New business ‘Shepherds’ prepare to help local entrepreneurs

Dr. Basil Springer, Project Manager for Barbados Business Enterprise Corp

Barbados (March 8, 2010) – On February 19 and 20 at the Barbados Yacht Club, the Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital Fund held its first Shepherding Training Programme designed to nurture a new crop of potential “shepherds,” business mentors to tend a flock of local entrepreneurs. The course gave them a comprehensive introduction to the CBET Shepherding Model™ – intended to pull the wool off entrepreneurs’ eyes.

Designed to educate new shepherds on the processes, skills and characteristics necessary for shepherding entrepreneurs to success, the programme featured a dynamic line-up of presenters that included current business advisors, shepherds, entrepreneurs and leadership expert Toney Olton of The Potter Centre in Barbados.

Drawing on presenters who were already a part of the process, participants heard real case studies and examples from those who had already lived through it. The interactive sessions allowed them to clarify misconceptions as well as offer insights on how they thought they could enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

“The Shepherding Training Programme exceeded my expectations,” said Gregory Hinkson, founder of consulting firm SAMDOR Services Ltd. and one of the keen potential new shepherds. “It was an excellent programme that was varied, lively, interesting and beneficial and a must for anyone seeking to become an entrepreneur’s shepherd.”

Dr. Basil Springer, Project Manager for Barbados Business Enterprise Corp. (BBEC), the company that manages the Fund, noted that shepherding was an essential component of The CBET Shepherding Model™ and it was therefore imperative that new mentors should learn about the process.

The CBET Shepherding model is based on three principles which work in tandem for successful entrepreneurship: a business concept that has the “DNA of an elephant” i.e. an idea with the potential for global expansion; timely cash advancements and quick response to investment requests; and a shepherd, supported by a team of business advisors, to help the entrepreneur nurture the business idea into a successful reality.

The model has been well-received by Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson, who announced in November 2009 that the Barbados Government would guarantee the principal amount invested in the Venture Capital Fund.

“It was a truly invigorating experience participating with the existing and potential resources of the BBEC team in interactive dialogue over two days,” said Dr. Springer.

“The spiritual energy of the smart partnership philosophy is a primary ingredient in the foundation of the Model: this energy pervades the space to create one win-win outcome after another,” he added.

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