“In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.” – Job 39:24

Last week I began to recall exciting experiences which serve to motivate me on a weekly basis. I got as far as recounting the CMEx IX in St .Lucia, about which raving reviews continue to be received. I then recounted the ongoing experience with the film “Hit for Six” but the printer’s devil truncated the report for those who read this column in the print media.

Bluewaters Productions full length (90 minutes) cricket themed feature film “Hit for Six” is now about four weeks into production in Barbados and the team, at the time of publishing this column, would have returned from filming in Trinidad. Alison Saunders-Franklyn, the Managing Director of Bluewaters Productions Inc. and the film’s Script Writer, Executive Producer and Director, reported at a management team meeting recently that the shoot is going really well and much is expected in terms of high quality of output.

Of course, the input has been comprehensive and thorough in terms of: her education and global training for the production; her production of a high quality 13 minute film “Second Innings” in the UK, which is the “back story” to the feature; the quality of camera, editing suite and other equipment; the predominantly Caribbean cast with significant international experience; the appearance of Cricket Legends of Barbados in the film; the primarily Caribbean behind the camera staff with global training and experience.

A film distribution contract has been secured in India, the largest film market and concentration of cricket enthusiasts in the world. Negotiations are underway for distribution contracts in the Caribbean and the rest of the world. Sponsors have responded positively to attractive sponsorship packages. Some investment funding has been secured, some under negotiation but there is still the opportunity for others to invest. There is a prediction of a very attractive return over a three year period. Interested investors may contact jblenman@calidad.bb for detailed information.

Other exciting experiences include: CBET, The Future Centre, Agricultural Development, Renewable Energy, Low Waste Lifestyles à la Japanese and Institutional Strengthening.

A fascinating feature of the CBET experience is the number of unsolicited business ideas that are received from entrepreneurs, at an average rate of one per fortnight, which have the “DNA of an elephant” or the potential for exponential growth, if optimally nourished with a diet of management services, money and export facilitation services. Even if there were no unsolicited initiatives from entrepreneurs, CBET has a High Impact Growth Strategy (HIGS) instrument which generates new ideas from a “blank sheet” thus stimulating the much needed deal flow to drive enterprise development and fuel the emerging economies of the Caribbean.

The one major CBET disappointment has been the failure to obtain timely access to appropriate finance to complement the readily available management expertise (from the Caribbean consulting fraternity and beyond) in support of the development of these entrepreneurial initiatives. I sit on a steering committee initiated by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to establish an entity which will provide an integrated solution to this problem primarily for the OECS. I think that they have got the design right. There are some initiatives in the Barbadian market place which could also lead to the removal of this constraint.

The Future Centre located at Edgehill, St Thomas, Barbados is situated on a 4½ acre site, and offers visitors the opportunity to take in exhibits on Sustainable Living and the Environment, YOUR environment. Indoor and Outdoor exhibits give you the opportunity to be aware of your holistic environment, which is, your Spiritual, Economic, Cultural, Social and Physical environments, and understand the part you must play. You can become an individual, institutional or corporate partner or sponsor. This will help us to sure up our effort in Barbados and expand our activities, throughout the Caribbean, to educate our children, tourists and residents alike, to do the right things today so that we can preserve Planet Earth for our children and grandchildren. To accomplish financial self-sustainability, The Future Centre will have a mix of Visitor Exhibits & Commercial Projects, as well as Outreach Programmes.

CBET was involved in the Barbados agricultural diversification process and prepared business plans for a diversified sugar cane industry and a 100% pure West Indian Sea Island Cotton industry. These projects are now being led by the public sector, a strategy which is contrary to the proposed governance model for a country where it is the role of the private sector “to do business” and grow the economy. What is more, there is a dearth of information as to the progress of either of these two projects which is cause for great concern. The West Indian Sea Island Cotton promises so much, what are we doing about it?

It continues to amaze we why ECCI has not entered into partnership with Gulf Stream Trading who are way ahead of ECCI in terms of selling 100% pure WI Sea Island cotton final products in the “high street”. ECCI is in danger of becoming the laughing stock in the international market place – is it politics, back stabbing, or other peoples motives? What are the farmers thinking? Next week – my experiences in Renewable Energy, Low Waste Lifestyles à la Japanese and Institutional Strengthening.

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

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