On March 27, 2019, BIDC launched its new Accelerate 20/20 programme at Pelican Centre. Collaboration across public and private sector agencies, business development, creativity and innovation, increased export earnings and import replacement are the hallmarks of the programme. Accelerate 20/20 aims to support the development of 20 high-growth and high-value companies that have the potential to earn or save significant foreign exchange through export earnings or import replacement. This programme runs until the end of 2020.
Presently the BIDC’s database of certified exports shows that there are 21 companies exporting in excess of BDS $3 million annually. And whilst their export earnings have not yet surpassed the 3 million dollar mark, a further 21 companies are in the mix of top exporters with annual exports exceeding BDS$500,000.
The Accelerate 20/20 programme brings together resources from 12 public and private sector partners to accelerate growth in fast-growing ambitious companies in high-potential sectors, in order to significantly increase their exports and develop their potential to join the ranks of top-exporters over the years to come. The programme provides combined access and advancement for participating companies in key areas such as Expert Financial Support for low-cost financing or access to capital investment; Expert Training and Support Services like research and development, product development, technology, branding and marketing support or services; Expert Advisory Services like legal and intellectual property advice and more. Assistance is tailored to the needs of the participating companies.
BIDC’s CEO, Mrs. Sonja Trotman, has commented that “There is a need to accelerate the growth of new high potential areas for enterprise. We must increase the number of exporters and enhance the capacity of existing exporters to significantly increase their export earnings.”
She noted that “Increased exports and import replacement earns and saves foreign exchange for Barbados. High growth exporting and import replacement companies stimulate the economy though inflows of investment and employment.”
In support of this, BIDC Director Fern Lewis added, “Accelerate 20/20 prioritizes the needs of enterprises that can have the greatest impact on the growth of Barbados’ economy. Targeted assistance is focused on ‘Accelerate’ companies to significantly expand or improve their operations and revenue base.”
Accelerate 20/20 is supported by two other initiatives of the BIDC: its signature Innovate Barbados conference and campaign, and its New Product Development programme. Together, these initiatives promote the development of cutting-edge and future-ready businesses that can be globally competitive (Innovate Barbados); the development of desired, market-ready, well-branded products (New Product Development); and prioritize the availability of resources to advance high-growth and high-value businesses (Accelerate).
These three programmes work in tandem to foster the growth of more Barbadian businesses that are able to raise productivity, improve processes or develop new product categories and industries that are globally competitive.