Workshop helps businesses get started

More than 50 potential entrepreneurs and small business owners benefited from the recent Small Business Workshop series held at the Women’s Resource Centre.

‘Starting Your Business’ and “Improving Your Business” were facilitated by Philip Scott, Deputy Director of the Department of Employment Services.

The workshops were a part of the government’s Small Business Assistance Programme, a combined Cayman Islands Investment Bureau, Cayman Islands Development Bank and Employment Services Centre project. Both workshops were free of charge.

The idea to hold the workshops at the WRC resulted from local research that found that nearly 65% of small business (defined as those with 10 or less employees) owners in Cayman are women, states a GIS press release.

‘This was a natural partnership with the WRC and judging by the positive response we received from participants, we plan to repeat the workshops in the future,’ said Tammy Ebanks Bishop, Programme Manager of the WRC.

A key goal of the first (11 November) workshop, “Starting Your Business” was to generate awareness of issues that entrepreneurs need to consider before plunging into a new business venture. A mix of 37 men and women were shown the importance of preparing a SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) analysis of their proposed businesses. Participants received a Fifty Steps to Success at Business startup guide, forms for personal budgeting, competitor analysis, skills survey and training needs analysis and Mr. Scott also highlighted initiatives already in place that assist the small business owner.

The objective of ‘Improving Your Business,’ the second January 27 workshop, was to teach entrepreneurs how to improve their existing businesses, particularly in relation to sales, operations, and managing human resources. Some 16 participants including 2 men were shown how to use the SFEDI (Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative) Standards to develop their enterprises. Participants were also shown how to conduct a business health check-including reviewing the business, developing plans and checking on the owner’s skills. Discussions concentrated on three key areas integral to the business health check-winning more customers, running the business and getting the most from employees.

Copies of workshop materials are available by visiting the WRC on the ground floor of Elizabethan Centre or by calling 949-0006. Persons interested in receiving more information on the small business assistance programme should contact the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau (CIIB) on 945-0943. Business owners interested in receiving loan funds specifically earmarked to assist in rehabilitating the small business sector should contact CIDB on 949-7511.

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