BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - APPROXIMATELY 50 small businesses and vendors were provided a platform to showcase their products and offerings to the public in one space - the Basseterre Public Market.
As part of their drive to ensure more small entrepreneurs are known to the public, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which comes under the Small Business Ministry, held an expo on Tuesday (Dec. 6) evening as part of activities to recognize Global Entreprenuership Week in the Federation.
Phillip Browne, Director of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship, explained that anything that his office does must be to enhance and improve the standard of living of entrepreneurs within the Federation.
He noted that one way in doing so is by providing an avenue for marketing and sale of products, which was achieved at that event.
“Marketing is an expensive exercise, but it is one that you cannot do. You must do it to ensure that people know where you are, who you are and what you do, etc. So, the idea behind this is to really bring prominence to our small business people and a mix of small business people. And certainly we will continue to attempt to bring this type of prominence and opportunity to them,” said Browne.
Since the start of the pandemic, a number of people have become their own bosses helping to sustain the local economy.
Over the years, it has been acknowledged that small businesses have been the lifeblood of the local economy.
The SBDC primary mandate is to provide support to struggling businesses within St. Kitts and Nevis, and it is an area the Director noted that they are working hard to ensure they meet, as more people enter the market.
“We are clear, we understand that COVID would have taken a toll on businesses the globe over. So what we really want to do is really find ways to provide the developmental support and the things we can do to make them really succeed post COVID,” added Browne.
The Director reiterated that the Center is not a funding agency but rather one that provides support and guidance for those who enter the entrepreneurial market. As a result, they will provide the necessary education for those small business persons.
Browne maintained that the pandemic did well for many in the Federation, and now they are seeking to improve those entities they started.
“COVID did force some of us into that area of entrepreneurship, that survival mode. And what we are seeing now is that persons who would have pivoted, and would have been doing something before and found ways to survive are now looking at ways to enhance and improve their businesses they started during COVID.”
Delwayne Delaney acknowledged the importance of the event, noting that it provided an opportunity for the public to shop small and provide the necessary funds for those small businesses in the Federation.
He too welcomed the uptick in the number of small businesses in the post Covid era.
At the event, the small business owners had a number of clothes, food and cosmetics on display.