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View From Afar: Investing In Human Capital Key To A Brighter Bahamas

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John Issa

By JOHN ISSA

THERE are many Bahamians who need gainful employment.

You may have noticed that I didn’t limit the need of those without incomes to just getting a job. Not that I am against job creation. In fact, my business activites in The Bahamas create many hundreds of jobs directly and many thousands indirectly.

The point I am trying to make is that we should not limit the hopes or the future prospects of unemployed and school-leaving Bahamians to getting jobs. Let us create the conditions, institutions and the legal framework that encourages, facilitates and prioritises the creating of business and self-employment opportunities for school leavers and those without jobs.

The Bahamas would be a stronger, happier and wealthier nation if there were thousands of more small businesses and a greater number of self-employed individuals. It would also go a long way to balancing the budget. So how do we encourage this situation?

Here are a few suggestions:

1 Have a special facility in the Development Bank for small and new businesses. These loans should be on better terms than those offered to larger enterprises.

2 Speedly grant business licences to all new small business applicants.

3 Require jet skis to be driven and rented by the licence holder and assist with the financing of jet skis for those individuals.

4 Require licence holders to drive their own taxis.

5 Pass laws to prevent the supression of competition.

I am sure others could come up with more ideas.

These are just my thoughts. However, I encourage my readers to comtemplate this question - why are so few new businesses opened by new individuals or new companies year after year?

• John Issa is executive chairman of SuperClubs. He is writing regularly in The Tribune.

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