Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 28, 2018 (SKNIS): The National Entrepreneurial Development Division (NEDD) recently engaged in lively discussions with entrepreneurs during the agency’s periodic training sessions where serious considerations are being made to some of the suggestions that were given.
Delwayne Delaney, Project Officer at NEDD, said that while the body holds sessions for persons to access duty free concessions, learn business and proposal writing and consultation, to name a few, NEDD is always open to ideas to improve its quality of service.
“For instance, the last group we had, they suggested that we include customer service. So in the near future we will be putting on a customer service workshop. It will be a one day session which will be longer than the usual two hours and we will see how many persons we could incorporate in that one day session,” said Mr. Delaney.
The operations officer stated that the recent sessions were certainly beneficial to NEDD. He noted that the topics, which were scheduled to be covered, were barely covered due to the engaging dialogue.
“We hardly got a chance to go through our topics because these were established businesses that might have been in business for six plus years,” he said. “They range from barbershops, car washers, agriculture, food and beverage, gym and IT. Those are the persons we had and they are very versed in terms of business knowledge. So, instead of training or teaching, it was more of an engaging session. This is not always the case. They gave us insight of what we can do as the agency that covers small businesses to further assist them.”
Coming out of the session, it was recommended that NEDD issue certification to small businesses.
“So when tourists come in or entertainers, they have that certificate to say ‘I am a qualified hair dresser’ or whatever the case may be in terms of services so persons can have that confidence in patronising those businesses.”
It was also suggested that NEDD have more interactions with the street vendors. And since consumers today are increasingly connected through social media and the digital marketplace, the need for entrepreneurs to look into IT automation is also increasing. This makes continuous innovation essential for retailers to stay in business. Many retailers tend to contact services like Royal Cyber and similar others to improve the efficiency of their business through the use of an integrated set of disruptive technologies.
“They recommended that we show those small businesses that are on the street corner the benefits of registering their business to enter the formal sector. So again, we would have learnt a lot and jotted down those points for the future.”
Introducing an incubator system was also recommended to help the youth. Mr. Delaney said this would be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth.
“They were very pleased that we are well on the way in doing something in terms of support systems not just after the concessions have been approved, but also some sort of hand holding in terms of the operations and the management of their business.”