within the app, Steinfeld recognizes that this also opens the door to commercial messages about promotions and special offers from companies. How can companies go exactly use WhatsApp is unclear. What is clear is that this service, which is free for consumers, a way to make money. Facebook It was not so far allowed for companies to use the chat app parent company Facebook. 13

To make this possible, now that the privacy conditions are adjusted. The database WhatsApp will be better integrated with those of other Facebook services and the telephone numbers of users will be shared with the parent company. According WhatsApp helps sharing that information to improve the ads on Facebook. It also helps according to the company in the fight against spam accounts. Spammers can thus simultaneously on Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp disabled. WhatsApp promises that the content of messages and phone calls sent via the service and account will not be shared with Facebook. The messages are still removed from the WhatsApp servers when they are received by the recipient and are also sent still encrypted. Users who do not want their WhatsApp data used by Facebook to display personal ads, can disable sharing account information. explains how to do that on the site of WhatsApp.


Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017


‘Dancing’ Through Conversations With Your Business Partners Text:

What does it mean to have a successful business partnership? How can you keep it going? A successful partnership is when two or more people work together in tandem to achieve a common goal. Successful partnerships require work, no matter what form they take or where they’re made. As a business owner by day and a competitive ballroom dancer by night, I’ve discovered how much the two seemingly different domains can learn from each other.

Ballroom dance partners must be in perfect, harmonious step with each other, which can only be accomplished through ongoing communication and practice, similar to business partnerships. But how do you effectively establish and maintain partnerships? In partner dancing there are different stages of conversations necessary to have at the beginning of each ballroom dance relationship. They apply to business as well. Here are six ways to keep our business partnerships in sync: Number 1 Establish definitions When parties come together in dance and in business, it is crucial to establish what success means to each person. By frankly discussing your meanings of success during a relationship’s infancy, you can avoid potential mismatches and get in step sooner. Number 2 Build upon common strengths Look for commonalities, especially if you and your partner seem very different at first. For example, in ballroom dancing, duos might share a strength of understanding music composition, even though they don’t have the same dance training. The same is true with business. While you and your partner may have different levels of technical expertise, 14

you might share a solid understanding of a certain industry. Number 3 Dream together What do you really want to accomplish as a result of your partnership? Think big and then present the possibilities to your partner and have him or her do the same for you. Finding ways to share possible opportunities will cause the partnership to begin in a flexible, open and honest way. In a business setting, you can use this process to figure out which proposals or market opportunities you’d like to team up on or what shared passions you may each have. Number 4 Feel the goal What common purpose would make you both feel successful? The “feeling” of success is important at this stage. It is not the idea or thought, but the way you would “feel” when successful. Do you feel inspired? Do you feel hungry enough to want to achieve that goal? Do you jointly have the same passion towards that goal? If your goal is to merely get in shape, but your partner’s goal is to compete nationally, is this a good match? Or if you want to scale quickly but your business partner

wants a lifestyle business, you may need to rethink the collaboration.

methods you will employ to achieve your goals.

Many partnerships fail because the “feeling” of interests don’t align. Sometimes one partner will merely dabble while another has jumped in with both feet. Have a heart to heart and pay attention to how you feel at this stage.

Number 6 Respect the partnership Everything might be going smoothly, with both partners having successfully passed through the necessary conversations together, but the communication must continue. If your partner is unable to make the practice schedule one week, he or she must communicate that in advance so your time and worth is respected. Or if they can’t commit to an important meeting, they must let the other person know. Once someone in a partnership feels disrespected, it can be very difficult to earn back that trust.

Number 5 Have the commitment talk This can be tricky, but is so important. Are you both truly committed to whatever it is you’re about to undertake? Will you both commit to the practice schedule to learn your new routine? Will you both prioritize to meet deadlines? There is nothing more frustrating than realizing halfway through a project that your partner is not truly interested, engaged or willing to do what needs to be done. Another aspect of the “commitment talk” is to discuss what

By having honest, respectful, productive conversations with your partner, you will find the rhythm to help you smoothly and purposefully dance your way through business relationships.

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Communication in transfer pricing and risk management


Text: Jeanise Job | Jeannitza Felix | Meijburg & Co Caribbean

owadays, more and more attention is focused on enterprises and their tax behavior such as tax planning, tax compliance and tax controversy. Therefore companies are even more interested in the internal organization of their tax processes and responsibilities, resulting in tax risk management and tax governance. It also means that the company’s executives are tirelessly working to ensure that transfer pricing risk management is integrated in the company’s internal control framework (usually referred to as corporate governance framework or enterprise risk management). Besides the transfer pricing documentation requirements, companies are expected to provide assurance to their stakeholders regarding transfer pricing governance in the current business environment. So they need to implement transfer pricing strategies in their corporate governance framework respectively their tax control framework. Whilst doing so the company’s executives become more aware of all transfer pricing requirements and legislative changes which will enable

them to anticipate on legislative changes, assuring stakeholders that they will be provided with the right information regarding the company’s transfer pricing position in a timely manner. Aruba has codified the documentation obligation related to transfer pricing in its Profit Tax Ordinance (hereinafter: PTO; article 4, paragraph 4 PTO and other domestic regulations) effective since January 1, 2008. Transfer pricing concerns the rules and methods (policies and practices) for pricing transactions between affiliated companies and between natural persons and their affiliated companies. It relates to the applicable price for goods and services agreed upon by affiliated companies. The transfer pricing rules and methods intend to adjust the applied price for taxation purposes in transactions between affiliated companies to a business-like price (at arm’s length price). In other words: the price that would have been applicable between independent third parties.This article not only concerns the Aruba transfer pricing documentation requirements, but also includes a brief introduction of transfer pricing risk assessment as well as


transfer pricing risk management. It will demonstrate the importance of communication with tax authorities as well as the communication with the company’s tax function1 for adequate, well-functioning and flexible transfer pricing risk management within the entity’s corporate governance framework. Documentation requirements In order to control and mitigate transfer pricing risks the documentation requirements as set out in chapter five of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines need to be complied with. According to these requirements taxpayers should make reasonable efforts the moment transfer pricing is established to determine whether the transfer pricing is appropriate for tax purposes. In this regard the taxpayer is, amongst others, required to prepare or refer to written materials that could serve as documentation of the efforts undertaken to comply with the arm’s length principle. These documents should also include information about how the transfer pricing was determined, which factors were taken into account and which transfer pricing method was selected.

Transfer pricing risk assessment When dealing in intercompany or intracompany transactions, the concerning entities have to conform to transfer pricing rules and regulations. This can be done for instance by taking the OECD’s Transfer Pricing Guidelines into account. These rules aim to address potential mismatches between intercompany and intra-company profit allocation and the intercompany or intracompany distribution of risks, assets and functions. The tax authorities on their turn assess whether or not the applied transfer prices comply with the rules. In general, the main transfer pricing risks are a result of inadequate attention to transfer pricing compliance of taxpayers. These risks can be overcome by taking into account that transfer pricing risks may be present and that tax authorities may ask questions in this regard. The main transfer pricing risks arise from recurring transactions, large or complex one time transactions and taxpayer’s behavior in governance, tax strategies or in the ability to deliver compliance. For taxpayers, the latter risk is the most manageable because that risk is more related to the taxpayer’s behavior rather than to the intercompany or intra-company transactions. Taxpayers should ensure they are compliant with transfer pricing laws and regulations by implementing sufficient and effective tax risk control measures, since non-compliance in this regard is often an indication of incorrect transfer pricing outcomes.

Effective transfer pricing risk management not only includes communication within the company and within the group, but also with the tax authorities. How to mitigate transfer pricing risks Transfer pricing risks can be mitigated by conducting research on which transfer prices an independent third party would have taken into account in a similar transaction. This will be in accordance with the arm’s length principle. The main objectives of the application of the arm’s length principle in this regard would be to ensure a consistent basis for profit allocation and to help prevent taxation of the same profit by two different tax authorities (economic double taxation). Furthermore transfer pricing risks can be mitigated by means of implementation of a tax control framework which enables a company to identify the possible risks in a timely manner. Risk mitigation by means of wellfunctioning tax control framework A company’s tax control framework should, for tax assurance2 purposes, identify, monitor and mitigate tax risks. Therefore, as part of the tax control framework, companies should identify whether or not the intercompany and intra-company transactions are in accordance with the arm’s length principle. Furthermore the transfer


pricing documentation should fulfill the requirements as set out in the Transfer Pricing Guidelines. Communicating a clear transfer pricing strategy Although the implemented transfer pricing policy leads to at arm’s length intercompany and intracompany transactions, the company should constantly monitor and be in control of its transfer pricing risks and assure whether or not the implemented transfer pricing risk control measures are efficient and effective. The company’s executives should therefore communicate a clear transfer pricing strategy which should be implemented in the company’s corporate governance framework. This should enable companies to identify information with respect to the execution of the transfer pricing policy and strategy, as well as the transfer pricing processes. Furthermore wellfunctioning transfer pricing strategies and methodologies make it possible for companies to appropriately manage the tax accounting processes and the tasks and responsibilities related to transfer pricing. To effectively monitor and test the

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

implemented tax control measures, including the transfer pricing risk control measures, the inclusion of a remediation, an escalation as well as a communication plan in the corporate governance framework and in its internal monitoring and testing methodology is required. So in order to achieve appropriate and manageable transfer pricing risk controls the company should identify its tax function, keep them well informed about transfer pricing policies and strategies and ensure that these individuals are in constant communication with each other. The implemented transfer pricing risk controls should be regularly reviewed to ensure that the transfer pricing policies and strategies are appropriate and well managed. Therefore communication about the findings and amendments to the control measures is crucial. Furthermore, effective transfer pricing risk management not only includes

communication within the company and within the group, but also with the tax authorities. The outcome of this communication concerning the assurance of the correctness and accuracy of the information that is required, needs to be shared, as well as the level of importation and the assessment whether or not a tax ruling regarding the applied transfer pricing methodology is needed. Conclusion In the current business environment companies are expected to take transfer pricing risk assessment into account and review their business circumstances to be able to assess and evaluate their transfer pricing risk exposure. A thorough review will enable the company’s executives to manage and mitigate the identified transfer pricing risks. In addition communication within the company, the group and with the tax authorities is crucial.

Therefore, when implementing transfer pricing risk management into the corporate governance framework, companies should not only consider how to practically manage their transfer pricings risks and processes, but also ensure clear communication regarding the transfer pricing policy and strategy within the company, the group and with the tax authorities. Footnotes The tax function adresses all people accountable and responsible for managing taxes within a company or a group. 1

Tax Assurance is more than just assurance regarding the tax position in the financial statements and concerns everything related to the process of taxes in a company, such as, corporate governance AO/IC, management control, Tax Risk Management, tax policy, tax performance, tax controversy as well as the relationship with the tax authorities. 2


Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Women in Business Text: Paul Janssen


Communication is my bread and butter and I do my work without any regard to the person and thus without any distinction between man and woman. So I thought… But lately I drove with a female colleague to an organization for which we both worked on an assignment. She was troubled because she didn’t get the cooperation she wanted from the different agencies involved. I sent one of those agencies a mail and received a prompt reply. Was it her tone? Mine?

The Power of Habit Why we do what we do in life and business

‘I’m a woman, that’s all’, she said grumpy. ‘If I find a man at the other end of the line, he doesn’t believe in my expertise. And they all want to have a date.’ Me too, I thought secretly, but I decided to take her words seriously. As a test, we exchanged our email accounts for one week. I signed with Lisette, she did with Paul. I had the most worried working week of my life and I didn’t make any progress. Instead of sending the information I asked for, men replied with the question if I was single. And that was by far the most friendly and businesslike response.

A young woman walks into a laboratory. Over the past two years, she has transformed almost every aspect of her life. She has quit smoking, run a marathon, and has been promoted at work. The patterns inside her brain, neurologists discover, have fundamentally changed. Marketers at Procter & Gamble study videos of people making their beds. They are desperately trying to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, on track to be one of the biggest flops in company history. Suddenly, one of them detects a nearly imperceptible pattern - and with a slight shift in advertising, Febreze goes on to earn a billion dollars a year.

When Lisette called as Lisette she couldn’t finish any of her words. ‘I am constantly interrupted by men when I say something’, she said almost resigned. ‘This seems to be widespread. There’s even an app that measures this kind of ‘manterrupting.’

An untested CEO takes over one of the largest companies in America. His first order of business is attacking a single pattern among his employees - how they approach worker safety - and soon the firm, Alcoa, becomes the top performer in the Dow Jones.

It’s probably because you speak with less authority, less businesslike, I said with the hope to explain something. Women are different in a certain way. Her ferocious glance told me I’d better shut up.

What do all these people have in common? They achieved success by focusing on the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives. They succeeded by transforming habits. And there are many other great stories...

On our way home, she rushed faster than on the way there and almost collide with an equally agitated fellow road-user. ‘That would never happen to me’, I dared to say.

At its core, the Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.

She maintained a stony silence. At home she flawlessly parked reverse, jumped out of the car and kept the door open for me with a venomous smile. I swallowed and I couldn’t think of anything else than smiling back, embarrassed.

Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives. 19

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Qredits makes realistic business dreams come true Imagine you have this wonderful business idea, a dream, and whatever you do, it keeps calling and knocking on your door. You can’t let it go. And although you are convinced you have found the perfect niche, things didn’t quite work out yet. The different banks you visited to get the financial means for your plans are not very willing to take the risk. You brood, deliberate, you might even start second-guessing yourself. The only thing you need, to start up would be some seed capital and assistance.


Text: Patricia Bergwijn | Picture: Paul van Driel

New in Aruba 20

r maybe you already have your own business but you would like to expand, grow and explore new markets. You would like to finally chart that new course your company needs and start innovating. But new directions, innovation demand investment and you just lack that little bit of extra money to put your plans in motion. Even though you are sure it will pay off and make your enterprise even more profitable, and even if you are a well-known and respected client at

the banks, they will not provide you with the capital you need. You do not manage to obtain the loan that will enable you to upgrade, build and expand or break new grounds. Microfinance If you recognize any of the above, Qredits might be your solution. This Dutch non-profit microfinance foundation is operating in the Netherlands since 2009. In 2015 they expanded their services to Bonaire and just recently, March 2017, they opened office in Aruba. Aruban entrepreneurs can now apply for a business loan up to 50.000 Aruban florins. Moreover in order to help their applicants on their way to success, Qredits offers them 21

support and guidance by teaching them how to write a business plan. Banks are not willing or unable to lend small businesses because the whole process combined with the risks involved might not be very profitable. That’s why starting entrepreneurs find it harder and harder to get their plans financed, explains the general director, Elwin Groenevelt. It is also the reason why the banking industry doesn’t see the micro financer, with over sixty employees, 650 voluntary coaches and a total of more than 9.000 loans worth a little over 170 million euro, as a competitor. The organization is actually helping them because once successful the entrepreneurs are expected to become profitable clients.

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Three fundamental pillars Qredits is a non-profit organization financially supported by the Dutch and Aruban government, insurance companies and the banking industry. Their office on Aruba is run by Oliver Vieira. His and Qredits’ main goal is to stimulate entrepreneurship on Aruba by focusing on funding requirements of SMEs (small and medium enterprises). In the long term this is expected to influence and boost the economic development of the island.

business plan ready. The last pillar in Qredits approach is education. To stimulate entrepreneurship on Bonaire for example the micro financer developed special entrepreneurship schooling programs for youngsters and adults in cooperation with educational institutes on the island. ‘Students often don’t realize entrepreneurship is the future. So we teach them, what it takes and how to write a proper business plan’, clarifies director Groenevelt.

In order to do so the microfinance foundation concentrates its activities in three areas. The most important pillar in the approach is of course granting of loans. But before one can actually apply, one needs to write a business plan. A business plan lies at the heart of each and every successful idea or dream. Thus Qredits helps (starting) entrepreneurs to write their own.

Challenges Business adviser, Oliver Vieira, who runs the Qredits’ Aruba office strongly believes in this mission and approach. The coaching and schooling part still needs to be developed for Aruba as the office has just recently settled. At the moment, he concentrates mainly on successfully introducing and promoting this totally new concept on Aruba. For the first month Qredits Aruba received over fifty potential applicants and the amount of applications is expected to grow fast. ‘Qredits offers SMEs a fantastic opportunity to develop and grow. Due to the risks involved the local banks on Aruba are neither able nor willing to grant a loan, but we do. If they back their promising ideas with a solid business plan and accept our guidance, we likely offer them this flexibility’, he explains.

Through a specially designed e-learning program applicants are taught to write this plan in a step by step manner. ‘Every starting entrepreneur needs to structure and work on his or her idea. Figure out the details, a strategy, the costs, the how, when and why. It forces people to look at the whole picture and to think of basically everything. Lots of starting entrepreneurs underestimate what having your own business actually means’, Groenevelt adds. Qredits developed several tools to make this process easier. On their website they offer free templates you can download. These templates form the framework you need for your business plan. In order to help you fill in the details of this framework properly (starting) entrepreneurs can subscribe for the e-learning program which is offered in Papiamento, Spanish, Dutch and English. This online course entails everything future entrepreneurs need to know about how to start their business and at the end of it you will have your


Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

According to Vieira, who just as the general director has many years of experience in the banking industry, the challenge to start is not about the quality of the ideas or a lack of knowledge or experience, because the people who visit him have unique, refreshing and very innovative ideas and more than enough knowledge and experience, but it is the business plan and getting the whole picture right. More specifically it seems hard to obtain a true and realistic understanding of their market and the expected revenue.

But it is also the greatest and most satisfying part of his job. ‘To be able to help people to achieve their goals in their very own way, helping them to make their dreams come true, and by doing so also helping Aruba’s economy grow. It is almost too good to be true’, the business adviser answers. So far, the ideas and applications have been evenly spread throughout the various industries on Aruba. Applications mostly relate to the tourism industry activities, wholesale and retail and in some cases are concentrated on natural and organic products. According to Vieira the latter definitely seems to be a trend worldwide with more and more businesses offering nontraditional products. The worldwide call for organic products has influenced Aruba and will continue to do so due to the significant exposure of the island to international markets.

Granting loans in the future Right now Vieira runs the Qredits’ office on Aruba on his own, however, Qredits Aruba is expected to produce a minimum of eight applications a month and the interest in Qredits’ services is growing on a daily basis. Therefore there are already plans to add another business adviser. Not in the least because once a business plan is filed through Qredits’ website Vieira strives to contact the applicant within one week. The moment all required documents are obtained the Aruban office tries to provide a decision within three weeks’ time. In his assessment of the plans the most important thing is a thorough evaluation of the risk involved. In order to do so he looks at the track record of the applicant, possible debts, insolvency, the credit history, the feasibility of the plan and its goals. After all, an applicant needs to repay the entire loan including the interest during the term of the loan which may vary from one to ten years. For now, the first applicants are almost ready to make their dreams come true.

If they back their promising ideas with a solid business plan and accept our guidance, we likely offer them this flexibility and grant them a loan


Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Ernst Mohamed

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

PERSONAL The President of the Board of the Aruba Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ernst Mohamed was born in the sixties in Oranjestad, Aruba as the second son of six brothers. He married his wife in 1997. That same year he became the proud father of Justin Mohamed. Ernst Mohamed excelled at two of his great passions; tennis and soccer. As an avid tennis fan he played in competitions in Aruba as well as abroad. Reaching the collegiate level as high as the 15th nationwide in the NAIA College Division [National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics], he was an Aruban single and double champion representing his island throughout the Latin American region. Together with the owner of the Eagle tennis club Mohamed even organized an international ATP [Association of Tennis Professionals] tournament. His heart is still set on the soccer game. Having played from his junior years at all levels, he is currently a referee and has overseen competitions in Aruba and Curacao. Nowadays, one can find him on all soccer fields in Aruba refereeing matches for the youngest of age all the way to the veterans. As he did with tennis Ernst Mohamed helped organize an international indoor soccer tournament, the ‘Copa Fundashon Respetami’. President Mohamed was in charge of the international soccer of which all proceeds went to Fundashon Respetami (Foundation Respect me) to support them to combat child abuse.

Ernst Mohamed, currently President of the Chamber of Commerce has a long and very full business and community track record. Name: Ernst Mohamed Company: PPG Paints Aruba Function: Director of Sales Date of birth and place: 1960 Oranjestad, Aruba Goal: To build the biggest company in the Caribbean Passion: Reading, tennis and soccer Books: Tom Clance, David Baldacci, John Grisham, Brad Meltzer Movie: Platoon Music: Smooth Jazz 24

PROFESSIONAL As a true entrepreneur Ernst Mohamed has a long trajectory in the business world primarily in the Hospitality Industry and the Retail Industry. He worked in hotels such as Aruba Sheraton Hotel, Stouffer Hotel Orlando, Sonesta Village Resort Orlando, Sheraton Twin Towers Orlando, Delta Court of Flags, Sheraton Grand Tampa, Costa Linda Beach Resort Aruba, Aruba Sonesta Resort, Allegro Aruba and Brickell Bay Beach Club. Over the years and on his way to the top as General Manager he held positions at the Front desk, Housekeeping and Security. In retail he was just as successful. From managing one of Kooymans’ branches to Ponton Home & Hardware Center Inc., Sherwin Williams and now together with his partners of PPG Paints Aruba LLC he runs his own store. Ernst Mohamed strengths lies in motivating employees, budget control, planning, cost control, sales and customer service. Since 2008 he is a boardmember of the Aruba Chamber of Commerce and was elected president in 2017.

Registration Statistics


Facts and Figures of the First Quarter Text: Sonja Velthuizen

The Aruban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACOC) has collected and analyzed the information regarding the first three months of 2017. The information presented gives an insight into the developments of registration of businesses and the cancellations from the registry which have been reported and processed by the ACOC. The overview shows as well which sectors are developing commercially and how they influence the growing economy of Aruba. Prospects are looking good for the first quarter of 2017. Registrations The Chamber of Commerce on Aruba registered a total of 134 new businesses in January, 116 in February and 131 in March. During this first quarter the registrations consisted of 182 sole proprietorships, 52 Inc (Incorporation) and 127 LLC (Limited Liability Company). Therefore the first quarter of 2017 is a winner, because compared to the same period in 2016 with 154 sole proprietorships, 45 Inc and 64 LLC the total of businesses has increased.

Development registrations during the last six moths of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017





123 102 91







40 20 0 Jul-16










Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Total registrations compared with total cancellations per Q1 of 2012 - 2017






Registration based on type of business onshore for Q1 of 2012 - 2017



250 January 2017 compensated and took a turn on the trend of decline at the ACOC that set in around August 2016 up to December 2016. With 381 new active companies and 19 foundations a significant increase in registrations of new businesses was established in the first quarter. Most registrations are related to the sectors construction (55), restaurants / snacktrucks (53) and holdings / trust companies / consultants (61).

Q1 2012

Q1 2013

Q1 2014

Q1 2015

Q1 2016

Q1 2017








































Sole proprietor 224










100 50 Q1 2012

Q1 2013

Q1 2014

Total Registrations

Q1 2015

Q1 2016

Q1 2017

Total Cancellations

Registered cancellations at ACOC based on type

Analysis per Sector per District


San Nicolas


Restaurants / cafes / takeouts/ snack trucks


Holdings / consultancy / trust companies








Retail stores










Beauty salons / barbershops

Lottery resellers

Other sectors that need to be mentioned are retail stores (23), beauty parlors (14), tours/ car rentals (12). The overview of registrations demonstrates as well that after December 2016 there has been a significant growth in all three registration entities; sole proprietorship, Inc and LLC. This basically means that the


confidence of entrepreneurs rose during the first quarter of 2017. By comparing all first quarters (from 2012 onwards) with each other it becomes more obvious how these registrations have developed over the years. Although increasing in the first quarter of 2017 sole proprietorship and Inc have nonetheless seen a decline over the years. LLC shows a steady growth in numbers culminating 26


in an even bigger amount of registrations in Q1. An analysis per district shows which sectors are important to some key areas. In the first quarter of 2017 Oranjestad was leading with 153 new registrations. Noord followed with 110 and San Nicolas counted 22. Most of the registrations for Noord and Oranjestad can be placed in three

Q1 2012

Q1 2013

Q1 2014

Q1 2015

Q1 2016

Q1 2017








































Sole proprietor LLC INC

sectors: ‘holdings/trust companies/ consultants’, ‘construction and restaurants/snack-trucks’. With 22 registrations San Nicolas has significant less new businesses compared to the other areas. But overall previous years also confirm that Q1 of 2017 is an absolute winner with much more registrations. Looking at the total of cancellations one can see that these are fluctuating but the first quarter in 2017 did not

show a significant difference compared to previous years. ACOC registered 83 cancellations in January, 71 in February and 57 in March. Altogether there were 138 sole proprietorships, 35 Inc and 26 LLC. Compared to Q1 in 2016 the number of cancellations increased in 2017. With 126 sole proprietorship, 33 Inc and 3 LLC in 2016 the group responsible for the rise of cancellations are mainly the LLC with 23 more in 27

2017. Since the beginning of 2017 ACOC has collected information about the motives for companies to register a cancellation. So far the respondents gave as main reasons for termination of their business: ‘there are no commercial activities’ (26%), ‘the costs of doing business are too high’ (17%) and ‘lack of financing’ (16%). The Chamber will continue its research the coming quarters.

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

CaribConnect New Possibilities for your Enterprise Text: Dick ter Burg

From the COSMEprogram¹ various initiatives have been developed to interconnect twelve OCT (Overseas Countries and Territories) in the Caribbean region, including Bonaire, more intensely with each other and to increase scale. One of the initiatives of this program is related to the founding of a platform which can be used by local entrepreneurs to become more visible in the region. The platform operates under the flag of BIDx. For the Caribbean region the name CaribConnect has been chosen.²

What can you do with CaribConnect? Every entrepreneur on Bonaire, big or small, can inscribe on the special page of CaribConnect for the island of Bonaire. By doing so, you not only enhance your visibility as an entrepreneur, as was indicated before, but you can also draw attention to your own enterprise on the other islands as well. The consequence of such an inscription might result in direct work or a partnership with another business on another island. Participating from the Caribbean region are six Dutch islands, Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba, five English islands, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks - and Caicos islands, Anguilla and Montserrat and one French island, Sint Barths. So CaribConnect offers a good opportunity to expand your business. The website consists of roughly three parts from which the entrepreneur can choose. The first one is about registering your own enterprise. This makes it possible to attract new customers and /or to enter new markets. Next via the platform you can also look for a coach or mentor to help solve the problems you meet as an entrepreneur and for which you do 28

not have a direct solution. Finally the platform offers the entrepreneur the possibility of attracting investors who can help realize his or her plans. By registering at the CaribConnect -site of BIDx it is possible as an entrepreneur to achieve familiarity. The costs should not be an issue, because there are none. Inscription is free. Registration of your own enterprise The extension of the network begins with the registration of your own enterprise. When you register, you must understand that you have to be as comprehensive as possible when filling in the information form. An inscription is the digital visiting card of the business also. After all, other people in this regional network also see the enterprise and might want to do business. To enlarge this possibility, it is wise to think carefully in what way you want to create a distinct profile of yourself on this site. Once you have registered, there are several possibilities available free of charge. Thus E- learnings and concepts for business plans are offered in order to change the

existing plan or to begin drawing one up. Moreover, there are also financial templates to be found. Another advantage of registration is that you can immediately start looking for any customers, business partners or newly conquered markets on the other islands. You can see who else is active and what they are doing. And this is also the possibility to enlarge the network directly. Finding a coach After registering the entrepreneur is asked which role he or she would like to perform on the platform. An experienced entrepreneur may choose to coach other whether or not starting entrepreneurs. If this is the case, you can click on the role of coach / mentor. By doing so the website creates the possibility for entrepreneurs to be socially responsible. When you help a startup to introduce changes or give advice to an existing entrepreneur by solving a problem he or she has been struggling with, then not only does his or her business improve, but your own enterprise as well. If things get better for the businesses in the region, this automatically has an influence on the ins and outs of your own enterprise. In this way you can realize an upward trend on the island which in the end will bring a change for the better for the economy as a whole. Just as you can choose to dedicate yourself as a coach and/or mentor, it could also be that you are really in need of a coach / mentor yourself. In that case the searching entrepreneur can see exactly who has inscribed as a coach

and mentor and so can let the problem be known right there and then. It could just happen that you come directly into contact with someone who has more experience in solving the actual problem and who can help the one searching for help. So this is quite handy and free of all charges. Finding an investor What is more fantastic than an investor who knocks on the door of an entrepreneur because he or she accepts the idea of the business with open arms and who sees the good of it and is willing to invest in it. The entrepreneur involved need not go to the bank for a loan, the money is coming his / her way. Of course this is easier said than done, but that is how the principle of CaribConnect really works. The clearer the entrepreneur draws the profile of himself and of his business, the faster an investor will click-on in order to get more information. If you have filled in a clear business plan and a good financial foundation, you make an even better chance. Without correct and wellfounded financial information the entrepreneur and his enterprise do not have a chance, even if he or she has the best idea in the world. So be thorough and clear. Do not leave anything to chance and do not withhold anything, especially not when you need investments in your own business. Networks, networks, networks The motivation behind the platform and the reason for COSME to approach BIDx was and is the 29

enhancement of the network for the entrepreneurs on the islands. Different researches have shown that the fact that the islands are small scale, is experienced as a big problem. Everyone is fishing in the same pond and the costs of enlargement of the market on other islands is often (too) high. This portal makes it possible to explore the other islands from your own island. Then you can act much more target-oriented afterwards. Which will save a lot of time, energy and money. The Chamber of Commerce of Aruba (ACOC) would like as many Aruban businesses as possible to inscribe in order to put Aruba on the map even better. This island happens to be ‘hot’ on the other islands and many entrepreneurs and investors see the possibility of doing business. So please embrace these chances with both arms. CaribConnect of BIDx was not developed for the Caribbean region only, it is a worldwide network of entrepreneurs who have registered themselves. Once on a site, you can see that already many entrepreneurs have found an investor. So there are also possibilities of looking beyond the region and to make your enterprise more international. ¹ COSME stands for Caribbean OCT Small and Medium Enterprises and is from the European Union supporting performance program of the tenth European Development Fund. See for more information : ²

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

jul 2017

t n e v Ecalendar 2017

Business Plaza – Get Started!

This event is especially for people who just started their own business, and/or people who have a business idea and are thinking about starting one. Information and consultation on this subject; procedures, tips from other (successful) entrepreneurs, organizations and professionals will be provided for. Date: July 1, 2017 from 09:00 am till 1:00 pm at the Aruba Chamber.

aug 2017 Text: Aruba Chamber of Commerce

Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council Conference

jun 2017

This Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council Conference is for executives who are member of the FloridaCaribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and will be attended by high-lever cruise executives and prominent cruise tourism stakeholders.

Aruba Electoral Debate part 1

The Aruba Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACOC) is organizing two electoral debates. The first debate will take place on June 8, 2017 from 7:00 till 11:00 pm at the Marriott Ballroom. Leaders of different political parties will debate on topics such as: the economy of Aruba, pension provisions, health insurance and public finances. For more information on the event please contact the Aruba Chamber of Commerce at or call +297 5821566 ext 27/30/35.

Health Care Conference Aruba – HCCA

The Health Care Conference Aruba (HCCA) will focus on achieving and/or reinforcing collaboration between different partners in the Dutch Kingdom and tackle common health problems and difficulties. The conference will bring health care professionals, policy makers and politicians together to strive for solutions.

The three day conference will be held from June 14 till June 16, 2017 in Aruba. You can visit the website of Aruba Tourism Authority for more information.

Aruba Electoral Debate part 2

The Aruba Chamber of Commerce is organizing two electoral debates. The second debate will take place on August 17, 2017 from 7:00 till 11:00 pm at the Marriott Ballroom. For more information about the event please contact the Aruba Chamber of Commerce at or call +297 5821566 ext 27/30/35.

Business in aruba

Art workshop for Entrepreneurs

Aruba is known as a safe and stable tourist destination. The island is visited by thousands every year, many of whom return. Tourist activities are mainly concentrated on the west coast. The spin off effect of the tourist industry is clearly visible in the high quality of life and the overall business industry of Aruba.

Entrepreneurs interested in stimulating their creativity can go to the painting/art workshop for entrepreneurs on 20 June, 2017 at the Aruba Chamber. For more information please contact the Aruba Chamber of Commerce at or call +297 5821566 ext 27/30/35.

Other main economic activities include wholesale and retail trade, construction, real estate and banking at the east of the island. Aruba is striving for diversification of its economy, opening doors to new innovative businesses. Professional business services, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and technology are a few of the actual focus areas.

Address J.E. Irausquin Boulevard 10 P.O. Box 140, Oranjestad Aruba Dutch Caribbean

The HCCA will take place from May 31 till June 3, 2017 in Aruba. For more information about the conference, visit the Health Care Conference – HCCA’s website.

Business Hours Monday through Friday General 8.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. AST Cashier 8.00 a.m. to 4.15 p.m. AST 30

Contact Information Phone: +297 582 1566 Fax: +297 583 3962


Bank Accounts Aruba Bank: 1123546 Banco di Caribe: 81477101 CMB: 61179906 RBC: 7700000090061769

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Business Plaza Get Started! Text: Aruba Chamber of Commerce

This is the event where your business kicks off ...


re you ready for kick off? Business Plaza – Get started! is the event where your business kicks off! So be there July 1, 2017 from 9.00 am till 1.00 pm @ the Aruba Chamber of Commerce. If you have an idea and it is your dream to start your own company, tell us and come to Business Plaza – Get Started! It is The Event you need to attend to make your dream come true. You will learn more about the aspects and steps that need to be taken to start a business and you will be offered tools and key information which will guide you on your way to success. The Aruba Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACOC) has been organizing this event for a few years now and it is one of the most popular business events of the year. This year ‘Business Plaza – Get Started!’ will take place on July 1 2017 from 9:00 am till 1:00 pm at the Chamber and the main target group are starting entrepreneurs. The event opens with its morning program which consists of a welcome speech from the President of the

Chamber, Ernst Mohamed. The head of Business Information and Support of the ACOC, Sue Ellen Farro-de Freitas Sousa, will give a presentation on ‘How to start a business’. Other presentations will include topics as E-Commerce and the Experience of an Entrepreneur. Lender, Qredits will offer a presentation on micro-financing for start-ups.

From 12.00 pm till 1.00 pm there will be a workshop on ‘How to write a business plan’. As usual, one-on-one information sessions are available with the Chambers’ business advisors. Moreover representatives of the 32

Department of Economic Affairs will also be present to answer any questions and advise you on starting your business. And as always there will be lots of opportunities to network. In order to provide for a dream come true experience pre-registration is required. You may sign up by filling the online registration form accessible through the following link:, until Friday, June 30 2017. During the event it will be possible to register your sole proprietorship or VOF (Partnership). To make use of this service you need to have all your documents in place. Please click on the following link to know which documents are required: images/pdf/Checklist_Registry_ Forms/2013/checklist-formulier-1-.pdf You can also contact the Chamber for more information: businessinfo@ or call: +297-582-1566 35/42/27. Kick off your business and make your dream come true at Business Plaza – Get started! See you on Saturday first of July at the Aruba Chamber!

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017

Text: Bruce Harms | Defiant Concepts

The Influence of Social Media on the Elections


ur world is digital and in our pocket with a smart phone. Friends, family, news, magazines, games and much more exist on a 3-inch screen. If we look up ‘Social Media’ on Wikipedia it gives: ‘Social Media are computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.’ The truth is that Social Media is much more than its Wikipedia description. It’s your digital identity, your photo album, a place of conversation, news, humor, horror and sometimes even frustration. We navigate through daily information with the never-ending question: Is this true? Social media and politics Aruba has one relevant platform for social media; Facebook. Founded in February 2004, Facebook has sixty-one thousand users here on Aruba and that is more than half the population. Moreover according to the Central Statistics Office it seems that we have seventy-one thousand voters. So we can definitely expect a barrage of political content saturating our feeds

as we head up to the Elections in September 2017. Politicians are going to become content creators and the voters their potential subscribers. That means we will see more oneto-one campaigning through live video feeds, sharing photos, videos, advertising pages, creating events, all through the available tools on Facebook. Its side effect will be that businesses on Aruba that rely on Sponsored Stories are going to have to spend more to get the usual result. The pay-per-click price depends on market and usage and the more players in the field the more expensive online boosting gets. Options Facebook has also acquired Instagram and WhatsApp and in an obvious overall strategy it is now possible to convert your Instagram account into ‘a business profile’ which will give you access to Instagram Business Tools. Once completed, a promote button appears under the post and with some credit can be boosted to an audience. This new development can be seen as an opportunity for the aspiring votegetter to set trends. And being the first to do so is a mandatory requirement for internet success. 34

How many people will like, share, comment and keep coming back for more depends on the politicians’ effort and popularity. Making sure people will keep coming back for more is the hardest to achieve. There is another correlation between Aruba’s political landscape and social media. Tools available are very singular. As a consequence we can expect individual politicians becoming responsible for their campaigns. It is hard to imagine a party creating a fan page and promote political agendas and ideas as a group. The political brand is going to be a person instead of a traditional party. To make sure a social media strategy works one can classify (potential) voters (or in social media terms the “followers”) in three categories; the loyalists, opportunists and the free-thinkers. The loyalist: ‘Di alma’ in Papiamento means: loyal to the soul. Loyalist followers will like, share, comment no matter what the content. The engagement to the oppositions’ content will be in a negative sense. And the one thing we know that is going to happen online is: It is going to get nasty.

The opportunist Abstinence from engagement is the only type of online behavior that cannot be measured. Remember those times when you start writing a comment and you think: maybe not a good idea. The opportunist will watch, follow, engage little and will try to make a calculated guess on the outcome. The free-thinker It is the free-thinker that can be greatly influenced by excellent social media strategies. They will go through their daily feeds and need to be enticed through good creative posts and interesting agenda points in order to engage. Bottom line The 2017 Aruba Elections are going to be excruciatingly visible in our digital lives. In contrast Social Media will not be the solution to get voters, but it will definitely be a very important tool to get an idea or concept across. To be successful in an election campaign the attributes of a great politician have to be there. Facebook can only be an extension. As with all elections the byproduct is a media circus. So let’s enjoy the show and try to filter the crap.

Filing of the Annual Financial Statement & Shareholders’ Register The Chamber would like to remind all managing directors of all Inc.’s (Incorporation), LLCs (Limited Liability Company) and Ltd’s ((Private) Limited Company) to file a copy of their annual financial statement and shareholders’ register at the Aruba Chamber before the stipulated deadline. This is an obligation imposed by law and is applicable only to Inc.’s, LLCs and Ltd’s. Keep in mind that the deadline to file the Annual Financial Statement and Shareholders’ register is eight (8) months after the closure of the fiscal year. Should the closure of the financial year be the 31st of December, you will have to file a copy within eight months after this date which in this example would be on August 31st of the next year at the latest. To learn more about the filing of the annual financial report and shareholders’ register go to: business-in-aruba/filing-of-the-annual-financial-statement. If you are unable to file the annual financial report before the stipulated deadline, remember to request an extension term at the General Meeting of Shareholders. For more information or consultation go to our website or contact the Chamber and call: 582-1566, ext. 35/27/30.


Entrepreneur Aruba 2017


I prepared the meeting very well

-Look, here are all the comments you need to make!

We could win a lot of time if you left everything to me

Text: Tom Kok | Coolgroup

A meeting you are informed of much too late with an agenda nobody consulted you about, or even worse without a decent agenda, where you arrive on time

Modern way of

having meetings

and then have to wait half an hour until all late comers have finally arrived, where four people do not show up, where the chairman is endlessly speaking, where they split hairs for three quarters of an hour, so that afterwards much too little time is left over for all the items on the agenda, such a meeting where it does not make any difference what you say, the decision has already been made and where finally an hour is spent on the questions at the end of the meeting because everybody considers it necessary to raise their foolish little item. And then with a splitting headache and pain in your neck back to work.


Many people hate the meetings they have to attend every week. They wouldn’t mind not having to attend meetings anymore. Something can be done about that! Here are seven rigorous tips to make meetings better. These are tips for the modern way of having meetings. 1 Do not do it Only have a meeting when it is necessary. Insufficient items on the agenda? Postpone the meeting. Many cancellations? Annul the meeting. Can it be done in writing? Send the decision around and cancel the meeting. Does this happen regularly? Hold twice as few meetings and keep them twice as short. That will make an enormous difference.


2 Small groups Meetings with more than seven people do not work well. The intention of a meeting is that everyone is needed to achieve a good result. With more than seven people you get too many quiet followers. It just does not work. If the group is bigger than seven, then split up the meeting. 3 Influence the agenda Send around a concept agenda more than a week in advance. So that everyone can talk about what is going to be discussed at the meeting. And an item is only put on the agenda when it is clear what is expected from the meeting, so a clear piece. Also important is that enough preliminary work has been done. Do not use a meeting to talk about a subject for the first time on site. Talk first, then write, then discuss together.

4 Start on time People who are on time should be rewarded. So, chairman, beginning at the announced time is a compliment for those who arrived on time. Just do it! And the people who arrive too late do not blame them: just let them enter and sit down and stream inside. Do not summarize especially for them what has been discussed before. Too bad! You should have been on time! 5 The chairman keeps quiet and presides over the meeting A good chairman presides. And so he /she does not say anything about the contents of the items on the agenda him/herself. He/she leaves that to the others. If the chairman wants to get intensely involved in the discussion himself/herself, then he/she passes the

chair over to a replacement for that item. The chairman pays attention to the body language of the participants and reacts when he/she sees that someone does not say anything but clearly does have an opinion. 6 Do not handle the minutes In a modern meeting you make minutes in the following manner. At the end of every item on the agenda the chairman summarizes what the decision is and any of the important arguments. He/she does this out loud and the minutes secretary keeps on writing. Then he/she asks if anyone wants to change anything in the way the arguments and decision have been worded. If necessary something might be changed. Afterwards the decision 37

is made. At the end of the meeting the minutes are ready, everybody has heard what was going to be written in them. So the minutes do not have to be handled again next time: they are done. The minutes secretary sends out the minutes immediately at the end of the meeting. 7 Do something unexpected Hold a meeting sitting on the ground. Waive the discussion and vote immediately on all the items, then break up for ten minutes. Let someone else be chairman. Change the location, meet in a flower shop for a change. Ask at the beginning of the meeting what they would consider the most important item they have never yet talked about and discuss that. Go for a walk and discuss the items while walking.

Entrepreneur Aruba 2017


Business Magazine Aruba

Your Business

NEXT THEME Infrastructure


Have you ever reached that point in your business where things just feel a little stale? Things have been the same for a while, and the business just doesn’t feel like it is growing? It’s important to move beyond this, because a business that isn’t growing is one that’s fading. You always have to be moving in some direction. Therefore, take control of the direction of your business and help yourself move forward with these tips. Socialize with Customers: Sometimes you need to get out of your rut. So find out where your customers hang out and spend time there yourself. Socializing and getting to know people will help your business grow. Find out what’s important to them, what interests them and what they talk about. Make sure you’re focused on learning as much as you can about the people you serve and use that34 insight to improve and grow your business. Connect with other business owners. They are a great source of insight that

can help your business grow. Team up with local, small businesses and learn from them. Join the local Chamber of Commerce and volunteer your time to help improve the business environment in your town. Help promote the businesses of others and you may find that you increase your customer base as well. Remind People About Your Business: Don’t assume everyone remembers what you have to offer, especially if you don’t own a brick and mortar establishment that people see regularly. Marketing and advertising should be a regular part of your business activities. Make sure everyone in your local community knows what you do and do whatever is necessary to encourage them to come to you with their needs. For example, a local scrapbooking consultant always sponsors her son’s sports team. For the entire season, her name and her business are on the backs of all the children playing (for all their parents to see). It’s also listed on team schedules because the name of her business is the name of the team. Another business buys a plaque each year at the local Little League field and it stays up all year, reminding people about the business. Make sure you’re doing what it takes to stay in the front of your customers’ minds for your business. 38

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Provide Personalized Service: If your business has a reputation for personalized, excellent customer service, your reputation will spread. Everyone likes to feel like they have someone who is completely committed to meeting their needs. Make it a point to make every single customer you work with feel like they are a rock star. Ask questions, learn the names of their kids, find out what matters to them. Bring these things up each time you talk to them. And try to anticipate their needs, so that they feel like you are going the extra mile for them. It will be appreciated and bring them back, because very few businesses provide this level of service anymore. A growing business takes careful thought and strategy. Be sure you are consistently focused on what you can do to grow your business, so you don’t stagnate and go in the wrong direction! By constantly working on growth, you can enjoy a thriving business and enthusiastic customers who refer their friends to you. | +599 770 7723

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Qredits Interview with an applicant

Disclaimer: This Magazine is copyrighted This means that any content and/or appearance of the magazine Entrepreneur Aruba may not be reproduced or made public without the prior and written consent of the publisher. All information, insights or opinions as stated in the magazine Entrepreneur Aruba are that of the interviewees or the author of the article and do not necessarily represent the vision and/ or opinion of the editor, publisher or the magazine itself. Therefore the magazine Entrepreneur Aruba and its crew cannot be held responsible for possible errors, incorrect postings, views, and/or insights outlined in this magazine.

Entrepreneur (2) Business Magazine Aruba 2017  
Entrepreneur (2) Business Magazine Aruba 2017