By Natario McKenzie
Tribune Business Reporter
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said that youth entrepreneurial empowerment will be a major focus of his administration, while urging the private sector to be "bold and imaginative".
Dr Minnis, who was speaking at the recent launch of the Bahamas Striping Group's Investment Group funding arm, said: "Youth entrepreneurial empowerment will be a major focus of my administration as we see this as a means of tackling some of our long-entrenched problems in our urban areas such as unemployment, crime and social anomie."
Dr Minnis applauded the efforts of the striping group, while noting there are countless examples of young individuals who have ideas to start a business enterprise but who have nowhere to turn to find the necessary funding to advance their proposals. "They are unable to obtain funding through the established commercial banks and quite naturally they would not have the connections or the knowledge to obtain private financing. And so what happens, the dream is deferred, and the dream dies. Needless to say, this leads to personal frustration and social explosion."
Dr Minnis also stressed that the private sector must expand. "One of today's realities is that the private sector must expand. It must be that sector of our economy that must be bold and imaginative. We know that the public sector is already overburdened when it comes to creating new employment and so any opportunity that the private sector has to expand and create new employment should be welcomed," said Dr Minnis.
He added: "Our economy needs small and medium enterprises to grow and become successful. More often than not, these are the companies that employ those who are marginalised and who may not fit into the conventional mainstream of employable skills. But the market place must find room for such young men and women, and often the best way to do this is allowing such persons to do their own thing."