As the country continues to experience the fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic, this country’s Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, believes that the co-operative movement will play a pivotal role in the empowerment of Barbadian businesses.
Minister Symmonds reasoned that the co-operative movement was an innovative means by which businesses could realise economies of scale and reduce cost when acquiring inputs for their operations and the marketing of products.
He stated: “Such economies of scale can also be realised when small businesses with similar production processes, within a co-operatives setting, share machinery and other relevant assets such as modes of transportation of inputs and final products.
“Overall, the togetherness and the networking of businesses that the co-operatives movement promotes, can act to support a system of inter-business collaboration that would allow for the reduction of production costs across member businesses, the sharing of knowledge and the acquisition of affordable training for members.”
Furthermore, Mr. Symmonds articulated the view that this kind of collaboration is the driving force behind realising market competitiveness for small businesses, which is “necessary for the building of a sound small business sector, diversifying the Barbados economy and achieving the ultimate goal of a stable economy and sustainable economic growth and development”.