Growing together programme will help small businesses grow

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, pro vice-chancellor and campus principal, The UWI St. Augustine Campus addresses the audience at The UWI/Guardian Group Premium Teaching Awards Ceremony 2022. –

Even the smallest of businesses would benefit from learning to do business better, said University of the West Indies Campus principal, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine at the launch of the Growing Together small business training programme at UWI-Roytec in Port of Spain on Friday.

“Even if you are not exporting, there is value to having adequate training and knowledge of how to manage a business,” Antoine told Newsday. “Roytec is not just about exporting its about trying to get you to improve as a small enterprise.”

The Growing Together programme – a one month programme for small businesses that would cover modules such as enhancing businesses; small business finance; attracting customers and generating value and applying innovation for business growth.

The programme will be delivered through the Microsoft Teams platform on three virtual sessions and one self-paced session. Participants will be awarded a certificate from UWI-Roytec.

The programme is aiming to reach over 2,000 businesses over the next year.

Pointing out that the SME sector accounts for 85 per cent of registered businesses in TT, Senator and Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon said gaps in training and knowledge of proper business practices must be addressed if TT is to fully harness the potential of the SME sector.

“Our MSMEs, particularly those in the retail sector, must be able to leverage strengths such as tailored customer service so as to nurture customer loyalty and retention to be able to compete successfully,” Gopee-Scoon said. “For many businesses, managing cash flow and understanding the basic principles and practices associated with utilizing financial data is critical to making decisions for growth and expansion.”

Franchise Operations Manager Caribbean Region Joseph Robinson said the training program will help strengthen SME businesses and personal development. He encouraged small businesses to continue in its development.

“Coca-Cola bets on your drive, passion and talent to work together for the economic progress of all TT citizens,” he said. “A programme like Growing together with Coca-Cola is a great opportunity to achieve this ambition.”