November 17, 2011 

Harris At Large! 


The challenge confronting governments around the world attempting to grapple with today’s difficult economic times is the task of reigniting the flame of entrepreneurship. Real meaning should be attached to statements such as the Private Sector is the engine of growth and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are the engine of employment. While large companies are more likely to be downsizing and merging, which activities cause loss of jobs, the real opportunity for employment is more likely to be in MSME sector. 

Economic activity fuels growth and make it possible for governments to undertake social programmes. The Entrepreneur should be encouraged to do what he does best with a helping hand from the government. Politicians and Public servants should be enthusiastic about all Entrepreneurs seeking to establish businesses whether they be local or foreign. 

This past week saw the hosting of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2011 in 123 countries engaging more than 10 million current and aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide with 25,000 partner organizations playing host to 40,000 events, activities and competitions. The event was launched in 2008 and is promoted by the Kauffman Foundation. The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture took the initiative to introduce this outstanding programme to St. Lucia and has collaborated with other institutions and companies to ensure its success. The activities brought together young persons with a zest for entrepreneurship to share ideas and compete for awards that will take their ideas to the next level. 

I like this quote by Ewing Kauffman “Every individual that we can guide, that we can help to start a new company, is vital to the future of our economic welfare”. Every leader of a nation needs to grasp the message contained in this quote. It is important also to note that every business starts with a conversation; we need to continue the conversation long after the activities of GEW 2011 are ended. You can catch up on the achievements of the GEW activities at:, St. Lucia Page, and Global Entrepreneurship Week was hosted during the period November 14-20, 2011. 

The St. Lucia Youth Business Trust (SLYBT), another initiative of the Chamber was launched on the evening of Tuesday, 15th November, 2011at the Governor General’s residence. It was a very impressive ceremony with the main speakers being Dr. Stephen King of RISE – St. Lucia and Mrs. Marcia Brandon of Barbados Youth Business Trust. A few persons were recognized for their contribution to the successful implementation of the Trust. The following persons received awards:- Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor General of Saint Lucia, Mrs. Marcia Brandon of BYBT, Dr. Stephen King of RISE – St. Lucia, among other persons and organizations, and Construction and Industrial Equipment (CIE) and First Caribbean International Bank for their substantial financial contributions. Ms. Arlena Louis-Antoine is the Project Coordinator of the programme. 

It is interesting to note that preparations for the Annual St. Lucia Business   Awards, and other events sponsored by the Chamber such as the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and the Saint Lucia Youth Business Trust (SLYBT) took place during the 2011 heightened elections campaign. There is a definite relationship between what happens at the political level and the degree of progress than can be achieved in the private sector. I eagerly look forward to the policy positions regarding the activities of the private sector, especially as it relates to Investments in the manifestos of the political parties. In the meantime, I have noted some new approaches introduced so far in the 2011 political campaign. 

I have already been invited to two election watch parties and look forward to following the results of the elections in Saint Lucia and Guyana. The evening of the 28th of November, 2011 will be very exciting for Guylucians. The election results will come in first for Saint Lucia and Guyana will follow much later. So it will be a long watch. 

While we await the day, remember always to Keep the Faith, God is in Charge, Dream Big and expect Daily Miracles! 

Edward Harris

Freelance Journalist, Realtor, Business & PR Consultant


Websites:  St. Lucia – Agent ECREDMC

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