VOLUME I ISSUE 2 JUNE 2012
Thecla Deterville Teaches how self-development can maximize potential
The survival of the Caribbean’s “green gold”
Career and technical education An underestimated discipline?
Dr Kenny Anthony’s “self-serving” budget
The perils of mismanagement
marie-claire giraud On living her dream
R.D. Azelia Glace
Reveals her health plan for the businessman
Succession Planning is
Directing your energy to the things that make you successful is the best plan for a young professional. You have the ability, the skill, and the qualifications, but you have not yet been able to convince your superiors that you are the one for a leading position, or that you deserve a more suitable compensatory package—so what do you do? Building a career as a young professional is not the easiest task for some of us in the Caribbean. Strong resistance to change and frequent criticism by our superiors may pose a challenge if we are not strong willed. The current culture in the Caribbean is one that focuses on ‘earning your stripes’ (or rather, working your way up to a position)—an antiquated mentality which needs to change in order for the region to make use of the human resource potential that is available among highly skilled and highly trained youthful professionals. Young professionals need guidance and support, instead they are normally overly micro-managed, overly reviewed and surely not given the responsibilities and opportunities that will boost their experience, so that in the future, they can steer Caribbean economies towards growth. Why then, are we not embraced and given the opportunity to grow? One senior officer at an established regional organization—who is also an advocate for young talent—said that the issue is not about a lack of talent or trust, but more so about fear. “It is not that young Caribbean professionals do not work efficiently or that they have no talent; in fact they are brilliant and they perform credibly once given the opportunity. We have a very dependable crop of young professionals who can handle things on their own, however, some senior level officers in most public or private establishments do not understand succession planning and they mistakenly believe that they are handing over control to their subordinates.” This contradicts the emphasis which Caribbean governments place on the development of the youth. Having researched a few other regions, like the U.S, Europe and Canada, I found that the majority of firms have succession-planning programs that enable their young professionals to go through active training to polish managerial and decisionmaking skills. However, in the Caribbean, it is difficult for young professionals to find themselves at the helm of decision-making, or be adequately compensated for their skills and services.
VOLUME I ISSUE 2, JUNE 2012 Editor In Chief Kareem Guiste firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Petulah Olibert email@example.com Web Design & Management Wayne Zamore webmaster@analystmagazine. com Writers/Contributors Marie Benjamin, Sherma Cenac, Onysha D. Collins, Schuyler Esprit, Claudius Francis, Ayeloa George, Azelia Glace, Phillip Jackson, Chegon James, Carolina Pena, Careen Prevost, Daryl V. Titre, Alicia Valasse, Ro Ann Wright. Photography for Dominica Damien Bellot
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So what’s next for us? Should we continue to move to regions where our skills and resources are better used and equitably valued? (Then the issue of brain drain becomes a major concern.) It is no wonder, then, that our Caribbean economies utilize a large number of non-regional consultants to carry out work that could have been handled by our expatriate professionals.
Opinions expressed in the advertisements and articles do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. While the editors do their utmost to verify information published they do not accept responsibility for its accuracy.
Nevertheless, don’t become discouraged. Do not walk away from the challenge. Do not give up and say all is lost.
Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement for any reason, at any time, without incurring liability or obligation whatsoever.
You may pause, at this moment, and rethink the strategy to increase your value and skill set; or perhaps, it just might be the time to redirect your energy to an institution that is willing to harness your skills effectively and efficiently.
Copyright © 2012 The Analyst Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the publisher.
KareemGuiste Editor in Chief
Distributed free of charge.
VOLUME I ISSUE 2
Succession Planning is No Mutiny! 1 Written by Kareem Guiste
Lome, Chiquita and Black Sigatoka
The Survival of the Caribbean’s “Green Gold”
Thecla Deterville’s Celestial Self Development Centre
Exploring self development to maximize potential Written by Marie-Louise Benjamin
Will the Saint Lucian subsidiary remain a core component of the oil industry? Writen by Claudius ‘Peto’ Francis
Is LIAT mismanaged or non-profiteering? 13 Written by Marie-Louise Benjamin
Mobile market monopoly?
Why the lack of a united telecommunications regulation may result in fewer choices and higher prices for the mobile phone
Written by Alicia Valasse
Photography by Damien Bellot of Image Area
Mobile Computing The future for Caribbean technological change Written by Kareem Guiste
Roger Alexis How he turned boredom into a business
The I in Film,and Me in Filmmaker
Written by Onysha D. Collins
Written by Kareem Guiste
Keeping your workforce motivated
Internet service rakes in $85 million in profits for ECTEL member states
Investing in your Education A low rate of investment will yield higher returns
Written by Ayeola George
Written by Alicia Valasse
How investing in employees’ needs lead to business success
Helping Dominica’s Indigenous 55 People: the Kalinago Written by Petulah Olibert
Written by Fern Smith
Planning for the Future Sustainably That Is!
Sustainable Energy Consumption
Teachers, students among first to be educated
Witten by Daryl V. Titre
Written by by Carolina Peña
Financing Youth Entrepreneurship
Written by Careen Prevost
From craft to cash:
Dominica Going Green
The island leads way for geothermal energy exploration in the Caribbean Written by Petulah Olibert
Opposition LPM challenges SLP budget 60 Written by Therold Prudent
Gharan Burton speaks of his successes and setbacks in the art world
DOMLEC In 2012 and Beyond
Written by Petulah Olibert
Photography by Damien Bellot of Image Area
Literary festivals Culture Mining or Culture Making?
Written by Sherma Cenac
Written by Ro Ann Wright
The Evolution of the National Bank of Dominica 16
Dominica’s First TourismDedicated Smartphone App Consolidated Foods Limited A Propellant for Horticulture Written by Alicia Valasse
Career and Technical Education Learn and Earn Your Way
W ritten by Chegon James
Education, Development and Brain Drain Written by Phillip Jackson
62 Written by Schuyler K Esprit, PhD
Business Plan For Your Health
Written by Azelia Glace MS, RD
Opera Singer marie-claire giraud on Living Her Dream Written by Ayeola George
Photography courtesy KendraAlexis.com
VOLUME I ISSUE 2
Writers/Contributors Phillip Jackson completed a Bachelor’s degree in 2004 Biological Science with honors, at Marie-Louise Benjamin is the owner and managing director of Excel Marketing Services: a sales and advertising company dedicated to providing innovative publishing mediums to the public at large. The Excel Marketing Services explores different solutions for effective and valuable advertising & marketing. Their in-house publications include the convenient ‘St. Lucia Map for Dummies’, ‘The Lucian-Consumer Guide’, the ‘Bi-lingual Shopping Map’, the ‘Shopper Discount Card’ and the ‘Come back to St. Lucia’ Wallet Cards. Marie-Louise Benjamin enjoys writing short stories and poems. To date, she is a student pursuing a course in writing for children & teenagers with the Institute of Children’s Literature.
is a teacher by profession. Born and raised in St Lucia, she spent six years in Cuba where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education. She is also a past student of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, A Level Division and the Entrepot Secondary School. Ms. Cenac has been actively involved in many social and writing forums throughout the years and participated in several literary competitions while studying, receiving awards and mentions for pieces written in Spanish.
Onysha D Collins is a Writer, Filmmaker, and the Editor of Aspire magazine. Born in London, UK to a Carriacouan father and Dominican mother she’s performed self written monologues about knife crime around London and made several short films on a variety of social issues. Currently working on her first novel and studying for a degree in Filmmaking; Onysha intends on developing scripts and story lines based within the Caribbean in the near future. If interested in collaborating or seeking advice contact her at email@example.com
Schuyler Esprit, Ph.D., is currently a faculty member in the English program at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC. Esprit researches and teaches in Caribbean literature, postcolonial theory, and African Diaspora studies. She writes on Caribbean literary history, and on contemporary reading and reception culture in the West Indies. She is currently working on several publications, including a critical book manuscript. Esprit has also written for Black Enterprise magazine. Mr. Claudius ‘Peto’ Francis is the founder of the Empowerment Group of Companies which have provided capacity-building and organizational-intervention services from 1998. He is a former head of the Training Division and Establishment Division of the Public Service of Saint Lucia, and has worked in regional quasi-governmental and private sector organizations. He has served in the private sector organizations as a Consultant, and as an executive member of the Saint Lucia industrial and Small Business Association (SLISBA). Ayeola George has been a part of the Caribbean Entertainment scene for over 20 years, commencing with her stint, in Dominica as a host on DBS Radio’s youth program “Vibes and Rhythms” back in the early 90s. She has worked as both journalist and entertainer and has performed with several bands including Byron Lee’s Dragonaires. Ayeola currently resides in Kingston, Jamaica where she is pursuing a bachelors degree in Media and Communications with a specialization in Public Relations. She has her own boutique PR agency called AGSelectPR which specializes in Caribbean Lifestyle and Entertainment. In her spare time Ayeola enjoys song writing and a good game of tennis. Azelia Glace is a Registered Dietitian (RD) licensed in the US by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics formerly known as the American Dietetic Association. She has completed a pre-med Honors Undergraduate Degree in Biochemistry which she received from Fairleigh Dickinson University in NJ, followed by a second undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Food Science with a concentration in Medical Dietetics from Montclair State University also in New Jersey.
Universidad de Oriente in Santiago de Cuba. This has helped him develop what he describes as “ecosystemic thinking approaches.” In 2010, he added a Master of Science in Innovation and Entrepreneurship to his portfolio of qualifications, because he considered it to be essential area of study, especially if small Caribbean island nations intend to compete regionally and internationally in the 21st century.
Chegon E. James is a Sales Management Executive with CENTURY21 Nature Isle Realty based in The Commonwealth of Dominica. Prior to this he worked with the Community Outreach and Extension Services at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington DC where he also pursued a Bachelors degree in Business Management (Management Information Systems). He was part of the Workforce Development (WFD) Planning and Development Interim Transition Team as a consultant to the Office of Apprenticeship Technical & Industrial Trades (OATIT) in Washington DC. Presently he is fully engaged with CENTURY21 Nature Isle Realty where he continues to examine and shape real estate practices in that territory. Carolina Peña has been working for the Department of Sustainable Development of the Organization of American States for more than a decade. She is currently the Program Manager for the European Union funded initiative called the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Program. Carolina has been responsible for coordinating activities in the Caribbean region, tracking and monitoring local activities, working with island nation governments and stakeholder organizations, facilitating linkages with the international financial communities and private sector. Carolina received her Master of Science in Environment and Energy Management from the George Washington University in May 2008 and her B.A. in Business Administration from Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
Careen Prevost is a Business Administration and Entrepreneurship lecturer at the Dominica State College, with a BBA and MBA from Andrews University and currently pursuing a DBA in Entrepreneurship. She serves as Deputy Chair of the Dominica Youth Business Trust and NTRC Commissioner, and is currently engaged in research of the impact of entrepreneurship education on youth entrepreneurship in the Caribbean.
Daryl V Titre is an architect by profession having earned a Bachelor of Science at Beijing University of Technology (BJUT) in Architecture and Urban Planning . Still under 30, Daryl has decided to concentrate on Sustainable Design, looking towards developing this practice in the Caribbean Region. As a citizen of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Daryl recognizes the need not only for proper economic planning in the Caribbean Region, but for proper physical planning as well. Alicia Valasse has been an educator for last 9 years. A former youth parliamentarian and National Delegate to the Commonwealth Youth Forum 7, she is actively involved in youth advocacy, conservation and community empowerment initiatives. In recent times, this budding poet who often captures the mysterious and historical grandeur of her environment has been published in the United States, England and Saint Lucia. Ro Ann Wright is an Attorney –at –Law admitted to the Trinidad and Tobago Bar in 2003, after graduating from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Laws and the Hugh Wooding Law School with a Legal Education Certificate. In 2008 she obtained a Masters in Information Technology, Media and E-commerce Law from the University of Essex.
VOLUME I ISSUE 2
Editorial Team Kareem Guiste is the Founder and Managing Director of FINANCE ACCOUNTING BUSINESS CONSULTING INCORPORATED and THE ANALYST PUBLISHING and is the Editor In Chief of THE ANALYST. Mr. Guiste holds a Bachelor of Accounts, a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a concentration in Economics and holds a Minor in Print Journalism and has three years experience in print journalism; layout, writing and editorial work. He was a former layout artist and sports page editor at the Cameron University Collegiate Newspaper, “The Collegian” in Lawton, Oklahoma. In his professional capacity, Mr. Guiste serves as a Financial Analyst in the Regulatory Industry with four years experience in electricity and telecommunication regulations.
Petulah Olibert is an experienced 10-year print journalist who has been a writer, reporter, contributor and editor for various online and print publications both in the US and the Caribbean. These include but are not limited to St Lucia Weddings, The Voice Newspaper, The Gardner News, The Barnstable Patriot and SHE Magazine. Petulah holds a bachelors degree in Creative Writing with minors in journalism and foreign languages. Her work has also been published in the scholarly literary journal The Oklahoma Review while her intrinsic love for the written word has landed her in the pages of the UK’s lifestyle magazine Pride.
Damien Bellot is the Owner and Creative Director of Image Area, a design firm started in 2006 that provides an entire range of creative services, including producing effective strategies, visually appealing design, and practical collateral material for corporate identity, advertising campaigns and event promotion. Originally rooted in the disciplines of print design, Damien has recently explored current web design trends and video editing techniques to add to his portfolio. He has also been driven by his passion for motorsports and has been involved in several local car shows from planning to event logistics, as well as being responsible for graphics packages displayed by some of the participating vehicles. Wayne Zamore holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Multimedia Design and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Design. Mr. Zamore has worked with several companies in and out of the Caribbean relating to website design, website maintenance and website update and management. His experience spans 10 years with a host of computer and web design skills as part of his large portfolio. Mr. Zamore currently works as a web designer for the Government of Dominica.
VOLUME I ISSUE 2
is certain to leave participants with the knowledge of how to wholly develop their lives and their careers all the way through to retirement—especially because [retirement] is so frequently overlooked.
of interactive Powerpoint presentations, videos and more to maintain interest throughout their sessions, and also to ensure that the teaching methods appeal to the majority of its trainees.
She noted that it is difficult for many individuals to begin self-exploration, think about expanding their horizons or jot down objectives to achieve goals.
Lately, she has had the opportunity to facilitate inter-Caribbean workshops, a National Insurance Corporation regional conference, and is the frequent recipient of requests to host workshops throughout the Caribbean. She also hosts Motivational Movie Evenings over snacks and tea. Attendees expand their mindsets by sharing ideas and information through discussions after the movie.
“At times we do need a helping hand,” she said. “We are only individuals. Keeping our problems private, picking the right person for a job, dealing with abuse, rectifying life concerns, aiming for the next step or pursuing the right career may be hard.” As such, she encourages everyone to set some time aside to pursue self-development. Deterville said she owes the success of her business to its employees, associates and the feedback obtained from its many participants.
Celestial Self Development Centre Exploring self development to maximize potential
Mother, wife, and entrepreneur, Thecla Deterville started Celestial after a series of senior management positions left her feeling ‘unfulfilled.’ Deterville had a passion for self-development. She ached to help individuals aspire and grow. So, drawing from her educational background, myriad employment opportunities, a lifetime of experience, and her participation in numerous interactive groupings and board memberships, Deterville launched the Celestial Self Development Centre. It was a dream come true to be doing what she knew and loved.
She deliberately maintains reasonably sized workshops to ensure that the material covered is efficiently and thoroughly delivered to each participant. The team harnesses the use
Many employers and individuals have already benefited from her motivational speeches and workshops, triggered by over 40 years of experience and extensive professionalism. The company’s clientele, although varied, is made up predominately of businesspersons, as managers take a renewed interest in maximizing the productivity of their staff. Entrepreneurs too, have taken advantage of Celestial’s Soft Skills Training, which includes lectures on customer service and conflict management skills. “The workshops help you grow professionally and personally. They teach you to make choices and expect consequences, set your goals and achieve your objectives,” Deterville said. Skills such as these are the stepping-stones that fuel success and innovation. Deterville’s passion has a direct impact on every workshop attendee. She says that at the end of each workshop, she
As for the future, the managing director envisions positive company growth in the coming years, and hopes to broaden Celestial’s reach throughout the Caribbean region via a trusted delegate to continue the legacy started. For additional information, visit http://celestialsdc.com/site/ or www.facebook.com/Celestialsdc .
by Marie-Louise Benjamin The Celestial Self Development Centre is the gateway for maximizing your employees’ aptitude and ability. It is a comprehensive business and personal development resource that provides individuals with life-long skills to improve their contributions to society. The centre helps individuals take control of their journey, absorb knowledge and dominate their lives.
“The participants’ feedback keeps me going,” she said, “and while the value of Celestial is not tangible, its results are demonstrated by the successes of the participants.”
And while the emphasis is on interaction, the umbilicus of the Celestial Self Development Centre is its library. Anyone can join and enjoy the many benefits of its content and quality. But if you’re more of a listener than a reader, there are also CDs of Deterville’s motivational speeches available.
Available in print and for mobile users. Subscription coming soon.
VOLUME I ISSUE 2
HESS OIL Will the Saint Lucian subsidiary remain a core component of the oil industry? by Claudius ‘Peto’ Francis This is a very important question being asked at a time when the OECS sub-region is reeling under the weight of the global economic recession. It is very sobering to think that the Government and people of Saint Lucia are facing the prospect of having to say goodbye to Hess Oil at this critical time. Not only has this firm been part of the landscape of Saint Lucia from 1981 and an important source of revenue for the state, but the owners of the firm have also demonstrated a high level of corporate social responsibility.
Stretch the boundaries of beauty.
Such is the nature of the economic and commercial activity of international firms. Despite the success of an international business in a particular locality, there comes a day when the strategic welfare of the business must be re-evaluated in light of the world economy and in the factors upon which its continuance and sustainability depends. As a subsidiary (which means it is part of a broader regime of commercial activities), its future is determined by the decisions taken relative to the activities undertaken elsewhere. In March 2012, the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Dr. Kenny Anthony, informed Parliament of the decision made by the management of Hess Corporation (St. Lucia) to sell the crude oil and refined products storage and transhipment terminal at Cul de Sac, (contingent upon their ability to get a sale in accordance with the terms they have established for its sale.) They also indicated that if they are not able to sell, they have every intention to remain in Saint Lucia. It is therefore clear that the answer to this question is what we call The Politician’s Answer: “it depends.” It depends on the bigger picture: what happens in other places where other vertically integrated concerns exist. It depends on the ability to sell on the basis of certain desired sales criteria. In short, the decision whether Hess Oil will remain a core component of the oil industry in Saint Lucia, is a function of their ability to obtain a sale for the plant in Saint Lucia. This is a question that one is not yet able to answer in a definitive way. It cannot be answered in the short term. That is why a famous writer declared that in life “there are more questions than answers.” But it is really the existence of a short run that causes many questions to
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12 remain unanswered. Many questions cannot be answered except certain environmental conditions take place and one can draw conclusions from them. The same applies to this question at hand. Its answer can only be found provided that (or when) certain conditions fall in place. There is a second component of the question to be discussed. Not only will time tell whether Hess Oil will remain in Saint Lucia; but whether it will remain a core component of the oil industry is another matter. One has to ask whether the location of Hess Oil in Saint Lucia means that the firm is a core component of the oil industry of Saint Lucia. The term ‘core’ suggests the degree of importance it plays in the performance and future of the oil industry. Given the definition of an oil industry one can say that Saint Lucia does not, in fact, have an ‘oil industry.’ Saint Lucia is a consumer (importer) of oil and other petroleum products. In addition, Hess Oil is an ‘enclave’ to Saint Lucia in the sense that the facility is located in Saint Lucia primarily for the transhipment of crude oil. The firm does not operate in Saint Lucia as a manufacturer of oil and petroleum products. This observation is not being made to downplay the importance of the firm to the economy of Saint Lucia as the island has benefitted in many ways. It is a question of the impact that a decision to sell the plant will have on the supply of oil and related products to Saint Lucia. It is a question of the extent to which the presence of the firm influences decisions pertaining to the oil industry in Saint Lucia. To an extent one may think that the very existence of Hess Oil in Saint Lucia (with its activities) makes it a part of the oil
VOLUME I ISSUE 2
industry in Saint Lucia. But the key word is core. The facts do not demonstrate that Hess Oil has a critical part to play in the policy decisions regarding the consumption of oil and petroleum products in Saint Lucia. We can look more broadly to the position of Hess Oil in the international oil industry to answer this question. It points to the future of the firm in the international oil industry. The information provided by the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia to Parliament in March 2012 indicates that the firm is contemplating shifting its activities to oil exploration rather than remain in the buying and selling or distribution of fuel. This means that if Hess Oil intends to engage in the upstream component of the industry, it means that the firm will become even more engaged in and a have a bigger stake in the global industry. The firm is also taking complementary decisions regarding the future of its concerns in St. Croix, USVI. The Prime Minister of Saint Lucia discussed the future of Hess Oil in relation to Government’s decision to borrow US$2.8 million for the establishment of the OECS Eastern Caribbean Energy Regulatory Authority Project (ECERA), in an effort at rationalizing the energy needs of Saint Lucia and the other OECS territories and by extension the energy sector. To a great extent, the answers to the questions raised in this discussion will depend on what the future holds for the global petroleum industry. There are powerful international players that have considerable influence, and that is where we will have to look for answers in the years to come.
Is LIAT mismanaged or non-profiteering? By Marie-Louise Benjamin
The Caribbean airline, LIAT, is again squealing for an injection of cash as unionists clamor for employee rights within the respective islands. The cash-strapped airline’s dismissal of Captain Michael Blackburn was another nail in its coffin, causing the Leeward Island Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) to go on a sick-out and leaving the airline and its clientele stranded for over 24 hours. The airline, already suffering financially, reported a further loss during those times. LIALPA’s actions have brought the governments of the Caricom, unionists, and the Board of Directors and Shareholders of LIAT into conference. LIALPA disputed the dismissal of Blackburn, who had resigned from the association as Chairman to avoid any possible conflict of interest as he challenged LIAT, which he claimed falsely accused him of safety violations at the George F.L. Charles Airport in St. Lucia. It was rumored that Blackburn, whose aircraft was second in line to land, ignored instructions from air traffic controllers at the airport, forcing the first aircraft to take emergency measures. LIAT outlined several reasons for dismissing the senior pilot, adding that it was not gratifying having to dismiss a senior pilot who had been with the company for over 30 years. It said that the decision was the end result after the careful and professional weighing of pros and cons. The employee issues arising at LIAT seem to outweigh its management capabilities, but this is only the tip of the iceberg if LIAT, the most popular Caricom airline serving 21 out of 26 destinations, fails.
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info@ geogisa na lyst s.com 1 (767 ) 2 25 1766/255 1768/255 1 7 70
St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, and Barbados, currently control the majority stake in LIAT. However about eleven Caricom countries own shares. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, chairman of the three shareholder governments of the Antigua-based airline, told Parliament that Saint Lucia and Dominica are likely to acquire shares in the airline, while Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony,
made it clear that his administration has no definite plans to become a shareholder. He did acknowledge, however, that the regional carrier needs significant reform, a revision of its management and more support from regional governments. The concerns outlined indicate that the 50 year-old airline is crippled by its very management, and such must be rectified before other islands can give their support. Previously, Dr. Ralph Gonzalves recommended that LIAT (1974) Ltd. be replaced with a LIAT (2012) Ltd., after LIALPA’s industrial strike. The Antigua Labour Party Opposition leader Dr. Lester Bird disagreed, stating that such a recommendation would not correct the current issues of LIAT. From an accounting standpoint, LIAT has proven the possibility of financial stability—after all, it has been in operation for more than fifty years. But some may see LIAT as a political dispute. And while the current LIAT fleet is impressive, the planes are high maintenance. LIAT may want to consider the ATR 42 for short hauls, similar to that of Air Caribes, Air Martinique or even American Eagle. Such change is bound to shed light on operating costs. A closer look into the services of LIAT in the Caribbean, and one may question the reliability of the airline itself. Is the airline efficient enough to facilitate Caribbean people? LIAT’s inefficiency has earned the nicknames “Leave Island Any Time;” “Luggage In Another Terminal;” and “Late If At All.” Such nicknames speak volumes. That, compounded with the expense of inter-Caribbean travel (a flight from Trinidad to Grenada which takes less than thirty minutes, may cost up to EC$1,600) doesn’t augur well for the airline. The socioeconomic and even cultural development of the Caricom region depends on its ability to move persons, business and cargo around the region. Can LIAT with its current management fulfill its ‘neediness’ in the Caribbean region?
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Mobile market monopoly? Why the lack of a united telecommunications regulation may result in fewer choices and higher prices for the mobile phone by Ro Ann Wright I am destined to have a love-hate relationship with smart phones. After two years, my touch screen mobile phone decided that it no longer desired my gentle caresses. Its surly replacement was the quintessential diva! It insisted on choosing which commands it would respond to, and those it would ignore. Clearly a glutton for punishment, I commenced the search for yet another of these devices and came across an announcement that a major mobile telephone service provider recently acquired a company in Haiti. As this was not the company’s first acquisition within the Caribbean and Latin American region, it left me to wonder whether this pattern of expansion through acquisition and its potential impact on the mobile telecommunications market in the Caribbean was being assessed and monitored by the relevant regulators. Mergers and acquisitions are not inherently negative. They can lead to more efficient operations, innovation and lower prices. However, competition regulators acknowledge that mergers can result in the merged entity becoming so powerful that it can raise prices, stymie the introduction of new technology and treat the consumers despicably. In other words, mergers if left unregulated may result in the creation of a monopoly, and render nugatory all the effort exerted in liberalizing the telecommunications sector. But perhaps I am being a tad melodramatic. Perhaps, postmerger, the new merged entity may co ordinate its behavior with other competitors in an anti competitive way by raising prices. That outcome is also undesirable (so there may have been a point to the aforementioned melodrama after all). In light of the competitive harm that may occur as the result of a merger, several Competition Law systems are designed not only to prevent the abuse of dominant positions and prohibit collusive behavior, but to also include the regulation and management of mergers. Merger control enables authorities to regulate changes in the market structure by deciding whether two or more commercial companies may merge, combine or consolidate a business into one. Such systems clearly define the transactions that are characterized as mergers (which may or may not include an acquisition), and give a jurisdictional test to determine which mergers
are processed. So a merger provision in legislation may give the regulator the authority to deal with mergers that involve a minimum dollar amount. Typical traditional rules also determine whether there should be pre-notification of a merger; outline timeframes for the investigation of the same; give the substantive test for reviewing the merger as one that does not result in the substantial lessening of competition in the market; and also outline the decisions the regulatory body may make and the remedies that can be sought. Merger regulation in the telecommunications sector is not consistent within the Caribbean; and the telecommunications company that acquired the assets of competitors throughout several of the OECS states (Barbados, Jamaica, and recently Haiti) faced different experiences in each territory. In the OECS countries under the jurisdiction of the much-regaled regional regulator, Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), the impact of the acquisition of Cingular Wireless and Orange Caribe on the mobile market by the telecommunications company was not the subject of a merger analysis. Whereas in Jamaica, the same telecommunications company that faced no opposition in the OECS was met with vehement objections in its attempt to merge with its then Latin American rival.
The historic incumbent provider unsuccessfully attempted to force the government to reconsider the approval of the merger by filing a case with the High Court. The Jamaican Fair Trading Commission (JFTC), which purportedly possesses some responsibility to deal with these matters, gloomily predicted that if the merger was permitted by the Jamaican Government it would result in higher prices. The commission then publicly issued statements warning against the approval for the merger, filed an injunction attempting to prevent the merger and approached the court to issue several declarations. Thus far, the Jamaican government’s approval of the merger stands and it appears that the bigger company is expanding primarily by way of mergers and acquisitions throughout the Caribbean without effective regulatory consideration of the effects of its actions on individual markets. This trend may result in the creation of a monopoly in the Caribbean mobile telecommunications market. Indeed in Jamaica, the most recent acquisition assisted the bigger company in replacing the incumbent as the preferred mobile telecommunications provider and the company continues to make significant inroads into the incumbent’s market share in other Caribbean countries. Not all Caribbean countries permit unregulated mergers and acquisitions within the telecommunications sector, however. Under the Fair Competition Act of Barbados, the Fair Trading Commission is authorized to investigate transactions in which two or more entities cease being distinct corporate entities and whether such a transaction results the control of at least 40 percent of production of any market or provision of any service in Barbados. The aim of merger regulation according to the FTC is to “determine the economic impact of the proposed arrangement on other competitors in the same market, as well as the welfare effects on the consumers.” Thus, in 2005 the FTC, after conducting a full review into a proposed acquisition by the bigger network, concluded that the merger would not affect competition adversely or be detrimental to consumers or the economy. The FTC’s decision would not necessarily take into consideration the pattern of expan-
15 sion-by-merger outside of the jurisdiction of Barbados, while its definition of the ‘relevant market’ may have been geographically limited to Barbados. The concerns raised by the Jamaican authorities, coupled with the recent acquisition of a Haitian telecommunications company should give all regulators pause. Obtaining dominance and market power through the acquisition of competitors is undesirable, and in a small region there is the ever-present possibility that a powerful company can utilize its dominance in other countries to leverage itself into other markets and, in the process, assimilate or annihilate other companies that do not have the wherewithal to compete. If so, the mobile telecommunications market in the Caribbean may eventually revert to a monopoly, which after a period of liberalization, may have simply resulted in our exchange of one for the other. What is the solution then? A necessary starting point is the clarification of the roles and responsibilities of regulatory authorities. The initial operations of the JFTC which administers the Fair Competition Act was hampered by jurisdictional issues, and one wonders whether such matters have been fully resolved—particularly since it appears that the government and not JFTC granted approval for the merger. In fact a cursory examination of the Fair Competition Act reveals that while the Act does tackle the subject of agreements that have the effect of substantially lessening competition on the market, there is no definition of a merger and no provisions that detail the procedure to be followed. At present in the OECS there no general competition regulator, and although the ECTEL regulatory framework does not specifically refer to the issue of mergers, the regulation of the same is not impossible under the existing telecommunications legislation. Also given the fact that both ECTEL’s telecommunications regulation and the OECS competition legislation are under review, decision makers could consider the inclusion of a provision in the legislation that permits regulators to examine a company’s behavior within the Caribbean region when making a determination whether a merger would result in the substantial lessening of competition. In the meantime, perhaps regulators, when at their regional gatherings such as the annual conference of the Organization of Caribbean Utility Regulators, may discuss regional market trends and the best approach to mergers. Then again, perhaps we may realize only too late that telecommunications liberalization has led to an exchange rather than change.
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17 into Dominica have diminished in that regard.” He maintains, however, that the bank is now well equipped to deal with financial crises from Europe and America. The approach to this is simple: be cautious and prudent.
Photography by Damien Bellot of Image Area
NBD has proven that it can rise from the ashes of financial flames. Having recorded losses of EC$2.7 million in 2009 and EC$2.3 million in 2010, the NBD fought back vigorously in 2011, and earned profits amounting to EC$3 million. The financial hurdle of CLICO (Colonial Life Insurance Company) also posed some setbacks, but time has allowed this commercial wound to heal. CLICO Trinidad is turning around with assistance from the government and CLICO Barbados’ future appears promising. The issue of non-performing loans is also a critical one. In 2011, the ratio of non-performing loans at NBD increased from 6.3 percent to 8.4 percent—a significant increase from the mandated 5 percent. To deal with the issue, the bank has decided to work interactively with clients to reduce the ratio, as it “understands that its success is dependent on the vitality of the communities” in which it operates.
The Evolution of the
The bank has also lent its support to the small business sector, with loans amounting to over EC$48 million in 2011—an increase of EC$43 million (much of which is domestic).
National Bank of Dominica
“The small business sector is the engine of the economy,” Bird said, “hence, the bank is determined to contribute to the success of the small business sector.” This determination will soon be manifested with the establishment of a program for the small business sector, an initiative that will undoubtedly provide better financing options and business advice to clients.
By Alicia Valasse
So what does the future hold for the National Bank of Dominica? The National Bank of Dominica Limited (NBD), that emerged from the merger of the National Commercial Bank (NCB) and the Development Bank has evolved into a contemporary model for innovative and convenient banking in an era of endless technological possibilities. Having declared itself the “financial leader in the Dominican market” in the face of global financial challenges, this commercial giant has paved the way for a new generation of bankers—bankers who focus on technological innovation, excellent customer service, financial prudence and convenient banking. Michael Bird, Managing Director of the National Bank of Dominica, spoke of the institution’s new focus as a privatized entity, and the challenges faced in the competitive environment.
“We aim to provide the best returns for shareholders while maintaining a prudent approach to managing assets,” he said. In order for this to be realized, the NBD has tailored its services to meet varying needs: the fast-paced world of electronics for the younger clientele, and the face- to-face contact for the comfort of the mature. “Innovation is key,” Bird said, “and this is the inspiration which guides the bank’s employees.” In its quest to excel in the provision of diverse commercial services, the NBD currently offers a range of convenient banking options that include Internet and mobile banking. Bird explains that these services will be further enhanced with the inclusion of a mobile wire transfer feature. But in an environment where a hacker’s glory lies in the
ability to breech commercial security walls, businesses must demand the best from cyber security personnel. The bank’s system, therefore, is managed by what Bird describes as “a highly skilled Information Technology team.” The IT team at NBD is believed to be the best in the region: a cadre of competent professionals keeping the bank’s security system operational at least 99 percent of the time.
Bird revealed that the institution is planning to refresh its mortgage product to make it more competitive with other financial institutions. Other investments such as that of the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank (ECAB) formed from the ashes of the Stanford Bank are expected to yield much fruit.
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) monitors the bank’s progress. Monthly reports are provided and analyzed as the institution seeks to live up to its mission of maximizing shareholder value.
For now, there appears to be no dark fiscal clouds in the future, for Dominica’s financial front-runner. The technological lanes have been paved by a proficient labor force, strong community ties have been established, promising investments have been made and financial blunders have served as learning experiences for future projects.
In spite of its many accomplishments, the NBD has been faced with many challenges. The financial turmoil of the American market reached the Caribbean shores as expected, and “the region was affected,” Bird said. “As a result, finances coming
The National Bank of Dominica is poised to change the face of banking in Dominica and the Caribbean.
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Mobile Computing The future for Caribbean technological change
by Kareem Guiste Mobile computing is the new way of keeping connected and the new technology for making keeping connected easier, portable and simpler. If we take a look at the basis for mobile computing, we realize that companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google have all focused their energies towards making their platforms mobile and user friendly. Why is this the case? Simply put, a true mobile consumer wants everything in the palm of his or her hand. They want to know that all the access they need is available here and now. The introduction of mobile computing is significant as it supports the notion of using the Internet as a background operating system. The existence of mobile computing has strengthened the ability to allow content to be easily accessible to users, and as conveniently as possible. Mobile computing has enhanced the way in which we use our mobile devices, providing a much more satisfying and useful experience. For the technological giants: Apple, Microsoft and Google, the battle continues. It is, perhaps, that each of these companies and their allies wish to convert all users over to their devices and applications, thus making them loyalists. This would obviously result in big profits for those companies. I am of the view that these technology giants have understood that the new wave of content accessibility is via the mobile medium, and that mobile computing is the best option to reach the masses.
With time and change many are even too busy to watch TV at home, thus catching a movie on the train is the closest to a popcorn date with a close friend. This tells us that the Internet has forever changed our world and our interaction with others, and these companies have worked to ensure that we enjoy the maximum benefits from its existence through their own deliverables. For example, Google, competing heavily in the mobile computing market, has created an easy access search engine that it has now made available on most mobile smart phones as an application, and it has since launched a voice option and a social networking site: Google Talk and Google Plus. Apple, on the other hand, has patented a host of applications for making the experience of mobile computing the thing of the future. Its data support services and portable devices have made Apple one of the leading technologically based companies in the world. The company is now focused on getting into the search and advertising industry for mobile computing. Microsoft, too, has been engaging with a smart phone developer, Android, to create a mobile operating platform for its users to get the full experience of its mobile computing services. It launched Bing—a search engine competitor to Google, that has been picking up speed. Bing is now available on all smart phones that run android platforms. Mobile computing continues to evolve, with many varied applications and technologies emerging. Although we can’t be certain what the Internet will be in the future, Apple, Google, Microsoft all agree that some Internet trends are here to stay. One such trend, and perhaps the most comprehensive, is the evolution towards a mobile workforce and a Mobile Web. But although these first world companies have made the best platforms, equipments and gadgets available for use, the telecommunication system in the OECS islands have not been the best at providing new and next generation networks for use. Since the introduction of the second generation network (2G) and EDGE, many of the telecommunications companies have lagged in providing a third generation network (3G), in the smaller islands, much less considered a fourth generation network (4G). Like first and second generation networks, a 3G network refers to the third generation of mobile telephony (cellular)
technology. The third generation follows two earlier generations: first generation network (1G) and second generation network (2G). The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) defined the third generation (3G) of mobile telephony network standards as “the network to facilitate growth, increase bandwidth, and support more diverse applications.” The ITU stated this with an attempt to make clear what a 4G network is: “the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications. IMT-Advanced is considered 4G, although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax,, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities.” While expensive, capital investments into network expansion in the Caribbean would not only drive penetration for mobile use further, but would also drive the demand for mobile broadband, which could push the development of mobile demand for several software applications for many sectors of an economy. Recently, among the bigger Caribbean islands, the main mobile providers have begun to dispense 4G services. Most mobile users are aware of 3G, and believe their service is based on 3G technologies, but how true is this? And what should consumers’ expectations be, as it relates to a 4G network? Although the telecommunications industry in the OECS is anxiously awaiting the launch of 3G, the bigger islands of CARICOM are currently awaiting the launch of the 4G network. In my opinion it might be highly unlikely that there will be any attempt made for the provision of 4G networks in the smaller islands. While global experts anticipate, into the foreseeable future, that 3G technologies will remain for voice traffic, with a 4G overlay for data, until appropriate models and mechanisms are established to facilitate the comprehensive billing of IP traffic, the OECS continues to lag in providing an effective service that would create the level of demand any small island economy would need to become part of the revolutionary mobile and data markets. Meanwhile, the race is on to see which standard, LTE Advanced or WiMax 2, will be the first to be implemented by mobile network operators, equipment manufacturers and handset providers. It is likely that one of the standards will eventually become an orphan, especially if there are deployment or operation issues. Hence it is important that mobile operators and regulators get it right.
Lome, Chiquita and Black Sigatoka The Survival of the Caribbean’s “Green Gold” by Alicia Valasse “Banana dead, banana dead, banana . . . the future dread, the future dread for bananas . . . ” Many in the Caribbean remember vividly the lyrics and rhythm of David Rudder’s “Banana Death Song” released in 1998—lyrics which would foreshadow an era of agricultural ruin, political tug of war, trade contentions and chronic economic infirmities. The community agreement between the EU and the seventyseven developing African, Caribbean and Pacific States known as the Lome Convention was no more. Chiquita came and conquered the World Trade Organization’s stage and a natural killer emerged, bred and fed on the fragile regional
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banana industry. In the aftermath of such loss and conflict, it begs the question: How has “green gold” survived? Lome’s provisions afforded Caribbean states protective measures in an international environment. These measures regulated trade to ensure duty-free entrance to agricultural products such as bananas—an agreement that would serve as a guide for establishing relations between more developed economies and developing ones. While many argued that the agreement was nothing more than a gesture to lighten the burdened consciences of the descendents of slave owners, the developing ACP states saw this as a relationship which would assist their growing economies. For a while it did, and banana was crowned “king” in the Caribbean. Small island farmers maintained households and part-time employment was created particularly in the rural areas. The industry became the backbone of many Caribbean economies, the Windward Islands of Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in particular (see table below). Bananas became deeply embedded in the culture of the region, in our social commentary, our literary dossier, our flavored cuisine and artistic flair. In the mid 1990’s bananas were forcefully removed as “king” by the US-owned banana company, Chiquita (formerly the United Fruit Company). Although it was the largest producer of bananas at that time, Chiquita was not immune to financial problems. In 1992, Chiquita recorded a loss of fifty two million dollars in Europe; a loss which was inevitably blamed on the EU banana system. After making its influence known on the US political scene, Chiquita fuelled a dispute between the US and the EU. Its charge? That the Lome Convention was unfair. In 1996, Chiquita gained its wish, ending the cross-subsidy given to ACP states.
Dependence of beneficiary countries on their exports of protocol products (as a percentage of total export earnings from the EU)
Exports as Share of all exports to the EU
70%- 100% St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia Dominica 40-70% Guyana St. Vincent Trinidad and Tobago Barbados Belize 10-40% Jamaica Belize Trinidad and Tobago Grenada Jamaica
1-10% Suriname Guyana Barbados Jamaica
Source: ECDPM Lomé Infokit Number 5, March 1997, revised.
Caribbean bananas were hit hard. Exports declined significantly, there was an increased emphasis on quality, and job losses were recorded all over the region. In the midst of it all, the relationship established between a crop and a fighting people was tested. Many farmers gave up, but the importance of the crop did not diminish. Caribbean people loved the banana industry. It had taken many from poverty to a state of comfort and the masses were prepared to fight for it. Talks of diversification emerged, the industry received additional funding, challenges remained, but the Caribbean people stood by their fallen “king.” Amidst trade disputes, a silent, unsuspecting killer emerged: Black Sigatoka. The disease, which has affected a significant proportion of Caribbean crops was named for its likeness to Yellow Sigatoka; a disease which reached epidemic levels in Sigatoka Valley, Fiji between 1912 and 1923. Known locally as Leaf Spot disease, it causes the premature ripening of fruit and has affected mainly banana and plantain crops in the Caribbean. In recent times, Caribbean governments have been calling for a united approach to this disease, spread mainly by wind, water, insects and humans traveling from farm to farm. Lately, it would appear that the industry has been dealt yet another blow. Crop yields have decreased significantly and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is warning of the aggressive nature of Black Sigatoka, which can cause up to fifty percent of the banana crop to be destroyed. Additionally, there are concerns about the burden on banana farmers who are already dealing with trade issues amidst global economic uncertainty. How will they weather this storm? The answer lies in the resilience shown by Caribbean governments and farmers throughout the years; a resilience that is nurtured by a love for the banana industry. Many battles have been fought for this industry. Losses have been realized but those who remain passionate about the industry continue to fight for its survival. This industry is etched into the hearts of many Caribbean people, and history shows that West Indians have fought tirelessly to keep it as a way of life and will continue to do so in time to come.
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Internet service rakes in
$85 million in revenue
for ECTEL member states
During the past year 2010 to 2011, fixed internet subscriptions grew six percent and internet service generated revenue of $85 million in the ECTEL member states. This was one of the highlights of the latest report on the electronic communications sector published by the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority, (ECTEL). The annual report, which covers the period ended March 2011, noted that there was a strong consumer demand for fixed internet service. Fixed internet subscriptions grew six percent to more than 71,300 and fixed internet service generated revenue of EC$85 million. Mobile voice subscriptions in the five ECTEL member states increased two percent and mobile penetration was recorded at 128 percent, while fixed voice penetration continued its decline and fell one percentage point to 25 percent. The report presented also addressed specific developments in the individual countries. Investment in the telecommunications sector in Dominica was up 25 percent and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) estimated gross value added by the sector at almost seven percent for the fiscal year 2010. The demand for mobile service in Grenada increased three percent and more than half the revenue generated by the sector came from the mobile market.
Fixed internet subscription in St Kitts and Nevis, which enjoys the highest internet service penetration in the ECTEL member states, rose two percent, and internet service penetration was recorded at 23 percent. In Saint Lucia, the telecommunications sector contributed almost seven percent to overall GDP. The sector employed more than 500 people, and attracted an estimated EC$17 million in investments. The market for fixed internet service recorded positive growth in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Consumer demand for fixed broadband rose eight percent while revenue generated by the market increased 20 percent and contributed 12 percent to total sector revenue. The Annual Electronic Communications Sector Review is published by the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority and tracks the performance of the electronic communications sector using a number of economic and statistical indicators including sector revenue, investment and service penetration. The report is aimed at informing policy makers and other interested parties on the status and performance of the sector for the reporting period. The electronic communications sector covers telecommunications and broadcast services. The latest Annual Electronic Communications Sector Review is available from the website www.ectel.int.
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• Corporate & Event Video Production • Motion Graphics & Film Editing • Event Management • Equipment Rental
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options like web-based films and films for mobiles.
trailers, a credit on IMDB. These are all small things that will make your film come across as marketable.
At times it may be frustrating, but develop a good pitch, treatment, and logline, and approach investors—any one from art-house lovers to venture capitalists.
I in “Film, ” and Me in “ ” Filmmaker The
Level Two: Promote your film, ferociously If your aspirations are to get it seen island wide, look into selling it to a local television station. Use the avenues available to you: Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo. Find your target market and make it available for them to purchase. Approach companies to develop reciprocal arrangements— like product placement (placing their product in your film)— whilst they promote your film on their website.
Level Three: Be professional You wouldn’t go to the supermarket and buy a greycoloured box that had the word “cereal” scribbled on the front. When you complete your film, invest in making the final product appealing: personalised DVD cases, posters,
One area of professionalism that is sometimes overlooked is simple courtesy. Be polite when speaking to people, even if you’re not in agreement with what they’re saying. It’ll work out to be a benefit not a hindrance. Surprisingly, the film industry is quite small, and all the studios know what is going on between them. MGM knows what’s in production at 21st Century Fox; DreamWorks knows what happening at Pixar, and so on. The industry isn’t secretive because it is a core group of people that circulate within it (one of the reasons why those who are deemed hard to work with are quickly blacklisted.)
And always remember . . . The greatest lesson I’ve learnt is that to succeed in the industry you need two percent talent and 98 percent tenacity. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Carpe diem, work hard, and sleep when you’re dead!
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by Onysha D. Collins Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” took nine years to develop from script to screen. It took ten years for Sydney Pollack’s “The Interpreter” to get off the ground; whilst James Cameron’s “Avatar” took fifteen years to become the blockbuster it is known as today. This shows one thing, filmmaking can be a lengthy and costly experience for both the independent and big budget filmmakers. When I talk to other filmmakers, we like to dissect the industry and analyse it director for shot, producer for script, actor for crew, and then ponder—along with all the other unanswerable questions—where on earth do we fit in within the filmmaking business? Then I remember the key word. Business. In Hollywood it’s not about filmmaking it’s about making money out of filmmakers.
As an independent filmmaker, it’s something to be aware of. Whether your aspirations are to reach Hollywood, or to be the Spielberg of the Caribbean, you need to get well acquainted with the business aspect. Two words: business acumen. Develop yours, because once you’ve got a good script at hand, an excellent crew, and effective equipment, then you can take it to the next level.
Level One: Secure funding Even though lots of industries are facing cutbacks, there’s still a lot of hope within film. It’s predicted that in North America the film industry will generate US$50.3 billion in the next four years. The recent success of the “Avengers” making US$200.3 million in its opening week is a testament to this. Utilize this opportunity to push for investment, and don’t just limit yourself to a cinematic release. Explore
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Financing Youth Entrepreneurship
Across the globe, countries are actively engaged in the development and implementation of policies that will stimulate and support entrepreneurship—a key element of economic growth and sustainability. A thriving small business sector is beneficial to government because of increased taxation revenue, employment generation, and increased overall economic activity. In order to promote entrepreneurship governments around the world implement a range of policies that include: tax relief or concessions; direct subsidies or grants; indirect subsidies—government lending programs (loan guarantees and loans); business support services, and technical assistance. Although financing a small business is a challenge to almost every entrepreneur, there are specific groups that face additional challenges in seeking financing. Women, youth, and ethnic minorities have traditionally faced obstacles in garnering financing for small business ventures. Young entrepreneurs face particular challenges in accessing financing because of the lack of collateral and other risks that are associated with youth. An analysis of the literature on government financing revealed that there is extensive literature on the policy programs of the US government in support of entrepreneurship development. However, very little data exists on the impact of government policy and financing on small businesses in developing countries. Although a number of programs have been implemented in the Caribbean to stimulate the economy through entrepreneurship development, no studies are available on the impact of the program. The evaluation of the actual impact of government financing programs on the disadvantaged groups that they target is seriously lacking in the literature. Specific research on the impact of government support for young entrepreneurs, ethnic minorities, women, and other minority groups can enhance the literature on the topic. Wan, Riding, and Chamberlin (2011) described the global financial crisis as having a profound impact on most economies around the world. Small and medium sized enterprises (SME), have been the most affected by the downturn in the economy. To combat the fallout from decreased demand, shrinking markets, and limited capital, governments have increased support to SMEs. Even before the global financial fallout Lundstrom and Stevenson (2005) recommended a number of policy initiatives to include tax policies, regulatory frameworks, entrepreneurship education, government procurement, and access to financing. Many governments focus their energies on providing access to capital to stimulate entrepreneurship development. “Government policy to
stimulate growth, innovation and especially the creation of new enterprises is rather focused on access to finance mainly through increasing the supply of capital” (Aernoudt, 2005, p. 359). Stevenson and Lundstrom (2007) noted that from the 1990’s governments have shifted their attitudes toward entrepreneurship by developing policies that facilitate and encourage entrepreneurship activity. Leaders and policy makers of the Caribbean region are placing increased emphasis on entrepreneurship as an engine of economic growth for the islands (Lashley & Baptiste-Cornelius, 2010). This interest in entrepreneurship is mainly due to the increasing need for entrepreneurs who have the capacity to “accelerate economic development through generating new ideas and converting them into profitable ventures” (Turker & Selcuck, 2009). Economic development policies now include initiatives to promote business start-ups for disadvantaged groups. These disadvantaged groups such as potential young entrepreneurs, experience poor access to finance, lack of role models, inadequate specialist support, and lack of access to child care (Rouse & Jayawarna, 2006) which serve as major barriers to small business start-ups.
Youth Entrepreneurship Current studies of youth entrepreneurship focus on the importance of entrepreneurship development in reducing unemployment in developing countries. The CARICOM Commission on Youth Development (2010) published a comprehensive report on youth development programs in the region and recommended that increased investments should be made to develop the creative and productive abilities of Caribbean youth. At the end of 2009, global youth unemployment was 11.9% and increased to 13.9% in 2010 (International Labor Organization (ILO), 2010). Caribbean governments have made a case for youth entrepreneurship as a method of tackling the social issues, loss of tax revenue, and costs associated with the youth unemployment problem. Some authors suggested that entrepreneurship can be utilized as an intervention to assist youth who are otherwise unemployed and have great potential for contributing to economic development (White, 2000; Patel & Chauhan, 2009; Awogobenie & Iwumadi, 2010). The government must therefore play an essential role in stimulating young entrepreneurs for economic activity and growth. Xheneti (2009) acknowledges that the challenges facing the youth are unique and the policies developed to suit them, need to be suited to their needs and challenges. The Global
Entrepreneurship Monitor (2007) found that while youth 18-24 held significant interest in entrepreneurship, they considered access to financing to be extremely difficult and thus a hindrance to starting a business. In a World Bank study, Shrader, Kamal, Darmono, and Johnston (2006) presented access to financing as a critical factor in the development of opportunities for young entrepreneurs. Models of youth access highlighted in these study included cooperatives, community based programs, social lending, and loan guarantees. The World Bank recommended that governments can create the enabling environment for youth entrepreneurship by funding microfinance institutions and providing technical support to youth entrepreneurs and the organizations which support them (Shrader et al., 2006).
Government Financing Initiatives Loan guarantees exist when independent entities act as a third party between a lending institution and a borrower who does not meet all the requirements but are otherwise considered a good credit risk. The targets for loan guarantees are typically borrowers who are underserved by the credit market but represent an important group, industry, or regime. Focus is usually placed on inner cities, rural areas, special industries such as agriculture and technology, and targeted demographics such as youth, women, and ethnic
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27 minorities who do not possess collateral helping borrowers to overcome credit gaps by providing a loan guarantee as a substitute for collateral (O’Bryan, 2010). Loan guarantees therefore provide insurance to the lender against default risk. The Dominica Youth Business Trust (DYBT) Loan Guarantee fund targets young entrepreneurs 18 – 35 years and provides loan guarantees of up to EC$20,000 (US$7,500). Partners include the Government of Dominica, Commonwealth Youth Program Credit Initiative, Youth Business International, local development banks and credit unions. The DYBT also provides non-financial support including training, mentorship, and technical support. Since its establishment, 197 young entrepreneurs (93 men and 104 women), have completed training in the Entrepreneurship Development Program. 107 have applied for loans under this facility. Of these, 60 entrepreneurs have been successful (27 males and 33 females). This constitutes a loan approval rate of 56 per cent. The value of EDP loans is EC$838,100 (US$310,400) with EC$643,800 (US$238,400) guaranteed by the DYBT-managed fund. 134 entrepreneurs (66 men and 68 women) have been trained under the Small Business Assistance Facility. 42 have applied for loans under this facility, 19 successfully—equivalent to a loan approval rate of 45 per cent. The total value of loans disbursed under this facility is EC$323,300 (US$119,700) and the total guaranteed is EC$213,800 (US$79,200) (Youth Business International, 2011).
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The DYBT has indicated that 216 jobs have been created over the life of this program. Research on the impact of the guarantee fund in Dominica would provide deeper insight into the effectiveness of the program and provide lessons for other islands wishing to implement similar programs.
were surveyed and the authors found that 50% of NES scholars were undercapitalized. The findings indicated that while the program had a positive impact on entrepreneurs it did not compensate for the lack of access to personal and loan investments.
In the late 1990s, Japanese banks were threatened by potential insolvency, leading to intervention by the Japanese government in order to reduce the negative impact on the banks and their borrowers. Government strategies included a dramatic increase in loan guarantee funds for SME’s and direct injections of capital deposits to banks. Wilcox and Yasuda (2008) found that loan guarantees had a more significant impact on lending to SMEs, than the capital the government had provided to the banks. They also revealed that, in most cases, the availability of government loan guarantees increased the bank’s lending. This increase in bank lending suggests that the government initiative to increase access to capital by providing guarantees was successful in stimulating economic activity in Japan. This study concurs with similar studies on the impact of loan guarantees on bank lending in the US economy.
Areas of Debate
Loans and Subsidies
In an analysis of 12 APEC countries and their Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) policies before and after the 2008 global financial crisis, Wan, Riding, and Chamberlin, (2011) examined the impact of the global financial crisis on SMEs and the policy measures implemented by various governments to mitigate the effects of the crisis. The most significant policy initiative was that the facilitation of access to capital and loan guarantee programs were the most common approach to addressing this challenge. However, they argued that government loan guarantee initiatives are very limited in solving broad issues faced by SME’s and also concluded from the research that while some loan guarantee programs worked in countries like Canada, it clearly did not work well for others (Wan, Riding, & Chamberlin, 2011).
Bates, T., Lofstrom, M., & Servon, L. (2011). Why have lending programs targeting disadvantaged small business borrowers achieved so little success in the United States? Economic Development Quarterly, 25(3), 255-266
Another major area of debate on government financing of small business is the high default rate on government related programs. Taslim (1995) studied a group of borrowers of funds from public investment finance enterprises in developing countries such as Bangladesh, and found that many entrepreneurs did not to use the funds for the stated business purposes, and deliberately defaulted on the loans creating severe problems for the borrowers. According to Taslim, when the expected pay-off from simply usurping the loan money that was greater than from investing in the stated business the borrowers are more likely to default.
International Labor Organization. (2010). Global employment trends for youth: Special issue on the impact of the global crisis on youth. Retrieved from http://www. ilo.org/empelm/pubs/WCMS_143349/lang--en/index.htm
In addition to loan guarantees, some governments provide access to low interest loans for entrepreneurs. The general trend in micro financing in the Caribbean is low interest loans that target specific industries such as agriculture and manufacturing. These loans are normally disbursed through development banks and small business lending institutions. Direct subsidies or grants are sometimes provided to entrepreneurs for start-up funding, working capital, or technical assistance. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) in the United States provides special grants for innovation in high technology industries in their early start-up stages. Companies such as Apple, Compaq, Chiron, and Intel benefited from the early stage financing from the SBIR. Audretsch (2003) concluded that the SBIR program has had a positive impact on the technology industry in many sectors including biotechnology, health, defense, and a range of other technologies. Cooper (2003) suggested that the SBIR is one of the most successful programs supporting innovative SMEs. The SBIR Act of 1982 mandated that each Federal agency with an R&D budget should set aside 0.2% of the budget for awards to small business. Reviews of the program have indicated that SBIR has had a significant and positive impact on the commercialization of innovations and the subsequent growth of the firms. New Entrepreneurs Scholarships (NES) is one United Kingdom enterprise program that provides personal investment, external private investments, and grants. Rouse and Jayawarna (2006) questioned the efficiency of NES in compensating for lower access to loans and personal investment and the participants’ perception of their level of capitalization. In this study 472 participants of this program
The major area of debate in the literature on government financing revolves around the effectiveness of government financing and its actual impact on entrepreneurship development and the financial sector. Some researchers concluded that there is a positive relationship between the level of public finance and support and entrepreneurship development (Craig, Jackson, & Thompson, 2007; O’Bryan, 2010) and programs such as loan guarantees have had a causal effect helping small credit constrained firms to grow (LeLarge, Sraer, Thesmas, 2009; Cowling, 2007). Others argue that public support is unnecessary when private markets function effectively and that programs such as credit guarantees undermine the bank’s monitoring incentives (Arping, Loranth, & Morisson, 2010).
Future Directions Further study on the on the impact of government financing programs on youth entrepreneurship will contribute to positive social change. If the financial system begins to facilitate the needs of young entrepreneurs by creating increased access to financing, then this will create a new generation
of entrepreneurs who can move the economy forward and create a positive impact on society. Research on the impact of government financing programs on youth entrepreneurship will advise policy makers, educators, financial institutions, investors, and young entrepreneurs on the way forward for entrepreneurship activity and development.
Hopefully, this research will encourage policy makers and educators to assess the effectiveness of existing financial support programs, develop strategies to improve existing programs, and introduce new initiatives in the field of youth entrepreneurship financing. It should be noted that Government financing in isolation is not sufficient to drive the small business sector or develop young entrepreneurs. There must be an integration of other policies including education, taxation, concessions, and regulations that will develop the entrepreneurial spirit and activity among Caribbean youth.
White, S. (2000). Taking care of business. Youth Studies Australia, 19(2), 11-17.
Canadian Journal Of Economics, 28(4a), 961-972. Tucker,D., & Selcuck, S.S. (2009). Which factors affect entrepreneurial intention of university students? Journal of Industrial Management Training, 33(2), 142-159. doi:10.1108/03090590910939049 Wan, L., Riding, A., & Chamberlin, T. (2011). The global financial crisis: Impacts on SME’s and public policy responses. Retrieved from http://www.swinburne.edu.au/ lib/ir/onlineconferences/agse2011/000053.pdf Wilcox, J.A., & Yasuda, Y. (2008, March). Do government loan guarantees lower or raise banks non-guaranteed lending? Evidence from Japanese banks. Paper presented at the World Bank Workshop on Partial Credit Guarantees
References Arping, S., Loranth, G., & Morrison, A.D. (in press). Public initiatives to support entrepreneurs: Credit guarantees version versus co-founding. Journal of Financial Stability, doi:10.1016/j.jfs.2009.05.009
Berkman, H., Cole, R. & Fu, L. (2009). Expropriation through loan guarantees to related parties: Evidence from China. Journal of Banking & Finance, 33(1), 141-156. Craig, B.R., Jackson, W.E., & Thomson, J.B. (2007). Small firm finance, credit rationing, and the impact of SBA Guaranteed lending on local economic growth. Journal of Small Business Management, 45(1), 116-132. Cowling, M. (2007, November). The role of loan guarantee schemes in alleviating credit rationing in the UK (Working Paper, 1613) Retrieved from http://www. employment-studies.co.uk/pdflibrary/wp7.pdf
S AV E T H E D AT E
Fatoki, O., & Chindoga, L. (2011). An investigation into the obstacles to youth entrepreneurship in South Africa. International Business Research, 4(2), 161-169. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. (2010). A global perspective on entrepreneurship training and education. Retrieved from http://www.gemconsortium.org/ download/1306337011465/GEM%20Special%20Report%20on%20Ed%20 and%20Training.pdf
Lelarge, C., Sraer, D., & Thesmar, D. (2009). Entrepreneurs and credit constraints: Evidence from a French loan guarantee program. (Working paper No. 062), Retrieved from http://www2.lse.ac.uk/fmg/research/RICAFE/pdf/RICAFE2-WP62Lelarge.pdf Miniti, M. (2008). The role of government policy on entrepreneurial activity: Productive, unproductive, or destructive. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 32(5), 779-790. O’Bryan, W. E. (2010). An analysis of small business loan guarantee funds (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from http://www.digitalcommons.unl.edu Rouse, J., & Jayawarna, D. (2006). The financing of disadvantaged entrepreneurs: Are enterprise programmes overcoming the finance gap? International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 12(6),388 – 400. Shrader, L., Kamal, N., Darmono, W.A., & Johnston, D. (2006). Youth and access to microfinance in Indonesia: Outreach and options. Retrieved from http://www. imaginenations.org/documents/Microfinance%20in%20Indonesia%20Study.pdf Stevenson, L., & Lundstrom, A. (2007). Dressing the emperor: The fabric of entrepreneurship policy. In D.B. Audrestsch, I. Grilo, & R. Thurick (Eds.). Handbook of research entrepreneurship policy (pp. 94-129). New York, NY: Spring Media
OC TOBER 26-28, 2012
Taslim, M. (1995). Entrepreneurship, default, and the problem of development
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VOLUME I ISSUE 2
“I think I was always inclined to art which made it easier, but the academic setting does help one to learn many artistic skills,” Burton said modestly. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Sculpture, and moved back to Plattsburg. Today, he splits his time between NY and the nature isle of the Caribbean. Recently, the 31 year old took one step closer to securing his future as an artist by opening an art gallery with the help of his father, David Burton. The gallery is nestled in a floral garden in Wotton Waven, Dominica, and the tranquil mountain atmosphere coupled with tropical warmth really does lend to it an air of paradise, as its name suggests. “The Paradise Art Gallery and Floral Gardens was my dad’s idea,” Burton said. “We had been working on it for over a year, and finally opened this year with my work on display. The showing was called “Near Perfect Equilibrium.”
From craft to cash: Gharan Burton speaks of his successes and setbacks in the art world by Petulah Olibert Becoming a self-employed artist wasn’t always at the forefront of Gharan Burton’s mind. Although he grew up steeped in art—his father regularly made unique hand painted T shirts for sale to tourists— when he went away to college, Burton initially decided to pursue architecture, then computer science at the State University of New York, Plattsburgh. But after happening across art on the university campus, he was sold. Not only that, but Burton realized that he could eventually command his wages, and dictate his work schedule. “I was inspired to become an artist after being exposed to art at college in New York,” he said. “The large sculptures, beautiful paintings, and art exhibitions were amazing, and the thought of doing what I love for a living, and being self-employed was appealing.” After transferring to Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX, Burton dove headfirst into his studies and rose, like a phoenix with exceptional pieces that turned heads. Neither was it laborious, for his skill came naturally.
Their decision to start a gallery wasn’t just a fly by night idea. According to Burton (junior), they had to consider the location; and of equal importance was the cost. “You see, an art gallery is not like a grocery store, and sometimes extended periods may go by without selling artwork. So whether or not you choose to rent is important. The location is definitely another factor to consider. An art gallery needs to be located where there will be lots people visiting.” The Burtons decided to forego external financing, and relied on their own funds. The result: a “decent” gallery that didn’t break the bank. And thankfully so, because Burton speculates the global economic recession has resulted in rather dismal art sales. “I do try to earn a living off my art. I take part in as many art shows as possible in order to make my work available to a wider audience. But sometimes, I have to offer special deals, or even massive discounts in order to try to influence the buyer to buy the piece.” Despite these losses, Burton insists that it is important to keep prices competitive, especially as he believes that art should be made more affordable and available to the masses. Hence his artwork, although quite varied, is far from being over priced. “Not everyone can afford an original,” he said, “but there should be prints and smaller pieces for those who have less to spend, while originals and larger works of art are available for those who can afford it.” Burton describes his work as original and unique. His use of color and contrast sets him apart creatively. He covers a range of subjects—from portraiture to the abstract, to experimental and contemporary paintings. The vivid use of Continued on page 33
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VOLUME I ISSUE 2
by Sherma Cenac
Colour is the essence of life. It enriches beauty and spawns creativity; and at Harris, their paints present a world of colours to explore. As it celebrates its 40th anniversary this coming September, Harris Paints Limited continues to satisfy the needs of its customers through product evolutions and the guarantee of a high standard of service. Harris Paints Limited is one of the largest paint companies in the region, and is the region’s exclusive technical partner of Akzo Nobel; the leading paint company in the world. The company possesses an International Standard of Organization (ISO 9001 – 2008) certification for its high level of Quality Management. In its strides for continuous growth, the company acquired B-H (Brandram Henderson) Paints West Indies Ltd in Jamaica, in 2006, which observed its 50th anniversary in November 2011.
The company prides itself on being a “one stop shop for all your coating needs,” selling a complete range of products under both the Harris and international brands, in addition to supplying its clientele with over 6,000 paint colours and custom colour matching. Harris Paints has manufacturing plants and company stores in 5 business units, namely Jamaica, Dominica, St Lucia, Barbados and Guyana and also sells its products through over 1,000 dealers spread over 15 islands across the region. Proof of Harris Paints’ quality is evident by the demand for its products in countries where there are no company stores, such as St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, Antigua and Grenada—whose market demand is satisfied by neighbouring Dominica.
Harris’ quality products have received regional and worldwide recognition through their diverse uses in all sectors. Some of their renowned projects include being featured on “Design Style” in St Lucia, where their paints adorn the island’s Government House. Harris Paints has also been the product of choice for “Design Style” in home renovation projects in neighbouring Martinique. Its guarantee of a quality product has afforded the company opportunities to embark on many other projects including the newly built St Lucia National Hospital, the beautification of the car park at Baywalk Mall, Serenity Park in Castries, through the use of its Troweltex coatings, and the application of their high performance coatings on the roof of the Sandals Grande hotel. With Harris Paints, the possibilities are infinite, as different lines of products are available to meet the budget and needs of every customer. With the aim of fulfilling its purpose of bringing long-lasting, superior visual delight to customers, new products are continually introduced by Harris, with plans for a major series of new product launches within the next year that will continue to ensure the products on offer are market leading with respect to innovation and quality. The company also prides itself on ensuring Safety, Health and preservation of the Environment (SHE) and every effort is made to ensure that standards in these areas are maintained. Harris Paints Barbados is currently a Green Business awardee, having been the first and only company to attain Tier 2 of a national initiative, based on the Green Business Barbados footprint rating system. Harris Paints Barbados has shown commitment to applying green business measures to their operations and management systems and is leading the way to a greener future for local businesses as an environmentally and socially responsible corporate entity. Once the other islands where Harris has operations introduce the Green Business initiative, Mrs. Desir is confident that all the Harris operations would be in a position to obtain this prestigious Green Business Award through their current practices. Harris, as an environmentally friendly company, ensures the proper disposal of its waste products through the establishment of their own disposal plants. Safety is an essential aspect and is not compromised for profit. All products are subject to constant testing conducted throughout the region. Late in 2011, the Harris Ulttima range of products was determined by laboratory work to be “best by test” in several categories including colour accuracy, washability, and ease of application. As the success of the company is achieved through the holistic efforts of the team, Harris Paints deems itself a stafforiented company that motivates and supports its workers. The company offers bonuses, recognition and incentives to employees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. In the face of difficult economic times, Harris is very proud of being able to maintain its current staff ratio, as many other companies are making positions redundant.
33 Mrs. Desir describes the Managerial board as being reasonable and understanding. This in itself is essential for the maintenance of high employee morale and motivation. Harris is an employer of choice, which is evidenced by their many long term members of staff and by the constant flow of applications they receive from across the region and also from the international labour market to join its talent pool. In this competitive market, Harris is able to stand esteemed and satisfied with its many accomplishments. At the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association Awards this past February, Harris took home five awards: three Diamond Awards for Leadership, Product and Customer Service Quality and Implementation of Standards and Best Practices as well as two Platinum Awards, one of which falls in the category of Human Resource Development and Social Responsibility. When asked about the key to the company’s success, Mrs. Desir proudly affirmed that they are always learning and growing, accepting correction and taking heed of the errors of others in the market, as they aspire to offer a great product to their customers. And for the future? The company intends to grow and also introduce other brands across the region whilst providing continuous improvement in all areas of its business especially its high standard of service. Mrs. Desir reiterates: “we pride ourselves on our service; we want it to be second to none.” The constant emphasis on quality service combined with the provision of a superior product are the flagstones of Harris Paints which pave the way for a promising future.
color, high contrast and texture in his work easily distinguishes him from the crowd. To gain texture he uses the palette knife and pure oil paint, he said. He is also a sculptor and has been feverishly occupied with his preferred medium of late: wood carvings. The newly-opened Paradise Art Gallery and Floral Gardens is open daily and also shows work by a number of local artists. His immediate future plans are to “keep improving wherever there is need for improvement,” Burton said. His advice to aspiring artists? “Sketching has always been a hobby of mine, and by the time I decided to paint and sculpt, I had already made up my mind that I was going to be an artist,” Burton explained, “but for aspiring career artists out there, if you are considering art as a career, it is not just about painting and drawing. There are many career options like graphic design and advertising. And you could become a fulltime artist, or freelance. You find what’s right for you.”
From Craft fo Cash: continued from page 30
Mrs. Marguerite Desir, Senior Vice President of the Human Resource department for the region, and Head of the Business Units of Harris Paints Limited in St. Lucia and Dominica, stands confidently behind Harris Paints products, stating that “the company not only sells paint but sells solutions as well.” What exactly does she mean? She elaborates by stating that the company lives and breathes high standards of service, which is evident in the provision of before and after-sales services to its valued customers. Customers receive a personalized and reliable service, and when the situation renders it necessary, Harris comes to the rescue at home, at the office or wherever its expertise is required. This process entails the visit of a Harris Paints representative to the client in order to assess the magnitude of the task to be completed, and to provide information on available options. In essence, customers receive a superior service through education on the products they wish to purchase, provision of initiatives, and assistance in making informed and satisfactory decisions.
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VOLUME I ISSUE 2
Dominica’s First TourismDedicated Smartphone App The first ever mobile application dedicated to Dominica’s tourism product was launched by a local web development company in May. The “Destination Dominica” app is a free smartphone application that showcases Dominica. Drawing upon the comprehensive database that powers the popular Visit-Dominica. com website, the app allows users to quickly find what they what to do in Dominica. “The app is targeted at visitors who are currently on island or people who intend to visit Dominica,” Delphis Ltd. CEO Steve McCabe said. “The aim is to help people find, quickly and easily, what they want in Dominica, be it a place to eat or stay, or something to do. There’s a real focus on the ease of use, and on letting people discover what’s around them. For example we make extensive use of Google Maps to pinpoint the location of attractions and local businesses.” The app is currently available on the Android platform, with an iPhone version coming soon, and can be downloaded from the Google Play app store, or by scanning the QR code. Blackberry users can access the mobile website version or visit the mobile website at DestinationDominica.com. Local businesses are encouraged to review their information to ensure its accuracy. Existing Delphis clients have detailed listings; other businesses have simple listings that can be upgraded. Android phones make up 50 percent of the smartphone market, with almost 100 million users in the US alone. “Dominican businesses, especially within tourism, need to assess how their websites perform on mobile phones and especially smartphones. This app is one step towards addressing this critical area,” Mr. McCabe said, adding that the second version of the app is already under development.
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Consolidated Foods Limited – A Propellant for Horticulture by Alicia Valasse Caribbean governments have long sought to manage struggling and failing economies by fueling the local agricultural sector. Many governments have recognized that sole dependence on an unpredictable banana industry is a recipe for an economic fatality. The focus, therefore, has been diversification: a renewed emphasis on processing industries and the horticulture sector. The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines horticulture as “the practice or science of growing flowers, fruits and vegetables. Endless possibilities exist for this sector; flower arrangements, landscaping, fruit baskets, wedding décor, fruit salad bowls and ornamental plant production are among many. These opportunities open avenues for self-employment opportunities and thus, job creation for many Caribbean territories that are burdened with unemployment. So important is this sector that governments of the region have identified fruits and vegetables as part of a “Regional Food Basket.” Notable contributions to this sector include that of The Horticulture Society of Grenada formed in 1994. This society has ventured boldly into the world of flower arrangements, the living Art of Bonsai, orchid growing and fruit cultivation. Blooms and foliage are packaged and exported, and the society has been at the forefront of replanting local flora after the passage of Hurricane Ivan. Grenada’s “Spice in Bloom Flower Show” is its most prestigious and popular
event. Flowers, fruits, vegetables and spices are arranged and displayed by amateurs as well as professionals—a rich display of Caribbean diversity and talent. In St. Lucia, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries and Rural Development embarked on a similar initiative in collaboration with the Taiwanese Government. The Union Orchid Garden houses various species of orchids for both regional retailers and local retailers like Consolidated Foods Limited (operators of Super J outlets in St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines). For years, CFL has supported local horticulture by providing a market for local farmers. The farmers grow crops such as cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes and tend to plants such as anthuriums, lilies and orchids. These are then sold to local retail and wholesale outlets. The practice of selling wholesale to local supermarkets is often an attractive option for many farmers who abhor the rigors of local vending in conditions that may revile the senses of the consumer. Additionally, incentives are provided to certified farmers—an extra ten cents per pound is awarded for produce that maintain an emphasis on quality. According to Dunstan Demille, CFL Perishables Manager, the company’s “ultimate goal is to feed our people, while emphasizing working with the local farming community.” Continued on page 43
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Roger Alexis How he turned boredom into a business
For Caribbean nationals, Trinidad native Roger “Lexo” Alexis, gives them a taste of home every time they view his puppet shorts.
by Ayeola George
Featuring a host of memorable characters: from the womanizing Santana who requires his daily plate of pelau, to his on-again-off-again girlfriend Janice and the philandering Pastor Stewart with whom they form a disturbingly hilarious love triangle, there’s a little something for all ah we—including Alexis who is monetizing the viral popularity of this handmade cast. He made his first video at age 15, but it wasn’t until his mid-20s that he realized that the mix of comedy and film could lead to a career. All it took was a boring day, a pair of socks and a friend’s camcorder to start what would turn into a serious enterprise for Alexis and a source of entertainment for many around the globe.
His biggest production to date, Santana The Movie has been screened in Trinidad, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia and London and requests for the film are pouring in from as far as the Middle East. In the production, Janice (Karryssa Babwah) has moved on to Pastor Stewart (Gyasi Gonzales) and Santana (Roger Alexis) is making a valiant effort to win her back. As he told Good Day Grenada in an interview earlier this year, the movie has all the ingredients of a hit: “action, adventure, bacchanal, romance, de works!” Though his foray into producing and directing got to an official start in 2005 with short films, dramas and comedies, it was in 2006 that he created the puppets-only cast of Herman Tales with friends Kenwyn Francis and Kirk Budhooram. The show, based on local characters, ended each episode with positive messages on topics such as gang violence and truancy at school. Herman Tales was entered into the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival the following year and had a four-year run since then. It was on that series, in an episode entitled “Gangster,” that the Santana character was first introduced. He was an instant hit. With increased interest in his puppet shorts, he decided to invest in a camera and editing software, and at the age of 32 enrolled at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine campus to pursue a Bachelors degree in Film Production. His first Santana short, “Thou Shall Not Horn,” was actually a class assignment on cinematography. With no human actors available the day of filming, Alexis turned to his reliable puppets and shot the episode in his bedroom with the help of a friend. He quietly posted the assignment (for which he received an ‘A’) on YouTube. That assignment was followed by “The Fete”: a crash-course in green screen operation. For this self-imposed crash course, Alexis used equipment from his school, a green sheet, and the assistance of two friends. He soon uploaded other videos including “Patsy” and “Pastor Stewart” which, after some months of slow growth suddenly went viral. To date they are the two most popular episodes of the Santana series sharing over three million views on YouTube, a little under half of the total views on his YouTube page (youtube.com/RogerA43). Seeking to earn revenue from these videos, Alexis created his own website Lexo.tv in early 2011 where there is a strategically placed ‘donate’ button for fans to contribute to his artistic effort. Visitors to the site can download ringtones and wallpapers and will soon be able to purchase merchandise as well. For $6.99 fans can also purchase Santana The Movie, which, incidentally was his final year project. Viewers can also see the rest of the cast: Kizzy, Janice’s ex-friend is played by Arlene Williams, while the alpha female Patsy is played by Avis Holder. Apart from playing Pastor Stewart, Gonzales also plays his mother Miss Millie. Alexis too has multiple roles as creator, writer, director, editor and is grateful for friends such as Michael Richards who
Creator Roger Alexis with his character Santana handles visual effects, Kevin Maturine sound editor mixer, recordist and voice of Narine; as well as Sheldon Buckmire, cinematography also contributed in other aspects on the set; helping to keep costs of the TT$60,000 production down. He received sponsorship from the Trinidad & Tobago National Film Company for Herman Tales and a short film called “Contemporary Sorcerer,” and although he is thankful, Alexis said he has also invested his own money (sometimes, even the rent) into his work over the years, certain that investors would come on board. Enter Ian Pantin. The experienced entrepreneur knew a good opportunity when he saw one, and in 2011 inked an ownership deal with Alexis’ LEXO TV, becoming the marketing partner and executive producer. As manager for The Asylum, a band fronted by husband and wife team Bunji Garlin and FayAnn Lyons, Pantin incorporated the Santana brand into Lyons performance at the 2011 International Soca Monarch Competition by using the male cast in her introduction piece. The singer and her husband were also in attendance at the movie’s Trinidad premiere. To date Santana has advertised products for companies such as bmobile, Classic Cola, Stag Beer and events like Saute Trinbago and Secret Santa. In June 2011 he quit his day job as a TV6 cameraman. Alexis efforts have paved the way for other young creative entrepreneurs who are seeking to establish themselves in the budding Trinidad film landscape. He’s content that “theaters will now give local productions the time of day. Hopefully the misconception that local films cannot be entertaining or there is no market for it will be a thing of the past.” Despite his business and creative achievements, there are detractors who feel that his characters are immoral and shed a bad light on Caribbean life. For Alexis, Santana represents the lighter side of reality. “All I want to do is bring joy to the people,” he said. So far he has seven million subscribers and counting, with millions more to go!
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How investing in employees’ needs lead to business success by Fern Smith The worker-organization relationship is of tremendous importance to any business that wants to successfully achieve its goals and objectives. It is often said that the workforce is indeed one of the greatest assets of a company. An efficient workforce results from proper recruitment, training and utilization of employees with the right “skill set” for various positions. Management then has the responsibility to manage their teams effectively to carry out the objectives of the organization. There are many contributing factors to worker dissatisfaction, some of which are listed below: • Lack of communication between staff and upper management (employees are left in the dark about policy changes and company plans) • Recruiting from outside when there are potential candidates with the required skill set and experience from within the organization
• Non recognition of performance
needs and expectations in the workplace. These needs and expectations can be classified as “extrinsic motivation” which is related to “tangible” rewards such as proper working conditions and pay. The other classification is “intrinsic motivation which is related to “psychological” rewards such as recognition and appreciation for a job well done.
Mullins, in Management and Organizational Behavior (sixth edition), succinctly states that, “people’s behavior is determined by what motivates them. Their performance is a product of both ability level and motivation.” (p 418).
Staff motivation and morale improves when they believe that management has taken the time to identify their needs and makes a concerted effort to address them. Morale can be improved in the following ways:
• Not addressing staff grievances • Poor working environment • Poor leadership skills; no clarity in direction from superior
Kreitner et al. suggest that although motivation is a necessary contributor for job performance, it is not the only one. Along with ability, motivation is also a combination of level of skill; knowledge about how to complete the task; feelings and emotions; and facilitating and inhibiting conditions not under the individual’s control. However, what is clearly evident is that if the manager is to improve the work of the organization, attention must be given to the level of motivation of its members. The manager must also encourage staff to direct their efforts towards the successful attainment of the goals and objectives of the organization (Man. and Organizational Behavior, p 418). How do you keep the workforce motivated? A common slogan is that “happy employees make for happy customers.” It is without a doubt that employee satisfaction translates to great customer service. Management therefore, should pay attention to worker
• Channels of communication are open and there is proper dissemination of information across all levels of the organization • Fair opportunities for growth and promotion • Proper working conditions • Recognition of performance and adequate compensation and rewards where appropriate A workforce that is not motivated will manifest in the following ways: • Excessive absenteeism
• Low productivity • High employee turnover • Embitterment and disillusionment Keeping staff motivated should not be a one-time initiative, but rather always progressive to avoid or minimize dissatisfaction. Open forums for discussion of issues should be encouraged without fear of victimization. Surveys can be completed by all staff under the condition of anonymity. This will give insight into the issues that staff are most concerned about. Failure to address those concerns will result in disgruntled employees who won’t push the objectives of the organization. It is essential for management to communicate to the staff that they are interested in developing their potential. The mistake that many organizations make is trying to get staff to accomplish objectives when nagging issues have not been dealt with. This is a recipe for disaster. Managers should get rid of the notion that there is always a pool of individuals looking for work and that they can easily hire. Treating current staff unfairly may result in losing talent and experience to the competition. It goes without saying that happy employees will drive business efforts for success, especially in an economic downturn when customer service becomes the name of the game for customer retention. An analysis of staff motivation is not complete without the work of at least one major theorist: Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs theory.” Maslow’s model depicts five levels of needs ranging in ascending order from physiological needs, safety needs, love needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs. Briefly described, Maslow purports that individuals advance up the hierarchy once lower level needs are met. Therefore, the manager must address the next higher level need that the employee seeks to satisfy in order to provide motivation for change in behavior. This model provides a useful framework for identifying the needs and expectations that employees have, their level in the hierarchy and the motivators such as compensation and pleasant working conditions that can be applied to foster satisfaction. Therefore, each manager within the organization should assess his or her team and its needs, and to the best of their ability aim for satisfaction. The result will be motivated staff who feel a sense of belonging, thus showing commitment to the organization. In conclusion, the worker-organization relationship is not to be underestimated. The success of the organization depends partly on the behavior and attitude of the staff to company goals and objectives. This relationship is merely two sides of the same coin, with the organization wanting to fulfill objectives such as increased sales and the workforce wanting better working conditions, to name a few. Not to be underrated, happy employees make for happy customers. Therefore, management should invest in the needs and expectations of staff to help keep the workforce motivated.
• Quality of work becomes mediocre • Teamwork is limited
• Employees do not engage in organization’s activities
Mullins Laurie J, (sixth edition), (2002), (p 418) Management and Organisational Behaviour
43 This is undoubtedly the goal of every government—to ensure that the nutritional needs of the populace are met in the face of global food security issues. But as markets grow and change, enterprises modify old products and introduce new ones. So CFL has become engaged in fostering entrepreneurship in various spheres. “Much work has been done with the flower producers. This product is a recent addition to the range of products offered by CFL,” Demille said. He also boasts of work done with rural farming groups such as the women of Fond St. Jacques; local bread producers in the Canaries fishing village; and the renowned St. Lucian cassava giant Plas Kassav. CFL also assists rural groups with business plans, labeling, packaging and the creation of a product that is appealing, unique, marketable and sustainable. While much has been achieved in these spheres, Demille said that they intend to encourage and assist vegetable and flower producers financially and to create businessminded professionals who can readily dip into a waiting market. Often farmers are plagued with financial problems that hinder production. Regional governments are often inundated with requests for financial and technical support. Whereas incentives such as waivers, tax breaks, subsidies and access to special local, regional and international funds have been forthcoming, many farmers are not privy to such information, perhaps because of illiteracy constraints and the failure to meet certain criteria. Moreover, many governmental organizations fail miserably in the areas of record keeping, accountability and evaluation, and thus pertinent statistics may either be unavailable or incorrect. CFL has provided a way out for many local farmers. The company currently provides financial support to farmers in the form of loans—a noteworthy initiative that has benefited a wide cross-section of local horticulturalists. Of course, certain criteria must be met. Farmers must have worked with the company for at least two years. Additionally, farmers should have sold a certain percentage of produce for the year to the company. To date, 75 loans have been approved to St. Lucian farmers, that total $146, 000. One cannot deny the contributions that CFL has made to lessen high import bills and curb unemployment by purchasing food locally and tapping into our human resource potential. Any initiative which seeks to do just that should be highly commended.
Consolidate Foods Ltd: continued from page 38
Keeping your workforce motivated
Planning for the Future Sustainably That Is! by Daryl V. Titre The CEO of the company that I work for is commonly referred to as the “urban doctor.” While he has years of experience and has won numerous awards in his field, this title is the one he cherishes the most. I recently asked him how this title came about. His response was simple. According to him, after using the body as a metaphor for an actual city, he was able to describe the problems affecting said city and in turn prescribe solutions. Immediately people started calling him “doctor of cities” which evolved to “urban doctor.” In the OECS this is exactly the kind of person we need. Now, do not think that I am trying to drum up business for my company (although, I am sure, that would be much appreciated). I am merely pointing out that with the planning difficulties faced in the OECS today, an “urban doctor” would be ideal for future development. Anyone can be an urban doctor once they can legitimately identify the problems and offer practical solutions. After decades of poor planning, OECS cities are left looking like hastily put together puzzles, with pieces in the wrong places, seemingly put together by the blind or the creatively insane. In the end you have situations where gas stations are in the middle of residential areas, government buildings in areas better used by the private sector as income generators (thus tax revenue), and the worst, in my opinion, industrial structures like factories and warehouses located in the city center. This leads to unlike industries infringing on each other’s spaces, safety hazards, and destruction of property and the environment. This is where proper planning comes in. Creating zones for schools, office spaces for white collar workers, commercial and retail spaces, and residential and social services spaces can lead to economic gains and savings. By zoning areas for schools, governments can save money (for example through having shared recreational facilities) and better manage children’s safety. Planning industrial, heavy polluting (noise and environmental) factories as far away from residential areas with green buffer zones and proper access is not only signs of sustainability but helps create a better living environment and thus a more harmonious society.
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Planning does not only mean drawing sketches to determine where buildings and other types of infrastructure are placed. It also means taking into consideration everything from economic and social costs to economic and social benefits. It must be important to note that benefits at all times must outweigh the costs. Governments throughout the region are known for boasting about grand projects as part of their achievements, whether it is the construction of secondary schools, stadiums, international airports, financial centers and/or hospitals. In the case of schools for example, within two or three years they become grossly over crowded, and the curriculum does not fit the needs of society and or the skills of the student population. It seems that things are done just for today without the thought of the possibility of a tomorrow. If I had my way, I would mandate that all governments within the OECS establish an “Independent Planning and Implementation Commission.” The IPIC would operate almost like the judiciary and/or the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank - ECCB. It would be independent of direct government control and would have the authority to review and approve any large scale project within the OECS. The IPIC’s first priority would be consultation with the general public, to scrutinize and inform about any large scale project (public or private sector funded). This would mean conducting environmental impact assessments, economic impact assessments, technological standards, upgrades and evaluations. It would mean having on hand or direct access to experts in a wide range of fields. This is an ideal example to push forward the concept of economic integration and free movement. The IPIC must be able to deliver on its objectives in the shortest possible time. It must not be seen as an opposition to government but as a complement, to ensure that projects are planned and implemented properly. Boasting similar cultures cannot be the only thing binding the OECS together. The United States is, in effect, 50 independently governed territories but with federal laws that transcend boundaries while still keeping some semblance of sovereignty. In no way am I advocating that OECS islands forgo their independence, but at this stage they must realize that they cannot go it alone. Having a good plan however, can ensure their sustainability for generations to come. This means that islands with comparative advantages in certain sectors and industries must lead the way with all islands to benefit. It would be an injustice if I did not add that all plans must have a sustainable underline. We must ensure that projects do not harm the environment and are as long term as possible. This means that not only do governments have to change their approach to doing things the entire population must recognize it cannot be business as usual in this modern day and age. Permit me to add, that had this magazine not been planned properly there would not be a second issue and the first issue may have been quickly discarded. It was through hard work and sustainable planning, while recognizing the need to fill a void, that you are able to read this article today— which proves that with a good plan, everything is possible!
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Dominica Going Green
At present, the island derives about 70 percent of its electrical energy from the burning of diesel, and 30 percent from hydropower, but that number fluctuates depending on rainfall patterns and the equipment that is available.
The French territories have a mandate by 2020 to have 50 percent of their electricity generated by renewable resources, Timothy said, and Dominica hopes that producing geothermal energy will provide one avenue for the territories to reach their target.
The island leads way for geothermal energy exploration in the Caribbean
The government hopes that harnessing geothermal energy will lessen economic costs, spur business development, and aid in promoting the ‘nature island’s’ tourist industry by the lessening of its carbon footprint.
“So this will not only be beneficial for us, but for them also. And if we are able to export to Martinique and Guadeloupe, the money presently leaving the economy to buy fuel will stay, meaning we will get an additional influx of foreign exchange from sales,” he said. “It will diversify our economic plain from being mainly reliant on agriculture and tourism. So adding energy as a source of income can only be beneficial.”
“At the moment we import all of our fossil fuels. But with geothermal energy, we will be producing our own, so the cost of electricity should be cheaper,” Timothy explained. “On a worldwide scale, there are many companies looking to ‘clean up their portfolio’ by using clean energy,” he continued, “so we are hoping that this will encourage such companies to bring their businesses to our shores. This will result in economic growth. Thirdly, because we market ourselves as ‘the nature island,’ harnessing geothermal energy will support our mandate of being environmentally friendly. So it adds to our marketability in the tourism sector. Officials are also exploring the viability of an “interconnection” with Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Officials are currently reviewing a geothermal resource bill. Once approved, this will provide guidance as to how the energy will be managed. They are also discussing whether the resulting company should be made public, private, or a partnership. Timothy said that although additional funding is needed, the Geothermal Project Management team has tried to work efficiently within the limits imposed. The current phase of the project is being funded by the European Union, the French Development Agency and the Government of Dominica at Euro$1.5 million, Euro$4 million and EC$6 million respectively.
by Petulah Olibert In keeping with its designation as the nature island of the Caribbean, Dominica is sparing no expense in trying to find renewable sources of energy to help lessen its carbon footprint. To this effect, the island has initiated the Dominica Geothermal Energy Project, an exploration project designed to determine the quality and quantity of geothermal resources that exist in the Roseau Valley. “The current phase of the project, which has been in operation for more than three years, is a practical test to determine that actual geothermal power exists in Dominica,” said Jason Timothy, project coordinator of the Geothermal Project Management Unit. “After these resources are proven, we will develop business models, provide exploitation licenses and begin developing the actual power plant.” According to Dominica’s Office of Disaster Management, the
island of Dominica is built mainly out of volcanic rock, and has the highest concentration of live volcanoes in the world. To date, there is volcanic and seismic activity throughout the island. It is believed that Dominica’s geothermal power is potentially twice that of St Lucia’s, making it the most likely source for geothermal energy exploration, especially since geothermal power is usually limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries, and Dominica sits about 50 miles east of the edge of the Caribbean plate. As a small island developing state, Dominica, like other developing states, is more susceptible to the effects of climate change than the larger developed world. “So even though we may not affect the climate substantially, we are willing to do what it takes to become more environmentally friendly,” Timothy said.
Tel.: (767)-255-6000 Fax: (767)-448-5397 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: domlec.dm
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Meanwhile, the company is also working hard to improve its internal processes. Photography by Damien Bellot of Image Area
For example, DOMLEC’s pay-as-you-go system, JUICE, has helped customers to control their usage; and by having the prepayment system installed in their rental units landlords can now be guarded against tenants who walk away leaving a hefty electricity bill. “The new smart metering technology has also helped with operational costs in terms of meter reading and meter related services,” Cover said. “It has provided information that we did not have before, and this information has helped us to make positive changes to our customer services and distribution network.” The results of these improvements have been promising. In 2009, while the average consumer was left without power for a total of 30 hours, it was reduced in 2010 to 27 hours, and in 2011 to 24 hours. Cover said incidences of generator breakdowns have also lessened, while a system to reduce line losses has been successful.
DOMLEC In 2012 and Beyond
“Even before the IRC came on board, line losses were about
49 18 percent, so the company formed a team to perform interventions,” he explained. “Since 2004 to now, we have been working steadily to reduce line losses. We have been able to get it down to 8.6 percent, and are working even harder to get it down to the ideal 7 percent. “Hydropower generation, which decreased to 25 percent after the storm in 2007 shut down the Pardu station, has since climbed to 36 percent as of last year,” he added. “All indications are that as we continue to improve the network, we make our consumers more satisfied.” The company recently recorded profits at 4.9 percent in 2011. Cover noted that although it was in the lower range—most companies aim for 15 to 17 percent profit—any profit that the company earns is attributed to a very motivated staff. “The fact that the IRC is inspecting us, and we are inspecting our workers has influenced better performance,” Cover said, “but mostly, I would attribute our profits to the staff being industrious and self-motivated. We have been exploring new and more efficient ways to do things and it has caught on, and are confident that we, with God’s help, can handle any difficulty which comes our way.”
Highlighted pros and cons of hydro and geothermal electricity generation
Hydro-electric Pros: Cons:
It is no secret that residents have been wary of Dominica Electricity Company Limited for years. After all, DOMLEC was notorious for frequent power outages and rapidly inflating prices. But now, General Manager Collin Cover hopes to change the company’s negative stereotype by improving its technical performance and its customer service approach. And while he acknowledges that perceptions “won’t change overnight,” he believes that they will, just as long as the service remains consistent and steadily improving.
the fuel surcharge higher than desired. Hydropower production varies, as it is dependent on the rainfall. The company is considering expanding its hydropower facilities, but faces several challenges including building encroachment on the pipeline easement.
To this end, the company is looking forward to utilizing renewable energy for electricity generation, as it will reduce fuel costs and therefore ease the financial burden on the consumer.
“Hydroelectricity is very important to DOMLEC mainly because it keeps the fuel surcharge down,” Cover said. “The more we produce hydro, the lower the fuel surcharge. We would certainly love to have additional hydropower stations in Dominica but as soon as someone hears that DOMLEC wants to buy the land, the price quadruples, which makes it prohibitive for us to have any further expansions.”
“DOMLEC is totally in agreement with the country’s decision to utilize its own natural resource - geothermal energy,” Cover said. “Once we can get a source that is not tied to [fossil] fuels, then we can control the fuel surcharge. So right now, much of our energies are directed toward preparing for the coming of electricity produced by geothermal energy.”
With the pros outweighing the cons in geothermal energy production, Cover is of the opinion that it just may be the best solution. If geothermal energy production is successful in a short enough timeframe, the company’s hydro expansion may not be as urgently needed, he said, as both energy sources have the same effect of reducing the fuel surcharge.
Last year, Dominica’s fuel costs totaled EC$42.9 million. Currently, the company has 6.6 megawatts of renewable hydropower installed, which has helped to control the fuel surcharge somewhat, but not enough to prevent high oil prices from driving
“There is also the added benefit of the possibility of exporting to neighboring islands,” Cover said, “so we think the potential benefits of geothermal power are great.”
Changes to natural river flows
Degraded water quality
Blocks seasonal fish migration
Reservoirs are created by damming
Impacts on fisheries
Low energy costs after initial start up
Flooding large areas of land
Geothermal Energy Pros:
Geothermal reservoirs are limited
Non-polluting if performed correctly
Need to recharge the reservoir with water that previously escaped as steam
Energy can be produced continuously day and night with minimal downtime Energy produced is practically free, after initial costs Power stations are relatively small, and have a lesser impact on the environment than tidal or hydroelectric plants.
Potential contamination of groundwater Carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide can be released by geothermal plants Many geothermal reservoirs are located in sensitive and pristine wilderness areas
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Career and Technical Education Learn and Earn Your Way by Chegon James In his 2007 hit single, “Youth Dem Cold,” reggae artist Richie Spice sings: “If education is the key, then tell me why the bigger heads have to make it so expensive for we . . .” As is often the case, some of the truest sentiments are communicated through the microphones and pens of our artistes. In this case, Richie Spice laments the hardships faced by those trying to attain economic freedom through education. But does an education guarantee a secure and well-paid job? Not necessarily so. Journalism students, for example, are notorious for relating the words their professors—who are known for giving them an early dose of reality—spoke. That is, not to expect to become rich or to even find easy employment for that matter. Perhaps some
of those students would have been better off mastering the printing press, or learning how to erect digital signage. Let’s face it, it may not be as glamorous a profession as being a journalist, but if “coin” is what you’re after the payday may be well worth it. In the Caribbean there are technical training programs organized at the high school level and within adult education programs. National and local government, and organizations such as USAID have traditionally sponsored these programs. Increasingly, we see this training being undertaken directly by companies that focus on their particular needs. Presently, one can find companies that are heavily invested in preparing staff and potential employees for jobs in the ever-popular fields of sustainable development and renewable energy career initiatives. Having worked with the US Charter School System and within Career and Technical Education (CTE) and adult education programs in the US capital, it was evident that one of the primary issues was not simply the availability and quality of the programs available, but the lack of respect associated with the programs. Shift the focus back to our region, and it’s the same. When I was growing up in Dominica there were programs such as Technical Vocational and the Junior Secondary Program (JSP). These were high school level programs that focused on more than just the traditional academic areas. The Technical Wing of the local community college, now part of the Dominica State College (DSC), also focused on more technical areas such as mechanics, electronics and the like. As admirable and as required as knowledge in these areas were, you would be hard pressed to find students who were enlightened enough to view them with the same level of respect as the more academically focused programs; and to a large extent, that’s how it continues to be. Being an advocate for the right type of CTE, I would not do justice to the program if I were to focus only on the hardships and social perception of CTE. It is much more important to share what it is, how it works, what hinders it, who can benefit from it and the economic power house it can be in the right hands.
What is CTE? Career and Technical Education prepares both youth and adults for a wide range of careers. These careers may require varying levels of education—from high school and postsecondary certificates to two and four year college degrees. Internationally, subject areas most commonly associated with career and technical education are Agriculture (careers related to food and fiber production and agribusiness); Business (accounting, business administration, management, information technology and entrepreneurship); Family and Consumer Sciences (culinary arts, management
51 and life skills); Health Occupations (nursing, dental, and medical technicians); Marketing (management, entrepreneurship, merchandising and retail); Technology (production, communication and transportation systems); and Trade and Industrial occupations (skilled trades such as automotive technician, carpenter, computer numerical control technician).
Recognizing the Stigma It is evident, from the subject areas mentioned as being those commonly associated with career and technical training, that the disciplines are far reaching and venture into many areas of specialization. The importance of career and technical training as a mainstream undertaking should be recognized. That being noted, career and technical education must be approached as the important educational process that it is. The stigma which continues to be attached to career and technical education as a second option must be challenged head on. The mainstream success garnered through existing programs should be aggressively highlighted to the targeted groups—secondary to postsecondary students. The (sometimes negative) attitude towards the academic abilities of students engaged in career and technical training programs is unfortunate. Also unfortunate is the fact that the governance of these programs is in part to blame. In the US, as far back as 1917, The Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act of the same year promoted vocational agriculture to train people “who have entered upon or who are preparing to enter upon the work of the farm.” This seemingly absolute separation from the academic education process has over the years been significantly reduced. Irrespective of these positive changes, however, some continue to wrongfully promote CTE as such.
Changing Perceptions of CTE by Embracing its Cognitive Merit and Empowering the Student One of the major challenges of creating a more successful model is to change the way in which career and technical education is perceived. It has generally been agreed, for sometime now, that one of the ways of improving the image and effectiveness of CTE is to include more academic fundamentals along with the more traditional technical aspects. While this is a definite plus for any program, it has not proven to be a complete fix to the CTE systems image. Instead of seeking to simply add a math class to the overall course of study within the chosen CTE program, there should be an increased focus on the cognitive aspects of the actual field of study. The academics within the field of study itself should be highlighted. For example, a program that teaches students the fundamentals of hairdressing may move beyond teaching the skill of hairdressing only. It should seek to empower the student academically, by exposing them to the chemistry that exists within their own field. The program
52 should deal with the properties of the chemicals used, the difference in the make up of synthetic hair as opposed to human hair and so forth. In this way, the student is not left to believe that a science class was added to their curriculum as a means of arbitrarily pandering to the program’s need to seem more academic in nature, but rather, is made to observe first hand that their discipline is as cognitively relevant as any academic course. The perception that CTE students are less academically inclined seems not to be completely without merit. The fact that many of these students may come from under-funded schools, with limited resources cannot be ignored. This, along with other social realities related to class and financial status, obviously has a negative effect on academic performance. However, relaxing academic standards and focusing only on skill training, particularly at the relatively early stage of secondary education only exasperates the issue of poor academic performance. In fact, this further hinders CTE students in their quest for a well-rounded education. This may also play a negative role in post-secondary CTE. An extremely task-specific approach hinders the student’s ability to eventually branch out into other areas. The methodological approach of some CTE programs in particular cases may lock these students into a field that they lack the ability to move on from if need be. If the analytical premise of any educational system is removed it places the participants at an instant disadvantage.
Economy Driven CTE CTE is often geared at providing the student with the necessary skills required to secure some form of gainful employment. At the same time, the society prepares the student to better serve its immediate needs. Whereas this is very important, it should not be to the detriment of providing a solid education, defined by the Encarta dictionary as “the imparting and acquiring of knowledge through teaching and learning, especially at a school or similar institution.” “After all, what is education but a process by which a person begins to learn how to learn?” Peter Ustinov, Dear Me (1977). Many CTE competencies are comparable or equal to the wide-ranging skill set many experts predict are crucial to attain secure employment in the future. The skills gained are able to improve not only the ability of individuals to be hired, but also their quality of life. These are skills deemed important to persons of all walks of life. They transcend the economic, racial, social, and cultural divide. They may improve the ability of disadvantaged persons and individuals with disabilities. Technical skills are never in low demand. They do, however, evolve. As they evolve, those who train to evolve with them command their pay. The obvious multiplier effect is that society benefits from having adequately skilled personnel contribute to the tax
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pool from which finances are drawn to further improve the lives of all within the society.
Diversity in CTE The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education, recognizes the need for diversity. As part of its mission and responsibility, the Office “administers, coordinates, and recommends policy for improving the quality and excellence of programs that are designed to . . . insure the equal access of minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and disadvantaged persons to careers, technical and adult education.” The aggressive promotion of CTE programs as an intellectually sound choice will have the effect of attracting a wider range of candidates. Potential candidates should feel comfortable with and proud of their decision to be part of CTE. Students who have maintained good academic standing would be more likely to explore their interest through CTE if they view it as being up to standard and not as a second choice. Women would be made more comfortable entering fields traditionally dominated by men—fields such as construction—if they are able to feel secure in the knowledge that the education they gain goes beyond the physical rigors of the job. Age should never be a barrier to education. Mature students should be sort after. These mature individuals may include persons seeking to improve their lives by going into a new field, and professionals who need to stay abreast of changes. The participation of reputable institutions will undoubtedly prove invaluable in the process of fostering diversity—institutions which have long-standing reputations of excellence, and thus have gained the public’s trust. Trust encourages people to take that step towards their goals.
Moving Forward Career and Technical Education has come a long way. Legislation has been put in place and modified in an effort to better serve the international community. Now it is time to take CTE to the next level by aggressively seeking to change the nature of CTE. In so doing, it is hoped that attitudes towards CTE become more positive. Through the measures discussed, CTE may stand to benefit from increased interest, while continued adjustment of the system will allow people to become more empowered on a cognitive level, through their Career and Technical Education programs. CTE must become more diverse on all levels. It must be seen as a desired first option for secondary, post-secondary, and professional participants of all backgrounds. The key to increased success seems to be not only increased participation, but also increased academic weight placed on the various CTE curriculums, and the assurance that there is an innate knowledge to be accredited to CTE and ultimately, increased earning power.
Education, Development and Brain Drain by Phillip Jackson Tewarie (2009) reports that there exists in the Englishspeaking Caribbean a total of 150 educational organizations funded by different agencies: public (60 percent); private and offshore (30 percent); and 10 percent mixed funding. Together they have an enrolment of approximately 90,000 students with 41,000 of these at the various UWI Campuses. The three campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI) have seen enrolment climb by 65 percent (Cave Hill in Barbados), 68 percent (Mona in Jamaica) and 102 percent (Trinidad and Tobago). This is reflective of the policies of these three countries which include free or heavily subsidized access. Growth in graduate enrolment has been less impressive over the same period and mainly confined to teaching, as opposed to research programs. Most of the other CARICOM countries offer full scholarships to the top A-Level performers, offer bursaries, or pay economic costs for other qualified students. In some countries like St. Vincent and the Grenadines there are government-backed student loans for economically disadvantaged students. In addition to the regional institutions, Caribbean students study and train at institutions around the world whether at their own cost or as recipients of numerous bilateral and multi-lateral scholarships extended to individual countries as part of their various diplomatic arrangements. Cuba is a major scholarship donor within the region especially in the Medicine, Science and Engineering disciplines. These arrangements together represent a fairly good basis for building vibrant and robust human capital within the region that can supply a renewal of knowledge workers. To further facilitate this, governments of non-UWI Campus member states with students in foreign universities may need to devise specific programs that encourage their students to focus their projects on local developmental issues. This is more difficult in foreign universities whose research agendas may not coincide with the needs of small island states. However, every effort should be made to fill the critical knowledge gap that exists between our countries. One sensible approach, to maximize the value of the various study scholarships we receive from donor countries, is to use the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to justify the research objectives of our students wishing to focus on local issues. There is now need for an increased emphasis on expanding and deepening our human capital formation in the scientific and technical areas. This will improve the system’s capacity to supply the critical skills and competencies for scanning
and monitoring technological and other emerging trends, assess their relevance to the priorities of the region and individual firms, and help to devise strategy for reacting to and taking advantage of the trends. In this regard, the capacity-building programs once carried out through the Caribbean Council for Science and Technology (CCST) in foresight and innovation mapping must become institutionalized within the education system. This sort of effort at the tertiary level, to be sustainable, will need a focused complimentary effort at the primary and secondary levels to infuse creativity and innovation in the whole approach to teaching and learning. The Primary school system in particular needs to move away from the entrenched climate of rote learning geared to the Common Entrance Exams, and towards creating an environment that encourages discovery through process learning and creativity grounded in an understanding our their local physical, intellectual and cultural endowments. Despite these challenges however, there exists within the region a good educational platform that has the capacity to evolve and innovate to continuously supply the sort of human resources necessary to build a robust regional innovation system. The major threat to maintaining this indispensable supply of competent knowledge workers, is the retention of our brightest and best within the region against the ravages of brain drain and the aggressive recruitment strategies employed by developed countries like the US and the UK. The challenge of migration affects the Caribbean greatly. For example, about 27,000 Jamaicans (1 percent of the population) migrated to the USA, Canada or the UK in 2007 (Ramkisson and Kahwa 2010). This trend is similar in most CARICOM countries except for Barbados. Jackson (2010) explains that this situation is due in part to the fact that the Caribbean economies with their narrow productive sectors (tourism, commodities and other ‘traditional’ industries) provide insufficient employment opportunities and low, stagnant incomes. This human resources exit is accelerated by industrial policies in OECD counties with strategies to attract skilled migrants. While developing countries lack these capabilities at home, significant knowledge and experience exist in the diaspora. There is a need to broaden the conception of the diaspora beyond just a source of remittances. Tapping the diaspora should therefore form an essential element of Caribbean Continued on page 61
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Investing in your Education
But to achieve educational goals, is taking on debt really a bad thing? Having researched at least 300 potential and current university students from the Caribbean, I found that more than 60 percent found it difficult to finance their education and more than 75 percent were afraid of the huge debt they would incur as a result. We keep hearing that education is an investment that ought to be made to reap future success, but are these returns commensurate with the risk? As part of a small survey, I also asked 100 graduates what they felt about the compensation packages available in the job market after receiving a university degree. More than 50 percent of undergraduates felt that their compensation package was just not sufficient to meet their education debt obligations, while 65 percent who earned graduate degrees felt that the compensation package was not commensurate with the investment made in their education. One Human Resources manager, when questioned about the ability for graduates to demand remuneration packages that would meet their student loan obligation, said: “It would be wonderful for all graduates to be able to demand a remuneration package that would match their investment flow towards their education; unfortunately it is never that easy and sometimes does not work that way.” According to the HR manager, companies seek out candidates who match their current needs, and who bring the level of expertise they require, but who are also willing to accept the company’s offer. These offers, according to the HR manager, is “an emolument which is within an acceptable
by Petulah Olibert
by Kareem Guiste
If you are not one of the lucky ones who may have managed to win a government scholarship, been offered a fellowship or grant funding, or have had your entire university degree to be financed through family endowments, you would probably be like most young professionals: qualified but in debt.
Helping Dominica’s Indigenous People
A low rate of investment will yield higher returns One of the major hurdles which bar potential university students from reaching their graduate status goal is the fear of mounting debt which comes with the aspirations of a university degree.
range for the company, and falls within its low and high salary scale for that specific job.” While the demand for qualified personnel in the work force continue to increase, the ability to finance student loan debt becomes an even bigger task for graduates. The average figure needed to fund an undergraduate degree ranges from US$20,000 to US$50,000, while the average rate of interest ranges from 8 to 10 percent per annum, for a period of about 10 years. This would mean that students taking loans of a maximum of US$50,000 would have to repay the principle plus an additional US$30,000 in interest payments, at a repayment amount of about US$660 per month—roughly US$ 21,600 per annum. Unfortunately, an average entry-level university graduate in the Caribbean would earn roughly US$1300 per month, and with three to five years experience may command roughly US$2300. These figures can be frightening. The ability to repay one’s education debt, and the ability to manage other needs with these salaries can be burdensome. One graduate who is currently financing her education after having successfully completed a degree in Finance (with honors) said: “It is difficult to meet the bank’s obligation and plan for a future with the salary ranges in the Caribbean. I worked hard, I did well, and I am still unable to meet my debts.” She also mentioned how difficult it was to initially meet the bank’s requirements for the student loan approval. “It wasn’t at all easy to get the loan even though it wasn’t a huge sum. Some banks make it very difficult to access funding for school, whether it be for study abroad or online, and the rates for repayment are just too high.” But all is not lost. To reduce the financing costs of their university education, many students have enrolled with reputable online universities. This allows not only for reduced costs like those associated with room, board and travel, but also enables them to seek employment or continue employment, so that they can finance their studies while at work. Continued on page 56
Dominica lies, a gem in the Caribbean, almost as unspoiled today, as it was when the indigenous Caribs were its sole occupants. So unspoiled is it, that Dominica still retains a small group of natives: the Kalinago (meaning Carib). They live on the Kalinago Territory that stretches along the east coast of Dominica. Within the territory, the Kalinago live much like their ancestors did, sticking close to traditional ways of life; and while their metropolis-free lifestyles provide them with myriad benefits, some lack the necessities that could propel them to a prosperous future. Amanda Theodore realized this when she spent the summer of 2011 in the Kalinago Territory, helping with village activities and helping children with assignments and projects. “The children were receptive, humble and always grateful for whatever help they got,” she said. “Then on, I was moved and dedicated to helping to helping in any way that I could.” From then, the Kalinago Child Support Foundation came into being, and flanked by trusted associates Bruce Langlais (Director and PRO), and Debbie Auguiste, (Director and secretary), the team is working to ensure that the children receive educational, medical and moral support. As the KCSF President, Theodore spoke with the Analyst to discuss the wins and pitfalls.
Analyst Why were you inspired to start up a foundation for Kalinago kids?
Amanda Theodore We started the Kalinago Child Support Foundation, to help break the cycle of poverty by providing the basic necessities and educational opportunities for young children in need. We were concerned about what seemed to be a lack of develop-
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ment among the children of the territory, and needed to do something urgently. Children today need our encouragement, and so we strongly believe that together (with all the help we can obtain) we are going to make a difference. Small actions lead to big change!
more kids who are in need of our assistance. We hope that the Kalinago children within our society will absorb all that is taught and use it to develop, educate, commission and strengthen themselves as they get ready for the outside world and what it has to offer.
Analyst Was it necessary to have such a foundation?
Analyst Let’s talk about financing: how do you raise funds?
AT We felt it necessary to have such a foundation today
AT Our first grand endeavor as a foundation, is to host its first
because we are in the 21st century where knowledge is in abundance. Our opportunities lie within the choices we make and the goals we set. Making bad choices just because of one’s surroundings is an extreme tragedy. It is said that once there is ignorance there is poverty, once there is education there is economic, social and moral development.
annual summer literacy program. We have been standing independently initially; however, we need so much more than the three of us together can provide in order to run this foundation successfully. Since then, we have reached out to the public and have received strong support and donations from multiple businesses. Also, we host a weekly Sunday lime to raise funds just so we could meet the basic demands of the foundation. We are hoping that as time passes, we will gain much more support nationally.
What is the foundation’s mission, and what services do you offer?
AT Our focus is to mold vulnerable youth into pro-active and competent individuals of their community, while our mission is to inspire, develop, educate, strengthen, nurture and encourage our native children so that they may grow into respectful, dynamic, successful and empowered individuals who make a difference in society. We will provide food, clothing, motivation, educational and health assistance that the children did not have before. We, as an organization have decided to do everything in our power to make a difference in the lives of our young natives.
Analyst Who are the beneficiaries of KCSF and what do you hope they achieve?
AT Within the foundation, we have congregated a society of Kalinago children who need us, and as a result will obtain benefits first hand from our organization. As time passes, and our financial status increases, we will accommodate
Analyst How much funding do you think is necessary to run the KCSF efficiently? AT In order to run this foundation effectively and execute all our ideas, we will need EC$10, 000 to start.
Analyst What effect will this organization have on community and the economy?
AT The main resource of any community is it people and the young children are the future. If we empower them to use their skills and talents, and educate them on how to use and conserve the recourses around them, then we are on our way to economic development, thereby, creating a better social dispensation.
Analyst What about character building and morale?
Investing in your Education: continued from page 54
AT The members of KCSF are all young adults. So it is easy to This model, which has been adopted worldwide, makes a university education much more affordable for those who have a desire to earn a degree and be able to meet their financial obligations. It also amounts to a 40 percent reduction in costs. An investment in education is one of the few large investments parents will be able make for their kids or kids will make for themselves, and a good way to manage that investment is to keep the cost of investing low, and the returns on the investment high. With university programs becoming more affordable with the advent of full time online programs, Caribbean students now have a wider range of affordable options to choose from.
relate to these children. We intend to have discussions that will foster ideas, inspire, and motivate them, and provide counseling. In the Kalinago territory, there are many homes that are in distress because of poverty and or child abuse, and KCSF intends to break this curse. To do so, we will collaborate with social welfare on abuse campaigns in order to raise awareness and help curb abuse.
Analyst Is KCSF’s role in the economy critical?
Kalinago Child Support Foundation Karina Cultural Village Kalinago Territory, Commonwealth of Dominica Email: Kalinagochildfoundation@yahoo.com Tel: 1 767 613 4693/614 0488
The Kalinago Child Support Foundation is a non-proﬁt organization working speciﬁcally towards developing, nurturing and empowering our native children. This organization was founded on the 10th of October 2011 and is based at the Karina Cultural Village in Bataca, Kalinago Territory.
• The ﬁrst annual summer Literacy Program, from 30th June to 1st September 2012.
• Essay, reading and spelling competitions • Community activities (hikes, sports, etc) • Child Abuse Prevention Campaigns • Reopening of the public library in the Kalinago Territory The Kalinago Child Support Foundation intend on being aggressive and attentive, towards the welfare of the native children, hence, reducing the high level of insecurity and lack. In addition, partaking in various healthy and educational activities that will aid in their upbringing, and as a result, giving the young ones a feeling of love and security.
AT Foundations, by investing in the right areas like child support and welfare, skills training, and sports, will develop a country. Every child deserves to succeed, yet it is accepted that children from lower income families are at a greater risk of failure. The Kalinago Child Support Foundation is an organization that is guaranteed to help these children develop the literacy skills they need to be successful in school, setting them on a path of achievement. Their success leads to a more knowledgeable and developed community.
Partners of the Foundation: Finance Accounting & Business Consulting Inc and The Analyst
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Teachers, students among first to be educated on
sustainable energy consumption
by Carolina Peña A country’s energy resources affect nearly every aspect of its economic development. This can be said of any country and is especially true for those in the Eastern Caribbean, where energy security is a daunting challenge given the region’s almost exclusive dependence on imported fossil fuels for electricity generation and transportation.
Union. Participating countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the Commonwealth of Dominica.
Several multilateral agencies and regional organizations are working with the governments to improve the sustainability of the energy sector and foster the transition from conventional energy toward, cleaner, indigenous renewable resources. The small island nations of the Caribbean boast significant renewable energy resources, most of which remain untapped. Moreover, the region can considerably reduce energy consumption through robust energy efficiency and conservation policies.
CSEP and its partners established the Caribbean Energy Education and Awareness Programme (CEEAP), a regional energy communication and awareness strategy for the education sector. CEEAP intends to reinforce and improve the institutional and pedagogic capacities of teachers as well as the staff of the Ministries of Education, and improve the science curriculum in primary and secondary schools by providing high quality educational materials on energy conservation, efficient energy use and renewable energy sources. This effort targets students in higher primary and lower secondary school grades.
As we look forward to advance sustainable development in the Caribbean, educating future generations on the benefits of clean energy and raising awareness on responsible energy use is a priority. Changing entrenched energy production patterns and challenging “business-as-usual” practices requires bold policies and broad public support. One effective way to do this is through innovative public policies targeting youth. Students and children are without a doubt the best agents for change.
CEEAP also includes a communication and awareness campaign called “Learn and Save”, consisting of user-friendly materials which focus on unique sustainable energy curricula specific to the Caribbean context. While Learn and Save directly targets school children and teachers in the primary and lower secondary levels, it will also indirectly support officers within the Ministries of Education, parents, and other audiences related to the education sector.
The Organization of American States is executing the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Program (CSEP) sponsored by the European
CEEAP materials will be presented at the second Sustainable Energy Workshop for Caribbean Educators in Dominica in
September 2012. The workshop will target science teachers. Participants will learn how to use the materials in their classrooms. Additionally, the Organization of American States will deliver additional educational resources from the NorthAmerican organization KidWind, which has been engaging teachers and students to effectively incorporate sustainable energy science into their classroom curricula for nearly a decade. The Organization of American States is also joining forces with the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Energy Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) to provide assistance in the design of national education and awareness strategies geared toward energy, which will facilitate the implementation of the CEEAP and future energy education and awareness programmes in CARICOM member countries. CEEAP materials will also be made available during the CARICOM Energy Week (CEW) held every year in November by all CARICOM member states with the support of the CARICOM Secretariat. It is our pledge to pilot the CEEAP in at least eight schools in 2012. Our wish is to engage teachers and students in a fastpaced, interactive learning process and provide them with an opportunity to refine the materials and the methodology with a view to improving learning performance throughout the Caribbean. This will promote the education of sustainable energy for all.
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Dr. Kenny Anthony delivers an a la carte policy statement of hardship and inadequacy Dr. Kenny Anthony delivers an a la carte policy statement of hardship and inadequacy In a desperate bid to save face following his grand political promise of “better days,” Dr. Anthony may have delivered a magician budget that makes Mao Tse Tung’s “Great Leap Forward” of 1958-1961 seem pale by comparison.
sustainable development action plan, if Saint Lucia is to regain lost opportunities, and establish a generation of young people who will stimulate growth, while building a secure footing for better days to follow.
Historically, the government’s policy for the fiscal year is based on good intentions to deliver the goods, and on a desire to seek stability and to promote growth, all towards a better future. However, a new path to growth that benefits a wider population is now required—a path to better-balanced and sustained growth. This would require the right combination of policies working together with the ‘epic triangle’ of success, business, and political and social leaders.
Given the immediate challenges of addressing economic growth and of creating a balanced social agenda of food security, water supply, energy, health, housing and infrastructure, through its failure to focus on the issues that are most basic to a developing nation, the unreality of Anthony’s position becomes clear: liberal socialism and the leisure of involuntary experimentation will not achieve the best possible results for the country.
Unfortunately, Dr. Kenny Anthony’s 2012/2013 policy statement is, at best, anemic, and appears quite unable to support the developmental challenges of Saint Lucia. However, there is no doubt that the current need for growth—in order to service an excessive debt burden and to support a new social balance that benefits the wider population, while retaining the ability to protect Saint Lucia against the impact of external shocks—is an overwhelming challenge. By all estimates, Dr. Kenny Anthony’s 2012/2013 policy statement requires a more substantive base and a
Despite the increasing inability of citizens to afford basic goods and services, the policy formulation has no short, medium or long-term strategy sequence for improving productivity and efficiency, or for achieving growth and development, either locally or globally.
The Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) has no doubt that this magician budget is a recipe for economic disaster, and believes that the people of Saint Lucia could well be heading towards a state of “en misere”, or perpetual dependence.
Saint Lucians have the right to expect a policy of sustainable development and an environmental approach that will challenge internal consumption and increase the opportunities for enhanced capacity, while implementing
a comprehensive plan that would urgently diversify Saint Lucia’s agricultural products. The appeal of this alternative approach is that it could offer skills training and personal development, with start-up business incentives to citizens who want to become entrepreneurs. It could also train and hire the unemployed to assist with the production and marketing of goods and services, while attracting international investment. This approach would provide a more productive solution for the wider population, offering a natural fit with multiple avenues for economic growth and development. Where youth unemployment is concerned, labor policies would open island-wide job training, linking colleges with businesses in apprenticeship programs, with options for tax credits. Resource centers would be established to provide job-search assistance. Attention to these support structures is microscopic in Anthony’s policy statement in relation to the current requirements for national development. This type of development is critical if the unemployed are ever to be weaned from the dependency syndrome implicit in the current estimates of revenue and expenditure. It would appear that the option of handout policies is preferred in a la carte (unlimited) portions. It is critical to understand this dynamic, because, moving into a third term, the Dr. Kenny Anthony administration has still not understood the dynamics of Saint Lucia, or recognized that the economy has stalled. Rather, it appears that the number one priority for fiscal consolidation is seen as the implementation of Value Added Tax, while the number one source of funding for the current budget is tax revenue, which represents 92 percent of the total projected recurrent revenue. These taxation measures will impact a wide crosssection of the population that is not gainfully employed. Anthony’s policy appears to present a calculated formula for hardship, and demonstrates political inadequacy rather than the policy “Building Opportunities For Our Common Future.” In the words of Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, “we are living through a change of times rather than through times of change.” Saint Lucia’s deficient democracy and flagging economy require it to rise above blind liberal doctrines if it is ever to reach a healthier future. Rather than developing a policy made up of a right combination of policies, it needs a better balance of financial and social cooperation, with market reform to restore competitiveness and productivity that will together fuel sustained growth into the future. A quick look at where Saint Lucia now stands, as presented through the estimates of revenue of expenditure, indicates that something is deeply wrong. Most sectors are disadvantaged, with weak fiscal adjustments, social and economic hindrances and further constraints caused by poor infrastructure. This all suggests a potential disaster. Saint Lucia needs the epic triangle of success—business, political and
61 social leaders—to work together towards a new form of diverse innovation and leadership, in order to develop a new sustainable paradigm. To facilitate this, the politics and governance of Saint Lucia need a paradigm shift away from the physical to the mind. This would liberate the country from its clever enemies and their schemes, and enable us to achieve a future that works for the vast majority, and makes lives better. We do not want to be poorer and more insecure, as the Dr. Kenny Anthony administration a la carte policy statement of hardship and inadequacy suggests. The reality is that Dr. Anthony’s policy statement is not pragmatic and it is certainly not sufficiently flexible to engage the citizens in “Building Opportunities For Our Common Future.” Dr. Kenny Anthony’s policy statement provides no long-term sustainable solutions that will benefit the wider population by spreading the benefits and providing clarity and vision for a collective hope and a shared dream for Saint Lucia. What is presented is an awkward contributor that serves self-interest and special interest elites, with the hope of retaining real political power. I would remind you of Mahatma Gandhi’s statement: “Beware of politics without principles and commerce without morality.” With Saint Lucia facing and struggling with fundamental insecurities, a real commitment is required to embrace a new and sustainable development policy, a willingness to transform the status quo, and a right combination of policies, working together with the epic triangle of success to begin the formation of a common future for all Saint Lucians. This is the path to a better balance of policy and to sustained growth. Therold Prudent Political Leader Lucian People’s Movement
industrial policy creating an institutional model for diaspora engagement. This should include a focus on collaboration between overseas and local science communities, including links with the domestic private sector. This 21st century industrial policy will require nothing less than an in-depth audit of our collective resources and a study of the global economic landscape and the emerging technological and consumer trends to fashion strategic and sustainable points of insertion (niches) into this global ecosystem. References Ramkissoon, H and Kahwa, I. A. (2010) The CARICOM Countries. In: UNESCO Science Report 2010. UNESCO, Paris Tewarie. B. 2009. Concept Paper for the Development of a CARICOM Strategic Plan for Tertiary Education. UWI, St. Augistine.
Education, Development and Brain Drain continued from page 53
On the evening of May 8, 2012, the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Minister of Finance, Dr. Kenny Anthony, delivered his 2012/2013 policy statement, and presented estimates of revenue and expenditure in the region of $1.457 billion, Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollars.
Despite years of political maneuvering and sixty years as a political party, the Anthony administration’s policy statement still remains a crossword puzzle that lacks the capacity to bring reform or build the foundations for a new economic model for Saint Lucia. In his statement, Dr. Kenny Anthony’s estimates of Saint Lucia’s revenue and expenditure shows little difference from that of the King administration: both are building on the same platform, and both are using the same tools, (a macroeconomic policy of unsustainable and unplayable public debt that prioritizes the interest of creditors over the needs of the country). Saint Lucians, therefore, should not expect different outcomes.
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Literary festivals Culture Mining or Culture Making? by Schuyler K Esprit, PhD The summer months are a hot season for those in the business of culture. The literary festival, now a signature event in many islands, has become an attractive way for book connoisseurs, culture enthusiasts and local businesses to capitalize on their imdividual and collective interests. For the past several years, Trinidad’s NGC Bocas Literary Festival, the Bim Lit Fest in Barbados amd Dominica’s Nature Island Literary Festival have lured the most influential names in the region’s literary, academic and performance fields from all around the world and juxtaposed their gravitas with the promising and rejuvenating work of local and mostly underrecognized writers, thinkers and artists. They owe their presence, surely, to Jamaica’s Calabash Festival, begun in 2001 by Colin Channer and a few other notable Jamaican writers, who after ten years, were forced to indefinitely suspend the event because of financial troubles. And while Calabash managed to resurface for Jamaica’s 50th independence anniversary celebrations with no clear plans to stay on, still more islands push the literary culture campaign, with the example of “Anguilla’s Literary Jollification,” held in May. The contradiction between the ever-emerging interest in the business of creative arts and the struggle to keep these events afloat with money and public interest leads many informed and lay critics to ask the question: What’s the point? Well, some are attempting to answer that very question. Following the NGC Bocas Festival, a scathing op-ed in Trinidad’s Guardian newspaper definitely made some “culture makers” squirm in their seats. Raymond Ramcharitar’s indictment, from the May 2 piece entitled “Caribbean Literature: Publishable or Rubbish?” is that no substantive body of literary work can currently be produced in the region, by people living in the West Indies, and that the display of culture embodied in literary festivals is simply a guise for a select few to sustain their social elitism. All in all, Ramcharitar thinks of festivals as another self-congratulatory enterprise with no viable business model and no long-term future: an all-around waste of time. Alas, this skeptic must have missed the point that people who choose to live and work in arts and culture very rarely approach the field with an eye for gaining massive wealth from their work. Those who gain fame and financial success often do so after years of dedication and labor, reaping their long-deserved rewards for commitment to their craft. The
production and consumption of “culture” in the Caribbean has historically been tied more closely to constructions of national identity and pride, reminding West Indians of their complicated and sometimes unfortunate past, while praising the resilience of the human spirit— expressed uniquely in music, literature, dance, and art. Moreover, the majority population of African descendants in the Eastern Caribbean implicitly understand the idea of West Indian culture, particularly literary culture, as an issue of property, ownership and inheritance, reclaiming the discourses of ownership and mastery once long ago endured by their ancestors under slavery. I return to Ramcharitar’s assertions, then, to pose an important response about the business, financing and publishing dynamics of the culture that is captured and produced in such literary festivals. Access to publishing houses, to in-house editors that are competitive on a global market and to a widespread leisure reading audience across and within the islands must exist for the featured aspiring writers to gain the kind of traction that Caribbean writers have achieved via their massive publishing houses like FSG, Vintage, and others. So Ramcharitar is not entirely wrong. In fact, in this regard he may be quite right. The question of literacy and literary enthusiasm remains the key to address a question about where and how to find investors to revitalize a West Indian literary publishing domain. Regional academic publishing houses survive on the necessity of the curriculum and, in this way, they become a public service that justifies investments. However, most creative works are published under very small presses, and now, self-publishing has become a more popular route with the ease and low cost of digital technology.
Ramcharitar cites two presses in his article—Peepal Tree Press based in England and Lexicon Press out of Trinidad— that have great potential to man the publishing ship and consolidate the stellar writing being produced in the region to counter what he sees as messy and problematic images of the West Indies perpetuated in the region’s writings on metropolitan presses. However, the issue is much larger and complex than the publishing and writing end of the business. What about the reading part? Who are these writers producing work for? Who are these publishers marketing to? Where will the books go? Who is the reader of the “literary culture?” Who should be attending the “literary festival?” The concept of the literary festival, much like the music festivals already held in several islands, can become an important site for building a tourism market. In many islands like Dominica, it has gained much credit in the area of social and civic engagement by building programs and competitions that reach out into communities and make every level of the social landscape aware that a literary culture exists. But in my experience with research and observation of such festivals elsewhere, too much emphasis is based on having the thing exist and not on what to do with it. So many workshops on how to be a writer of various genres and so many guest writers talking about writing their work cast a suspicious shadow over what this work actually means and how it can positively impact our community. The experience of reading literature is the point to tap into, if literary festivals want to become a long-standing institution. People should actually understand why and how the literary festival isn’t a show of pomp and circumstance, and can indeed become a way to help shift the culture economy in significant ways. In Britain, a national reading campaign has been successful in reviving attitudes towards literacy and literature across socio-economic classes, while successfully marketing many of their authors in the global marketplace. Many such festivals in the United States use the language of the “book” festival rather than the “literary” festival. As I reflect on the function of this entity in local and regional communities, I think this distinction is a significant one. The “book” invites curiosity. The “literary” still, particularly considering the historical and socio-political space we occupy, invites skepticism and distance. This is a perfect moment for social entrepreneurs to lock minds with the best thinkers in the “world of culture,” and work towards a solution that draws dividends and not disdain. It’s worth exploring how more attention to reading and finding meaning in texts might be a saving grace for the economic and social future of culture in the Caribbean.
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VOLUME I ISSUE 2
Business Plan For Your Health by Azelia Glace MS, RD Deadlines, proposals, board meetings, marketing ventures, productivity, profits, and so on, are all entities that constantly plague the mind of the typical business person. But where do health, wellness, nutrition and exercise fit in? I do not believe that it is a lack of conscientiousness that we possess, but rather, a lack of emphasis that we place on our health due to time and monetary constraints, and in some cases we do not really appreciate the value that being at optimal health allows. Research has shown that poor nutrition has been linked with impaired neurological function in terms of fine motor skills, the processing of information and memory, and may contribute to vehicular collisions1. One specific study carried out by Lemaire et al, found that physicians at the workplace who received healthy foods and fluids on the ‘intervention day’, versus their ‘baseline day’ when they exercised regular, poor eating habits, exhibited improved cognition when they were better nourished!2
be asking, what exactly is this and how significant is this really to you? Well, the poor nutrition referenced above in the research, encompasses both ‘under’, and ‘over’ nutrition. Therefore not getting enough nutrients as well as consuming too many, even if they are considered good for you can also be detrimental to your health. So in other words, you need to be cognizant of the amounts of the different food groups that are right for you to fit your caloric goals. Measuring utensils like food scales and measuring scoops are a great help. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has done an excellent job in offering a simple yet pertinent pictorial representation of how you should be portioning your food on your plate (shown below). This illustration should be used as a guide, but you should also be aware of what constitutes one serving in the various food groups (see Table 1), so you are able to efficiently follow your lifestyle management plan, which would typically be broken down into the number of servings of the various food groups which you should be consuming per meal. Your dietitian will assist you with this.
The research speaks for itself. Does it lead you to ponder your own eating habits and question whether you are being as efficient and productive as you should and could be?
Cooked rice & pasta
Here are a few tips which will assist you in organizing that important ‘business plan’ for your health!
Peas & Beans
1-1 ½ oz
Bananas & Apples
1small 4oz fruit
Meat & Fish
Tip #1 Know your nutritional goals Throughout life you set goals for a multitude of things, but tend to let your health and nutritional goals lag in the background until a crisis occurs. It’s time to change. Yearly physicals and general lab tests lay the foundation for goal setting. Once these are completed you should work closely with a credentialed dietitian to help you ascertain whether you need to maintain, lose or gain weight - this is where the goal setting begins. Your goal setting will also take into account any previous, existing, or potential medical issues that were revealed via your medical tests. Once all goals are set, your dietitian can design a calorie-specific nutritional lifestyle management plan for you, which will assist you in being well on your way to achieving your goals!
Tip #2 Get acquainted with portion sizes There is a significant ‘portion distortion’ which exists in the Caribbean, and it’s time for us to be ‘in the know’. You may
Tip #3 Be ‘food smart’ Yes, so it pays to not only be business savvy, but also food savvy. Just like it’s important to know what investments or business endeavors will give you the most for your buck, the same applies to your food choices. When you’re on the go grabbing something to eat, or quickly preparing lunch in the morning, you want to ensure that the foods you gravitate to are ‘nutritionally dense’, meaning, that per serving of food (whether it is per cup or per ounce etc) you are getting more
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Remember, there are many things in life that we have no control over, but one of the few things that we can control that can either be beneficial or detrimental to our health is WHAT WE EAT!
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Tip #5 Make your money work for you!
than just one (beneficial) nutrient and vitamin. For example ‘whole grain’ and ‘whole wheat’ choices in the starchy foods (breads, pastas, rice and grains) are more nutrient dense than the ‘white’ choices we seem to be enamoured with. These highly-processed white foods are considered ‘empty calorie foods’ since they are comprised mostly of simple sugars. On the other hand, fruits, vegetables, ground provisions, nuts and legumes (peas and beans) are nutrient dense, hence the need to incorporate more of these options into your daily meals. In addition, you want to choose low-sodium foods (most deli meats, canned foods and hard cheeses are higher in sodium), less fried food, leaner meats, low-fat dairy and fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring, which are rich in heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Now that’s being food smart!
Tip #4 Lunch is in but out! I can see your brows furrowing at the title of this tip but it’s alright, allow them to relax. This title is ‘spot on’ and will be explained. A good, nutritionally sound breakfast has always been said to be the most important meal of the day, because we need to be well nourished to start off our day. While I agree that breakfast is highly important, should never be skipped, and I would further extend that it should comprise of some source of lean protein (which has been shown to improve overall mental and physical performance) in the form of a lean meat and/or low fat dairy product, my concern is that lunch and ‘lunch time’ has become basically non-existent. It is now a common practice to skip lunch, work through it, grab a quick unhealthy snack, or eat at our desks while tending to heaps of paper work and who knows what else. We are all guilty of it and we need to stop. ASAP! Honor your lunch time (hence ‘lunch is in’) and remove yourself from your regular work-space if you can (hence ‘lunch is out’), to allow your body and mind to be re-fueled in a different environment, so that you are able get through the rest of your work day and perform your tasks as efficiently as possible.
Money, money, money! Oh how we would be thrilled if it was inexhaustible, but unfortunately it isn’t and as such we need to use it wisely. Healthier food choices have always been characterized as more expensive, and while this is true in some instances it is not for all. This is where we honestly need to put in some time to shop around. What is also beneficial is being aware of portion sizes as was explained in Tip#2, in that way you come to realize that you really do not need as much of the healthier food items as you may have initially thought and that helps you to spend your dollar wiser. So on a weekend or a lighter evening after work, assemble your shopping list with the items and quantities that you will need, cutting back on the unhealthy items that you would usually purchase, and proceed to the supermarkets keeping an eye out for specials as well as deals that exist between the healthier choices. Brand named items are normally more expensive, however you may get a similar item right next to the brand named item that is significantly cheaper. This is where you will need to do some comparisons of food labels and peruse the aisles. You may also want to consider shopping wholesale for some items that you may use in larger quantities and which have longer shelf lives or can be frozen, if such a service is available to you. Once you put in the time initially then it becomes second nature, you will know exactly what you’re looking for, be in and out quickly and you will come to realize that your dollar can go a lot further in terms of healthier food choices than you first believed.
Opera Singer marie-claire on Living Her Dream by Ayeola George To some marie-claire giraud (deliberate lowercase) is a walking contradiction. A fashion-forward New Yorker with a mind (and tongue) as sharp as a rare diamond, she finds comfort enjoying simple pleasures like sitting on her porch overlooking the Caribbean sea wrapped in a pareo, and eating slices of mango. A philanthropist with a heart of gold, she can hang within the upper echelons of international society and still find solace listening to Reggae in the heart of a Jamaican ghetto. It is safe to say that her music is a reflection of this contradiction: classical vocals layered over reggae or hip-hop beats. Odd perhaps, but singularly marie-claire. She has lived in Dominica, the land of her birth, for the past five years, hopping through the islands and sharing her fusion sound at regional festivals such as Jamaica Jazz and Blues, Ocho Rio Jazz Fest, Dominica’s LIME Creole In The Park, St. Vincent’s Jazz on the Green and even opened for Faith Evans in Antigua at the Love Is All We Need concert. Now, back in the “Boogie Down” Bronx where she has spend most of her years, marie-claire is enjoying the city and her new stint as a TV personality.
Tip #6 Keep it Moving!
The Analyst caught up with this eclectic diva to see how she’s fared so far living her dream.
“Doing something is always better than doing nothing.” There is much wisdom in this phrase! I believe that we are aware of the need to exercise daily, but can never seem to find the time. Exercise needs to be part of your health plan for it to be successful. So no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to make the time! First, it is important to note what your daily recommended amount of exercise is. So for adults ages 18 to 64, for substantial health benefits to be gained, 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity is recommended or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. For more extensive health benefits to be realized, adults should engage in five hours of moderate aerobic physical activity or three hours of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week3. In addition at least 15 to 20 minutes of muscle-strengthening activity should be incorporated twice a week. You may consider bringing exercise tools to work (skipping ropes, yoga mats etc) to sneak in some exercise during breaks, or at the beginning of lunch (for about 15 to 20 minutes), or after work on the days you’re working late. It is also important to designate a specific time for exercise and ensure that you stick to it. Whether it’s gym, football, tennis, volleyball or running, ensure that you make it part of your daily or weekly routine. Company is never a bad thing and working
Analyst You studied Archeology at college. Why did
you choose that field and what did you want to do with that degree?
mc I’ve always had a love for history, and even more than that, ancient history—Egypt, Samaria, Etruscans—I was just fascinated by it all. Growing up when Harrison Ford was Indiana Jones helped too! With my degree I wanted to go on digs and discover the past; discover new civilizations, bring them back home and work in a museum. It would have been great to be curator of the Egyptian section of the Metropolitian Museum of Art in New York. Analyst When did you know you wanted to sing Opera? mc I had already decided I wanted to sing jazz during my last yr at Brooklyn College. When I moved to Austin, TX, I got tickets to see Don Giovanni performed by the Austin Lyric Opera Company. From that moment I didn’t know how, I didn’t care how, but I knew I was gonna do opera. The seed was sown. Analyst How long have you been singing classical
Continued on page 68 Photograph courtesy KendraAlexis.com
68 mc After training in Italy with Maestro Guido Caputo, I moved to Los Angeles, got some more training with Mark Forest then moved back to New York where I trained with Raymond Buckingham. Then I debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2002, so I would say about 10 years. Analyst What are some of the financial sacrifices you make by not having a nine to five? mc A nine to five is steady money. You get paid at a certain
time every month. Being a musician is very unpredictable because sometimes you make money, and sometimes you don’t. At the same time, it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice because I still manage to do what I want. Then again, (laughing) I could always do with more Chanel lipstick, another Biggy skirt, a regular subscription to Vogue and a cosmopolitan now and then.
Analyst What kind of support have you received towards your dream of being a recording act? mc I have received lots of support recently from the government of Dominica, which has helped in the completion of my EP: the dreamland project (lowercase deliberate), as well as from my mother Joyce Buffong-Giraud. To me, getting classical training was the equivalent of going to medical school. It is not cheap! With opera singing financial support is critical in terms of getting the right training and staying fit and healthy. Believe it or not it takes a great deal of energy to sing Opera. Thankfully my cousin Ian Pringle (deceased) was my benefactor. Apart from financial support, I have gotten support from influential people in the industry who have opened doors for me such as Placido Domingo who spoke with a teacher so I could study with him, Bob Andy who wrote me a song, Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith who is a mentor, Spragga Benz who is featured on my EP, and Rory from Stone Love who I recently recorded with in Kingston. I still meet some people who keep contacts to themselves like its King Solomon’s mine, and don’t want to share, but its all good.
VOLUME I ISSUE 2
Analyst Where do you see yourself in five years? mc As an international artist—just continuing what I am doing but on a wider scale—releasing CDs, acting, writing the books that are in my head, screenplays and fulfilling the potential that I know is inside of me. Analyst Is there any advice you have for anyone wishing to pursue a full-time music career?
Clarifying your Vision and Mission Statements
mc Follow your dreams no matter what. When I decided to sing, nobody believed it but me. When people see you persevering and succeeding they will come on board.
Setting long-term overall organizational /business structure
Analyst What have you done to give back?
Crafting long-term and short-term goals
Year of the Child concert series which raised funds for charities benefiting at-risk youth. I also speak to young women at two different charities—the Mustard Seed Foundation in Jamaica and Our Lady of Guadeloupe Home For Girls in St. Vincent—who have been sexually abused. Whenever I am on either island, I want to be an example to them of someone who survived sexual abuse.
Scoping out the competition Collaborating and brainstorming on new products and services
Analyst Tell us something interesting about yourself. mc I love wandering the halls of the metropolitan museum of art on rainy days. Analyst What is the best thing about what you do? mc Being on the stage baby! (laughing)
Analyst What is your signature or trademark?
Lieberman, H., Bathalon, G., Falco, C., Kramer, F., Morgan, C., & Niro, P. (2005). Severe decrements in cognition function and mood induced by sleep loss, heat, dehydration, and undernutrition during simulated combat. Biol Psychiatry, 57, 422-429.
Lemaire, J., Wallace, J., Dinsmore, K., Lewin, A., Ghali, W., & Roberts, D. (2010). Physician nutrition and cognition during work hours; effect of a nutrition based intervention. BMC Health Services Research, 10, 1-9.
U.S. Department of Agriculture & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office
Business Plan For Your Health: continued from page 66
Just remember that while we are busy building our business/career empire, if we are not attentive to our self-health empire and it crumbles, then everything else will quickly follow suit. So I sincerely hope that you will utilize these tips and begin to truly assemble a business plan for your health.
mc Carnegie Hall
mc Watch TCM (Turner Classic Movies).
mc I so love being back in NYC. Off the bat, I get more respect. Whether I’m singing jazz or fusion, I could perform every day whether I get paid or not. I get to work with seasoned professionals that have worked with the likes of Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis and they give me my props, which means so much. My sound is growing. I could never get that exposure in Dominica where I barely get asked to perform, but then again New York City has the population to support a lot of different genres.
Do you have a favorite place where you’ve performed?
Manage costs Plan for growth
Analyst What do you do to relax?
out with an individual may be a good motivating factor, so you may consider that option as well.
mc My curly afro and my love of maxi skirts. Sometimes when I perform in pants or in something short, it causes a real riot.
Creating budgets/financial planning
mc In Dominica I was co-creator and co-organizer of the
Analyst You recently moved back to New York, what changes
have you noticed as far as your sound there vs. in Dominica?
Writing and researching business plans
Train your staff
Finance, accounting, & business specialists. DOMINICA P.O. Box 930, Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica 767 449 2544 I 767 275 3569 I email@example.com
SAINT LUCIA Rodney Bay, Gros Islet, Saint Lucia, 758 285 6346 I firstname.lastname@example.org