Monday, June 25, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
The new Minister of State for Investments Khaalis Rolle has vowed to create a better business environment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in The Bahamas, saying the problems of insufficient capital and support are holding the country back.
“Unless we really go beyond paying lip service to smaller businesses, [which are] the engine of this economy, we will continue to have the problems we have,” the Minister told attendees at the Global Trade and Financing Seminar held in Nassau earlier in the year. “The biggest barriers are access to capital and access to technical support.”
“I would like to say, on behalf of the government, that we are going to do everything in our power to ensure the environment for doing business is greatly improved.”
Rolle, who is a former chairman of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) and chief marketing officer for Bahamas Ferries, says his experience in business gives him an advantage in terms of knowing exactly what is needed for the sector.
“That [experience] gives me a very unique perspective in that I see every aspect of the challenges associated with business development in this country, particularly smaller business,” he explained.
“I am one of the chief advocates for changing the way we do business. I understand the challenges better than most. I have gone through the process and I see the impediments associated with it.”
The Minister announced that he would be working with the BCCEC to host workshops designed to educate business owners on the opportunities and incentives available to them.
“We need to inspire business owners to invest. We need to communicate exactly what is available and we need to encourage and inspire business owners to put their money to work.”
The Global Trade and Financing Seminar was organized jointly by the BCCEC and US Embassy and gave entrepreneurs information on access to financing opportunities and importing US goods. Other speakers at the event included BCCEC Chairman Chester Cooper, US Charge d’Affaires John Dinkelman and MITA Group president James Hunt.