New NDFD boss proposes ‘complementary businesses’

Cletus Joseph
Cletus Joseph

New executive director of the National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD), Cletus Joseph, is proposing the concept of ‘complementary businesses’ on the island as a model for surviving in the present harsh economic climate.

The idea, according to Joseph, will see small businesses actually assisting each other instead of being in direct competition.

“For instance one person has one type of business …let us look at that business and see what it is that I can provide to another business to help them to achieve their objective but at the same time I will be creating another type of business,” he explained. “We are not directly in competition but we are working together … so I produce for you and you produce for someone else on the market.”

He argued that such a model is important in Dominica which has a small population and is a relatively small market. “We cannot have too many similar businesses,” he noted. “But rather we need to begin to have more complementary businesses. My business can provide a product and service to yours that provide to another.”

He said although competition is good, direct competition in a small market is not necessarily the best model. “We have to move away more from the direct competition because when the market begins to get clogged up, everybody begins to suffer,” Joseph stated. “The complementary businesses have some kind of opposite effect.”

“That is one of the challenges we have to look at … not having to many similar businesses,” he said.

The NDFD is a non – profit, non Government Development Institution mandated to serve the Micro, Small and Medium sized enterprises in Dominica.

The organization recently received $5-million from the Government for on-lending.

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  1. customer
    April 29, 2013

    With all this brilliant ideas coming into the fold, i just hope that they will be implemented and it’s not just an introductory and accepting me work plan.

    As a customer of NDFD i need to take this opportunity to big them up and hope they continue to support the less fortunate people on the island.
    To the past director who was very understanding and considerate, i wish you well in quest for greatness and just hope that your departure was not because you were forced out of the position.

    • IPO
      April 29, 2013

      He was not…why bring this up. He wanted to rejoin his family out of island….Please don’t stir up trouble.

  2. L'aura
    April 28, 2013

    This is a great initiative! It works in small, rural communities across Canada – builds community, power in numbers, exchange of ideas and so on. We also enjoy varied ‘buying/barter co-operatives’ as well as involving seniors’ in after school activities/coaching/volunteering/mentoring. In this GLOBAL market, grass roots community oriented commerce is spreading CHANGE at the very level at which it is necessary. For example B & B featuring local exotic soaps and personal products cross markets with tour operators – they advertise and promote each others’ business locally and internationally. Keep it up and follow through.

  3. hi
    April 28, 2013

    dno may i ask where is that business located?

  4. Rastafarian minded
    April 28, 2013

    Bless concept, united is indeed strength,but the NDFD really need to consider loan to entrepreneurs up to at least $5000 with out the co signers,so to promote self confidence and independance. Ofcourse proper due deligence should be required.

  5. Young Business Woman
    April 28, 2013

    totally agree with your concept, there can only be so many small businesses providing the same services in the same village, town, etc. SBSU should also look into this….Teaching and giving everyone monies to open up a hair salon, a spa or pedicure/manicure salon…y not get one place and give the at least 3/5 persons in the area funds for equipment etc and let them operate from one location all contributing to rent water electricity etc and maybe even a receptionists! the more persons u hve in the market providing the services the less money u each one makes…that’s just common sense bondieu!

  6. William McLawrence
    April 28, 2013

    The Concept of promoting Complementary Businesses as proposed by the new NDFD Boss has some merit but the matter of its practicality in a challenged economy is something that has to be seriously analyzed unless and except those businesses look outside of Dominica for new markets… the idea therefore of one business producing a product or service for another business in order to come up with final product or service as articulated by the new NDFD Boss is something that should be considered and supported.

    The biggest challenge however is for businesses to recognize the advantages of operating complementary businesses in a dynamic and complex environment characterized by globalization, technological advancements, and, new trends in consumer demands for products that promote sustainability, promote people’s wellbeing, and, promote fair and equitable benefits for. For example, the is a large market for

    • William McLawrence
      April 28, 2013

      … promote fair and equitable benefits for workers and consumers… This is not a new concept just a creative way of reinventing the division of labour/ tasks. For example, the is a large market for a particular product, say exotic soaps. one business produces the raw materials, one produces the packaging, one produces and packages the product, one stores and transports, while others is responsible for marketing, promoting, financial management/ accounts instead of one small business trying to do it all. operating complementary businesses for this exotic soap will create greater economies of scale and competitiveness thereby creating more jobs and business for everyone involved…my two cents to this complementary business concept

      • Anonymous
        April 28, 2013

        makes sense. I believe we need more of this type of discussion in this country. it makes more economic sense to build rather than break down.

      • Gods child
        April 28, 2013

        while this sounds good in the end it is going to drive the cost of the end product up for the consumer since each of the buisnesses will be putting a mark up on their services thus making the cost of the product very expensive.

  7. Anonymous
    April 28, 2013

    Good. I was saying this 6 years ago. It is just common sense. We must compliment and not compete to grow and create cooperation and stimulate growth.

    The model in Dominica is watch someone make money and then copy them so the market share keeps splitting until we destroy someone’s business in the fragile market.

    I hope this is not a little to late.

    I think another big issue is poor staff attitude and lack of commitment to the enterprise.

    This can destroy any hopes small businesses have of creating growth.

  8. Loyal
    April 28, 2013

    Mergers, upstream and down stream expansions are always good. You need, awareness, willingness and ideas. You need business people who are willing to lead the way. may be Govt can give them some incentive to push them forward

  9. Openeyes Observer
    April 28, 2013

    I agree. This market is too small for too much competition. Working together is the way to go. Also, businesses need to expand on their products, especially those providing food. Why does every outlet provide the same old food? Why not vary it? Or introduce new food items, or even the same food items done in a variety of different ways? Also, why do most of the food outlets run out of food by 2pm or before? Why doesn’t some vary their closing times, so there is always somewhere to go to guarantee getting food between 4-5pm?? Now that would be good business sense!

  10. Peace Be with You
    April 27, 2013

    Great Idea.

  11. Real Dominican
    April 27, 2013

    Congratulations my school/class mate

  12. point taken
    April 27, 2013


  13. Voila
    April 27, 2013

    Another Vieille Case Man….what water they drinking up there that make them so good

    • Anonymous
      April 28, 2013

      This is a wise man! Dominica need people like you to think outside the box! I totally support your initiative. Now work towards implementation and you play your way forward.

  14. Citizen
    April 27, 2013

    Hey Hey! Cletus i wish you well in that posotion. Hope you move the business forward.

  15. Enlightenment
    April 27, 2013

    That is a vry good idea, because of our size and population, we need to work togther not against one another,in all aspects. Politically, socially and spiritually.

  16. cubbie
    April 27, 2013

    Good idea but can u at least give an example that doesn’t already exsit in our present society.

  17. Anonymous
    April 27, 2013

    Follow up this story with some examples of businesses that are already doing this successfully…

  18. Truth be told
    April 27, 2013

    A lot of non-productive organisations in Dominica receiving money from Government that should instead go directly into business start ups! However the new NDFD boss makes a very good point – hope he can tell that to the Chinese!

  19. Nel
    April 27, 2013

    Good initiative but do see it through.

  20. Dominican in antigua
    April 27, 2013

    I want to say a BIG thanks to N.D.F.D. for helping me get my business started,bro so far thats good thinking do your best to se how you can get this to work out on the next hand I know my Dominican people like doing the same thing for years so lets see how this workout am hoping to be back my self to come with something new we just asking for the help of our people to be part of what we doing in D/a .and the next big problem I see with have are lot of Dominicans that are not leaving and working in Dominica are that thay keep waiting for Dominica to do good and thay them self are not moving back to start nothing .and the next BIG problem lots of Dominican living out of Dominica have with Dominica banks is getting the help we need to start our business in Dominica I had to run out of Dominica to get my business started in Dominica I don’t think its right that we need to do so there is some law we need to get out of the way so people like my self can be back home and helping Dominica move up I don’t like not being in my D/a but thats how I have to do it for now.but with all I just say I love my D/A and my people one love to all Dominica stay safe and lets keep on loving our self bless day to all back home and all over the world

  21. da to the bone
    April 27, 2013

    you need to educate your people to support local businesses. They will pass the Dominican own business and support the overseas one. Overseas money goes back overseas.

  22. Covert observations
    April 27, 2013

    This emperor Cletus guy is a very smart guy. This is a great idea….now he just need to figure out a way to break that “crab in a barrel” attitude that exists in Dominica. :twisted:

  23. Anonymous
    April 27, 2013

    Good thought.
    What became of his predecessor?

  24. Jespen
    April 27, 2013

    Vieille Case. Let us hear what the critics are going to say politically.

  25. Dreamer
    April 27, 2013

    Well,i,hope they don’t start by buying a brand new 4WD with a nice NDFD logo on it. You now have a responsability to do real good with 5M. You cannot fail. Please be responsible and wise.

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