The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is helping small businesses in the creative sector to make significant stride in getting their products and services into overseas markets.
One of the most notable projects that NCF undertook in this regard late last year was hosting owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the creative sector at the Accelerate to Export Symposium 2022.
NCF’s Business Development Department ran the event at the Courtyard by Marriott in Christ Church where artisans in the three burgeoning sectors of beauty, spa and wellness; home and accents segment; and fashion and accessories participated.
When Chief Executive Officer of NCF, Carol Roberts-Reifer welcomed them, she stressed that their ultimate goal ought to be having their products and services in demand and available regionally and internationally.
While she commended them for their creativity as fledgling entrepreneurs, Ms. Roberts-Reifer acknowledged that it was incumbent on the NCF to support the national thrust to have more local businesses become foreign exchange earners and for increased economic activity to be private-sector driven.
Wide-ranging topics covered in Accelerate to Export Symposium 2022 included insights on meeting global standards through the International Organisation for Standards, as well as shipping and logistics covered by representatives of Calvin Alkins Customs Services and Goddards Shipping.
In addition, discussion forums with experts included topics such as techniques for scaling production for export, understanding legal matters when exporting, and product development.
In an effort to expose the excited group of SME owners to the foundational requirements for successful exportation, the NCF symposium featured sessions on market research and trends with Allyson Francis, a services specialist with the Caribbean Export Development Agency.
In addition, Helen Joffe, a leading consultant to artisans with New York NOW, provided critical insights on what was required for breakthrough on the global scene.
New York NOW, being one of the largest trade expositions in the United States, where emerging brands, trends in fashion, and custom designs expected to hit the market are displayed, has already showcased two Barbadian SMEs.
NCF’s Senior Business Development Officer, Andre Hoyte pointed this out, saying, “Some people may be surprised to know that during COVID, a number of small businesses in the creative sector did very well, and we at the NCF are now trying to see how we can have them expanded and export their products.”
Partners involved in staging the symposium were the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association, the Barbados National Standards Institution, Export Barbados, and the Caribbean Export Development Agency. (PR/SNR)