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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” – Psalm 19:14

Last week was a landmark event in the history of CBET. The CBET partnership with the Barbados Government and the private sector, Barbados Business Enterprise Corp., approved the last two of the first five businesses for Venture Capital Funding.

These five businesses are innovative and cutting edge, thus epitomising the primary characteristics of the “DNA of an Elephant”. All of these businesses are either already trading on the global market or have made contacts with significant potential for international trade.

EeZee Kricket (James Corbin) is the world’s greatest cricket trivia board game and has already sold thousands of copies in the Caribbean and South Africa, with arrangements well advanced for its distribution in England, India and Australia. There will be several versions (different trivia questions) of the game as well as a version which will be available on the Internet for access through a number of hand-held and other peripheral devices. In a matter of weeks the EeZee Kricket TV Show will be launched on the local TV station and interest has already been expressed to mount this show on other TV stations around the globe.

Went Caribbean In. (Derek Went) is already well known, especially in the local marketplace for its well packaged range of aromatic spice blends (WentWorX) and its high quality, innovative and creative service in the culinary and design areas. The WentWorx products distinguish themselves by being free of salt, sugar, preservatives and MSG. The opportunity exists for the company to replace a significant portion of these imports with local production. Export to the Caribbean and North America is already on the cards with a special emphasis to explore the relatively unlimited potential for tapping the international Caribbean Diaspora Market. The widespread appeal to the Diaspora and general increase in the interest being shown in “Things Caribbean” bolsters the inherent success envisioned by the marketing plan for the company.

Movementunes (Heru Ofori-Atta and Adrian Green) provides its customers with digital downloads from world class artistes from around the globe. Social consciousness and historical awareness are the common themes of all the artistes on this site. The artistes actually care about their respective people and communities and have taken the responsibility to inspire and uplift people through music. All of the artistes here are known for their solid reputations of commitment and purpose through music. The pilot phase of the project has revealed that the site attracts interested persons from around the world. Ultimately, patrons will be able to access films from this site. Their first order of business speaks to the aesthetic reconstruction of the site, building the database of artistes, upgrading the download system and dynamically marketing the site.

Annalee Davis is an artist with more than 20 years’ experience. She has expertly combined her production of art with the production of her family. Now that the foundation of her family has been laid she is embarking on a new global trust. Her brands provide a unique Caribbean experience through imagery and discussion on Caribbean society.The experience drives the purchase decision. You aren’t just choosing a piece of art; you are interacting with a culture. You’re not just buying a wall decoration; you are making a choice because of what the brand represents. The first brand “Annalee Davis” is a contemporary visual practice that offers a critical understanding of Caribbean contemporary society. The work looks at universal issues through a Caribbean lens. It is a discussion driver and the gateway to the Manipura line. The second brand “Manipura” is a commercial line offering creative products and services that celebrate the beauty of the Caribbean. She has now put in place a regional and international marketing system to re-launch her brands globally.

Caribbean Streaming Network (Andrew Jemmott) is a premier global provider of streaming technology between audio, visual, text and object data, and peripheral users and devices. CSN aims to capture and catalogue rich online content, highlighting interaction with web and mobile application users, to engage the world. CSN is about to implement a dynamic social media marketing strategy to expand its operation. Already, because of their cutting edge image, CSN is attracting overseas players who are coming to Barbados to access the technology.
We expect the next batch of business enterprises to be formally selected this week and have shepherds assigned to them by early March 2010.

Last Friday and Saturday, BBEC mounted its first Shepherding Training Programme which primarily built on the existing Shepherds’ observations in the Pilot project. There were also interested well wishers of BBEC in attendance, along with prospective shepherds who shared their experiences. A dynamic interactive experience resulted, which was acclaimed to be very successful. The new batch of shepherds will be selected from those who attended.

The experience in the pilot project has already begun to extol the virtues of the shepherding model as being necessary and sufficient for sustainable business success in Barbados. As we develop one business enterprise after another, we contribute to growth in the economy and the attendant increase in job creation, foreign exchange earnings or savings and other macro-economic benefits. If Barbados wins, we all win.
May the shepherding innovation and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, our strength, and our redeemer.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET – Columns are archived at www.cbetmodel.org)

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