BIDC Pushing Entrepreneurial Development and Home-Grown Offerings at BMEX
The Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) is eager to work with the Barbados Manufacturers Association (BMA) in staging BMEX 2018, and bringing the “Bajan Fuh Real” theme alive, by showing what Barbados has to offer.
Chief Executive Officer, Sonja Trotman, says “The Corporation is committed to using the four-day exhibition as a platform for pushing entrepreneurial development and the home-grown offerings of local companies.”
Elaborating more on the BIDC’s support for BMEX, she explained, “This event responds to our collective need to reflect on the challenges of expanding Barbados’ reach into the global market by selling more high quality products. It also highlights our commitment to cooperating with the BMA and other stakeholder agencies in uncovering broad-based sector solutions intended to put Barbados back on the growth path.”
The BIDC has for several years been the agency in the forefront of entrepreneurial and export development in Barbados. The Corporation has been executing programmes aimed at driving innovation and offering start-ups the best chance of survival and success. The results to date have been encouraging. Over the last five years, the BIDC assisted in the startup of close to 100 new enterprises. Hundreds more, already in existence, have benefitted from financing, marketing and technical assistance that would have put them on the road to success and sustainability.
Insisting that the time is right to harness and develop the potential to create a viable entrepreneurial sector with global marketing appeal, Trotman said “High-potential niches have been identified in the health and wellness, creative industries, food and beverages, science and technology based segments.”
She noted however that significant intervention is required if the entrepreneurial class is to capitalize on these industry segments.
The BIDC seeks every year to put the spotlight on some of the best in locally manufactured products and services amidst the lively atmosphere of entertainment, fashion shows, food and beverage sampling, and product giveaways that BMEX offers. As part of that continuing commitment therefore, the BIDC is this year sponsoring the participation of 11 companies in BMEX 2018:
- Spa Escentials
- Healthy Kinks
- Regal Organic Therapy
- Healing Power Of Touch
- NRG Consultants/Island Fitness
- Pharma Wellness
- O’s Inc.
- Caribbean Institute Of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Veggie Choices
The CEO explained, “These companies were carefully selected based on our consideration of the increasing incidences of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and our recognition of the need to develop goods and services that would support a healthier lifestyle.
The BIDC has hosted these companies in training workshops on How to Make a Good & Lasting Impression, to ensure their products and packaging as well as promotional materials are market ready and that their designated exhibition spaces are attractive to target audiences. The Corporation has also been aiding these entrepreneurs in achieving sustainability, arriving at solutions and getting on the growth path through our programmes covering Design Assistance; Business Fundamentals Training; Business Development advice; Export Readiness and Special Technical Assistance.”
In addition to full sponsorship of these 11 entrepreneurs, the BIDC assisted 8 other companies with a financial contribution toward the cost of their BMEX 2018 booth space.
While noting that BMEX is the biggest trade show on Barbados’ business calendar attracting international attention, Trotman observed “Even so, the challenge of penetrating overseas markets remains a difficult undertaking and hence is a focal point of our endeavours to increase export earnings in the short to medium term.”
For the third consecutive year therefore, the BIDC extended its efforts internationally, facilitating an inward mission of buyers to participate in BMEX 2018. It is anticipated that in visiting BMEX, observing the new and existing products, the buyers will be encouraged to place orders and push the Barbadian brands in overseas markets.”
Trotman said, “Our commitment to sponsor company participation in the exhibition and invite international buyers to see what Barbados has to offer, is a significant investment not only of time but also effort, as we want to ensure the availability of opportunities both in the local and external markets for Barbadian companies. This is in keeping with our thrust to grow local enterprises and increase exports, and we look forward with great expectation to the positive outcomes we would have witnessed in extending similar efforts in the past.
On the other side of the coin, BMEX has proven to be a gateway to the BIDC building relationships within the community. This year therefore, the Corporation will highlight those sectors earmarked for development through its signature programmes in a novel way. In particular The BIDC will be presenting “Tiny Talks” – a series of short 15 minute talks/features from professionals on a variety of topics which offer insight on how they have excelled in various industries.
“In addition, we are particularly excited about the opportunity to invite BMEX 2018 attendees to participate in the “Fuh Real Film Festival” – where three Bajan films will be aired on Saturday 19th, Sunday 20th and Monday 21st May, 2018, starting with a premiere of a film entitled Unusual Suspects and including Panama Dreams and Once Upon A Time In Ichirouganaim”, the CEO noted.
Visitors to the BIDC corporate booth will be able to browse and take away information on the services portfolio and will also get the opportunity to speak to BIDC personnel who will be there every day of the exhibition offering valuable insight and business development advice.
“We at the BIDC are always eager to participate in activities such as this that will enhance the capacity of businesses to respond to market opportunities. We sincerely thank the BMA for partnering with us once again. We also commend the BMA on its commitment to revitalizing industry in Barbados through this annual exhibition, as we recognize that a better future for Barbados is tightly hinged on new product development and new market penetration to propel the economy.” Trotman concluded.