The technological realm of entrepreneurship was explored this week commencing from 28 October when Innovation Week/I-Week officially kicked off.
The week’s activities were described as a springboard or gateway into the Territory’s technological industry and sought to use education, training and discussion to garner insight into the industry in the digital industries that are emerging globally.
One of the highlights of the week’s activities was the promotion of the soon to be launched Business Lab which was described as an exciting undertaking as it is expected to serve as a form of business incubator facility for persons seeking assistance in delving into the highly competitive digital landscape.
Although the Business Lab will not be functional until 2020, Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Honourable Sharie De Castro, who spearheaded the I-Week initiative virtually launched the lab on 28 October. In fact the Junior Minister noted that the lab and the week were all part of government’s commitment to the promotion of entrepreneurship in the Territory.
“A week like Innovation Week is specifically designed to…herald the opening of the Innovative Business Lab which will be opened in 2020. The establishment of this Lab is our tangible way of supporting businesses and new start ups in a space designed to nurture their brand and assist their clients to be able to conduct business with them in a professional environment,” Hon. De Castro said.
The I-Week activities closed on 31 October, and during the days of activities the Junior Minister encouraged the community to view the activities as a call to action. She said that it was an opportunity for interested persons to join government on what she described as a maiden voyage of modern innovation. The whole initiative the Junior Minister said sought to empower businesses and business owners – young and old – through new, exciting and innovative ways that encourage the success of each brand.
While stressing the importance of the Week’s activity Hon. De Castro said that she envisions the BVI becoming a great innovative society: “BVI can be the brain-bank of the world—churning out ideas on how to tackle issues that affect people, places and businesses. And, for those ideas, innovators can be handsomely rewarded,” the Junior Minister said.
During the press conference held on 25 October Acting Premier Hon. Kye Rymer said that the I-Week activities were carefully planned with the business community in mind. “You see, it is no secret that small businesses are the life blood of any economy, and as we continue to diversify our economic offerings we must find innovative ways of doing business,” he said.
“There is a Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. I believe in the message that if you give a man or woman a fish, it is only for one day, but if you teach the same man or woman, either of them will be able to grow and reap the benefits of their personal commitment for a life time. Today, therefore is about empowerment. As leaders of this Territory it is our intention to teach our people to become self-sufficient through innovative training programmes that will produce an innovative group of entrepreneurs who will in turn create an innovatively driven Virgin Islands economy,” Hon. Rymer added.