“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” – Ephesians 4:16

Two weeks ago I was concerned about the return on the investment by the tax payers of the region in ICC CWC 2007. Indeed I commented that “It was reported in the Jamaican press recently that Jamaica’s trade and investment facilitation agency (JAMPRO) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of ICC CWC 2007, sought to paint a picture of the short, mid- and long-term prosperity that Jamaica is set to receive during and after two months of World Cup cricket”.

I further enquired “What is happening in the other seven countries, which are jointly hosting the World Cup? Is it just enough to say that there will be legacy benefits which will provide a handsome return to justify the huge sums being invested by the taxpayers, or should we have a legacy benefits Strategy and Action Plan to ensure a sustainable future for our grandchildren. What can we learn from Jamaica’s initiative and how can each part of the region collaborate and build itself up in love?”

My answer, in the context of Barbados, came immediately. Indeed, between the time I submitted my column to the press on Friday and its appearance on the following Monday, there was an excellent programme on Sunday 21 June on the local CBCTV programme “The Peoples’ Business” promoting “Legacy Barbados”. My concerns were more than addressed.

Further, Chairman of Legacy Barbados Peter Boos, during the high-profile launch of “Legacy Barbados” revealed, on Monday night (June 29) before a crowd of over 800, that moves to increase the level of Barbados’ exports, to whip up enthusiasm for sports and to turn the island “into the cleanest, most environmentally advanced country in the world” are all part of the strategy and action plan which were stimulated by the advent of ICC CWC 2007.

Boos said “the legacy vision” being launched – and focusing on what the island would have after the hosting of the series of big games – “has as its goal to make Barbados the No. 1 place in the world to live, work, play and invest”. How to we convert this vision into action?

The Legacy Vision for Barbados aims to involve all Barbadians. This message is now available in a well presented and attractive booklet. In the booklet, the question is posed: “What are we doing to ensure that the momentum generated from hosting the ICC CWC 2007 event is maximised way beyond 2007”. The answer “The Legacy Vision for Barbados identifies seven (7) Target Areas which the Legacy Barbados Team felt needed important investment and focus, with the potential to deliver ‘significantly enhanced development’ over the next 10 – 15 years.

I heard a snippet of the Starcom Network “call-in” programme, on Friday night 02 June, and noted that both the moderator and a caller were, like I was two weeks ago, concerned about the return on the massive world cup investment. I think that an examination of the Legacy Barbados booklet should allay their fears that an excellent vision has been presented and what is more, I understand that the Barbados Local Organising Committee is willing to share this vision with other countries in the region. The challenge is to mobilise public and private financial resources to convert this vision into commercial realities.

The tag line of CBET is “A Caribbean Catalyst turning concepts into Commercial Realities”, so I immediately sought to establish a strategic alliance by calling Peter Boos, who drew to my attention the launch of “Legacy Barbados” last Monday night. I was unable to attend but Alison Saunders-Franklyn did. Alison is Principal of Blue Waters Productions Inc., a CBET facilitated business, which is producing a full length feature film “Hit for Six” in the Caribbean. This cricket themed drama film will be shot later this year, and its world premiere is scheduled for the Bridgetown film festival during the week of the ICC CWC 2007 final in Barbados in April 2007. Alison was able to arrange a meeting with David Reeves, Manager, Legacy Barbados and invited me to attend.

Legacy Barbados is a comprehensive vision of where we need to go. It is driven by passion, but it now has to mobilize entrepreneurs to take advantage of the innovative opportunities which are waiting to happen. Given a vision, an entrepreneur needs three other important elements to establish the business on a path to sustainable success: (1) Management – this is available in a real or virtual global environment; (2) Money – we are still struggling in the Caribbean to get “the people and institutions with money” to be fully creative and constructive about how to make these financial resources available to foster entrepreneurial development, without giving them away; and (3) shepherding or “hand holding” to protect the entrepreneur from getting into bad habits.

The Legacy Barbados target areas are (1) Export Barbados, (2) Enjoy Barbados, (3) Cricket Barbados, (4) Sports Barbados, (5) Green Barbados, (6) Live Barbados and (7) Think Barbados. I think it is all very exciting and creates an opportunity for the region to collaborate and build itself up in love.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – www.cbet-inc.org

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