Minister for Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses Daren Pinard stated that small businesses play a crucial role in driving economic growth, fostering innovation, and creating employment opportunities.
The minister made the statement at the opening ceremony of a two-day Health & Wellness Small Business Trade Show at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium Forecourt. The event lasted from June 9-10, 2023.
At the trade show, several small businesses showcased their products which aimed to create a holistic experience, celebrating all aspects of well-being.
The trade show provided a wide range of products and services to encourage individuals to embrace and prioritize their well-being journey.
In addition to creating the perfect environment for sharing information on products and services of local small businesses that positively impact people and well-being, this trade show also provided strong support to these small businesses.
“Small businesses play a crucial role in driving economic growth, fostering innovation, and creating employment opportunities. However, they often face significant challenges particularly when it comes to accessing financial resources which is the main reason most small business owners approach this opportunity since grant funding is given”, he said.
“We have recognized that simply providing financial and other resources will by no means assure success. Despite their best intentions, a person who is untrained in matters of financial management, business management, customer service, cash flow management, IT legal matters, or a business with no clear plan or strategy will have a very challenging time in succeeding,” he stated.
In recognizing this, he said the small business sector ensures that every one of its financial beneficiaries undertakes such training which is provided at no cost to them.
“Beyond that, we remain committed to their success by providing ongoing hand-holding support and we will continue to follow up with our small businesses and continue to provide advice and guidance as necessary to ensure their success.”
The minister added that this trade show is yet another layer of support that is provided to the small business sector. The intention is to provide a jump-start to participant businesses that will get the opportunity to market their products and services and network with potential suppliers, customers, and financiers.
“Businesses will get the opportunity to partner with a large private sector firm where they can build collaborative partnerships. They will meet and interact with other similar businesses where they can share ideas and strategy and possibly benefit from undertaking partnerships to share resources.”
He further added, in keeping with the aim of the trade show, that Dominicans should practice a healthier lifestyle to fight against Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
“We don’t have to continue subjecting ourselves to the hardships and plague of NCDs and the leading causes of NCDs are all entirely within our control; smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets, and lack of physical exercise, by controlling these factors we control NCDs,” Pinard stated
The minister said that non-communicable diseases are by far one of the biggest threats to Dominica and the wider region. The Pan American Health Organization states that it accounts for approximately 80% of deaths in the Americas.