Entrepreneurs need to be globally competitive to make their mark, says Welsh

This is the view of Sybil Welsh who is a presenter at the Fourth Steering Committee of the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), which is being held today at the Marriott.

Welsh, who is an adviser at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, said that talking about entrepreneurship must engage a discussion on a system, an environment that supports the idea. She referenced elements such as policy, the market environment, human capital, supporting systems, the culture, access to financial capital, education, networking, direct support for entrepreneurs from early stage to when they are maturing.

“You need all of these things that create that environment for people not only to survive, but to succeed and thrive and really make a mark,” Welsh said, adding, “As we get into the global economy, you have a market that is borderless.”

But to achieve significant inroads into a global marketplace necessitates dealing with the issue of competitiveness, she said.

Welsh explained, “Competitiveness is about the degree of innovation and sophistication that you bring to the business sector. So if you want to know if we are developing our entrepreneurs in the right way, simple, we ask the question how innovative, how sophisticated are the tools, the skills set, the networks and the systems we have in place to support entrepreneurship.”

If entrepreneurs are not meeting a high standard, “it means then we are not being competitive… and we’re are not at the success apex of entrepreneurship. We are at the survival stage, and survival will not get us to where we need to be”, opined Welsh.

She indicated that the country must create a cadre of persons who have a level of skills sets, not only in academics, but also in technical skills, in innovative thinking – in the ability to look at things in a sophisticated manner in developing products and services that are market driven.

During the EPIC Steering Committee Meeting, delegates from around the Caribbean will examine the entrepreneurial experience of the Caribbean and how to strengthen entrepreneurship in the Caribbean.

Other presenters include the Hon. Julian Robinson of Jamaica’s Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining; Ms. Telojo Valarie Onu, managing director of Quintessence Consulting of St. Kitts and Nevis and Mr. Michael Singh, CEO of the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotions, et al, in the Government of Belize.

EPIC is a program coordinated via InfoDev of the World Bank group, through funding from the Government of Canada.

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