CHRLESTOWN, Nevis, May 30, 2007 – A psychological block in the minds of Black people is preventing them from launching out into their own business and this mentality from the slavery era must change, said a Nevis Island Administration minister.
Minister of Trade Hensley Daniel wants to see that hold broken and a new entrepreneurship developed in St Kitts and Nevis.
“It [the psychological block] is marked by the fear of failure and sense of lack of readiness from the financial agencies. We need to give our people some more time to succeed…The society is too hard on business to succeed. If we are to move forward, we cannot continue to have an education system that is at variance with the demands of business, at variance with the demand of globalisation. The system must produce the knowledge workers who can use their knowledge to create wealth,” he told the opening ceremony of the Foundation for National Development’s 22nd Annual General Meeting in Basseterre.
According to Daniel, there was the need for people younger than 30 years to get started in business; that people with degrees in Accounting and Business Management were trained to look for work rather than to create wealth.
He regarded work ethic in the federation as being poor which had resulted in low productivity; that there was too little attention paid to quality, consistency, consumer care and teamwork; that the management worker relationship was poor which resulted in malicious compliance on the part of workers (they worked because they have a few bills to pay and they complied because of the sanctions).
The minister concurred with the view of Sir Courtney Blackman, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, that in the Caribbean, education was used too much in the same way as women used cosmetics, for adornment rather than to add value and create wealth as is done in America.
“There are people with as many degrees as a thermometer but have not been taught to create wealth. The private sector and government must work together to increase the number of students who succeed in education. There must be an enterprise component in every subject taught. If you major in English and Literature, you must write short stories,” he said.
Daniel felt that the development of business must no longer be left to chance and some of the Federation’s bright students should be targeted to pursue business studies as well as given the necessary help and guidance to start their own businesses.
“That is what we are doing in Nevis by the introduction of a Youth Enterprise Scheme (training in business management, internships and the provision of funding). We have also taken the decision to re-classify the business and give priority to those in tourism and manufacturing which can add value,” he said.
Daniel said the Nevis Island Administration believed it was time to end subsidies in order to end “a parasitic approach” to business development that resulted in the rich being subsidised as they expand their businesses.