Many Caribbean countries have been plagued with many problems over the years. These problems range from crime and violence to high levels of unemployment especially youth unemployment among others. In these countries a phenomenon that has been on the rise is that of self-employment. Though this trend seems to indicate that entrepreneurship is being fostered in those countries, it can be said that persons who get into this type of business is out of need; a need to feed themselves and their families and not necessarily because they saw an opportunity and decided to take advantage of it. Nevertheless, if this is nurtured and the correct policies exist then this can be the engine to power the economies and alleviate much of the problems being faced.
To reduce poverty and hunger, eradicate extreme poverty, create dignified and decent work,
and raise the standard of living of all our people, we must achieve higher levels of business
development and sustainable economic growth with equity (OAS, 2009)
According to Kuratko and Hodgetts 2007, Entrepreneurship is a dynamic process of vision, change, and creation. It requires an application of energy and passion towards the creation and implementation of new ideas and creative solutions. Essential ingredients include the willingness to take calculated risks–in terms of time, equity, or career; the ability to formulate an effective venture team; the creative skill to marshal the needed resources; the fundamental skill of building a solid business plan; and, finally, the vision to recognize opportunity where others see chaos, contradiction, and confusion.
In the Caribbean, whereas many persons have already accepted that the only way they will move forward is through becoming entrepreneurs. There is a problem that is faced by many in that there isn’t an entrepreneurship policy that helps guides and propels an entrepreneurial model through our economies in many of the Caribbean countries. Though this has not limited or hindered many of the most successful entrepreneurs throughout the Caribbean, it is believed that if one such policy was to be developed, countries such as Grenada could have less dependence on the outside world and more locals would be willing to take more risk to help build their economy.
It is believed that the main issue affecting many entrepreneurs and the development of entrepreneurship in most Caribbean countries is that of the lack of a policy that guides the entrepreneurial process. Although many countries have a ministry that deals with small business or international business among others, there isn’t in many cases a ministry that guides the development of entrepreneurship. According to Lundström and Stevenson, there are six areas that can be focused on to develop an entrepreneurial policy and they are:
1. Entrepreneurship promotion
2. Entrepreneurship education
3. Reducing administrative, legislative and regulatory barriers to entry and exit;
4. Business support for start-ups
5. Business and start up financing; and
6. Target group measures
Developing such a policy can help alleviate some of the problems that are inhibiting entrepreneurship in many countries such as, Lack of access to funding and lack of technical support. One of the biggest problems that this can address is lack of education about the importance of entrepreneurship and how it can help improve economies and people also, another problem this can address is that of a lack of training.
In many situations persons grow up in a culture where entrepreneurship is not something that is seen as important and mainly persons who grow up in business families are the ones to get involve in business however such a policy can help curb this problem and help build better societies.
In conclusion there is a serious need for a policy in the Caribbean centered on entrepreneurship in order to help foster this phenomenon and propel economic growth and development. Entrepreneurship, as identified by many scholars and business persons in the Caribbean, is a very important avenue for economic growth, it helps alleviate unemployment and help create wealth, and more emphasis needs to be placed on it.