Our Journey

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By Ryan Wills

This issue marks a year that Dazzle Barbados has been in operation.  I wanted to share with you our journey to getting here.

Dazzle Magazine was first launched in St. Lucia in 2010 by my business partner 123 Digital Limited for the young, innovative and knowledge-seeking entrepreneurs; the ones that don’t have a voice.  To appeal to the person that always had a dream of starting their own business, or understood what it took to be successful. One who constantly aims for the stars and performs above-average; in short one who never gives up.

We became frustrated that both local and regional entrepreneurs weren’t featured in a way that made them appear just as important as a politician or a doctor.  We wanted to help mold the next big “success” through the magazine and let them know they too are a brand. So in many ways Dazzle is a reflection of our own thoughts and discoveries as entrepreneurs.

web_our_journey2Starting Dazzle Barbados in 2014 has by no means been easy, but knowing that a creative medium like this exists to attractively highlight local entrepreneurs is my fuel to keep pushing forward.

Every day I ask myself the same questions: How do I get more advertisers? How do I scale my business? Will this work? To be honest I have no background in publishing or writing but do have a fair share of experience in branding and marketing.   I believe this makes Dazzle a very unique publication as it’s one for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs.

When I started Dazzle Barbados my intentions were simple:  To attractively brand local entrepreneurship within the next 2-3 years.

The road of creating this goal will not be a straight one but I believe that through this medium you and every Barbadian can make an impact. We have always found ways as entrepreneurs to succeed even in the midst of uncertainty. My team and I are dedicated to bring you an awesome publication and make Dazzle the “go-to” magazine for everything entrepreneurial.

I hope you continue to join us on this journey and thank you for feedback and kind words!

SMEs and ICT in Barbados

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By Nigel Pierre

It was once said by CEO J.T. O’Donnell Influencer CEO, CAREEREALISM Media & Career HMO, that Entrepreneurs don’t fail, they experiment.  In an economy of uncertainty, it is a time for entrepreneurs to look at what they are doing and no better time than with so many ICT options available.  ICT stands for Internet Communication and Technology and covers the convergence of the Internet and Communications technology.  In an ever shrinking world where competitiveness is vital, focus should be on how to make communication and technology advances a pillar of the company.  So what does ICT do for the small to medium entrepreneur? Continue reading

Be the Change

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By Asha Stoute

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi, this is a quote which inspires greatness and almost reads like the motto of entrepreneurs all over the world. One of the ways an entrepreneur is defined is as someone who recognises there is a void or a problem and is brought to action by their desire to fill that void or solve that problem. Daniel Pink author of ‘Drive’ describes entrepreneurs as problem solvers, “they see something that needs to get done; a service that needs to be offered and they go for it.” Entrepreneurs are in essence the driving force behind change.

Change is essential for any society to grow; embracing change ensures that we are not left behind, stuck in a rut, wondering what happened to our lives. Dr. Spencer Johnson, author of ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ explains in great detail the need for embracing change. In his powerful little book, he covers all the key areas why people are afraid of change and how giving into that fear can essentially cripple you. Dr. Johnson wrote “if you do not change, you can become extinct.” Have truer words ever been spoken? As the world embraces digital media and increased online presence, many businesses are forced to embrace rapid changes in technology or give into extinction. Can you imagine there are still businesses out there without a website! Crazy right? The first thing people do when they hear of a company is GOOGLE it, and with the existence of FACEBOOK, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, companies need to pick at least one platform to ensure they draw the attention of the masses…change.

Not that change is easy; for some change means the end of an era or leaving people behind, gaining less income or irritating those who are not on board with your ideas, but so what? Another amazing writer and inspirational speaker, Dale Carnegie in his book ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living’ suggest we ask ourselves one vital question, “what’s the worst that could happen?” and after we have thought of the answer, Carnegie suggests to accept the outcome. Embrace that if you decide to make a change and things don’t go as planned, at least you tried, get back up and try again. If you lose a few friends along the way, then maybe it was time for new friends, if you have to get by with less money, then that is a sacrifice you have to be willing to make, if you have to defy the social norms or go against your family’s dreams for you, then so be it, you’re the one that has to live your life. After you have accepted the worst, your fears diminish, and you are now able to come up with a better plan or even a plan b.

Majority of the time, this fear is all in our heads, we create so many obstacles for ourselves, that we are in fact our own worst enemies. Mark Twain, another great author said it best, “I’ve known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” Our imagination usually gets the best of us, but sometimes you have to know when to reign it in. Entrepreneurs embrace this fear, they asks themselves the question, what’s the worst that could happen, they accept it and they take that leap of faith anyway. Dr. Johnson made another valid point, “When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.” Taking that leap of faith in yourself can give you such as sense of freedom, confidence and determination; but it can only happen if you embrace the fear, embrace change.

‘Who Moved My Cheese’ also poses yet another great question, “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?” This question has changed many lives; it’s like a call to action. There’s no doubt about it, fear can be crippling. Paulo Coelho author of ‘The Alchemist’ wrote, “there’s only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve, the fear of failure.” Fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of success or fear of change, all of these are some of the reasons why people don’t go after their dreams. However, if you truly ask yourself that burning question, the possibilities could be endless. Do you want to look back on your life and say, “if only I hadn’t been afraid” or would you like to be able to look back and say “it was amazing when I took that leap of faith.” Your faith in yourself must be bigger than your fear, so ask yourself this one question, what change would you like to see in the world? Then make it happen!

Email: ashastoute@gmail.com

Danielle Trotman- Illustration Ideas

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By Ryan Wills

For many of us in our younger days, we probably did a bit of drawing. If not of the infamous sun, sea and horizon illustration, we drew our favourite comic book or TV characters. Today I am sure that the trend continues but how many of us could claim that we drew simply by using a stylus and an iPod touch?

Technology is indeed a wonderful thing and we are going to take a look at Vector Art and Danielle Trotman, a budding artist who is using it to showcase her skills. According to wisegeek.org “Vector art is one of the two forms of art used by computers, with the other form being bitmap art. The images in vector art are basic and simplistic, consisting of lines, points, polygons, and curves. This art is akin to the type of imaging typically used to create cartoon images found in comic strips. In addition, it is typically used to create business logos and signs, making them easy for the brain to remember.”

At 23 old years old, Danielle loves illustrating and explains that she uses an app on her iPod called Illustrator Ideas to create the images. She admits that she hasn’t been formally trained in art and wanted to showcase her work on Instagram. She’s already employed a bit of marketing strategy to get people liking her page. Her trick is that she draws Barbadian and Caribbean personas that are not immensely popular but are still well known, and then tags them. “The feedback has been mainly positive,” she says. Take for example Alex Jordan, former radio host at Slam FM. Danielle drew an image of her and she surely got back a response, she chuckled saying “Alex wanted bigger boobs and smaller arms.”

She confesses she is a shy person but someday would love to do a live sketch of Rihanna . Even though it’s a hobby at this stage, Danielle is very keen to see where it goes. Interestingly enough, she informed us that she graduated just at the time of this interview from UWI with a Bachelor in Computer Science. She doesn’t think she’s a geek by any measure and wants to do her masters next year.

Not only is she is passionate about her art, but also aspiring to reach the top like one of her role models, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo. “She is inspiration to me not only because she runs one of the biggest tech companies, but also because she balances it with a family.”Family is very important to Danielle and she says it isn’t always about making loads of money. Danielle drew the portraits for our team and we love them, thank you very much Danielle!

Fun Facts:

She doesn’t like cheesecake because from young she thought a block a cheese was the cake.

She has a twin sister

She also shoots and plays the steel pan.

Find Danielle on Instagram @dtrotmanillustration

Making You Fit for Business!

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By Celia Collymore

“Creating lasting impact is a challenging task, does not happen overnight and is difficult to measure.” ~#GEW2013 Impact Report
Whether you’ve been in business for a long time, short while or just getting started, you may have experiences and thoughts about the entrepreneurial journey. Do people truly understand the kind of hard work, commitment and discipline it takes to not only get started but to follow through?

Your art, your craft and your passion to venture into entrepreneurship is a calling which can take you on an enlightening path. The process and transition is complex, lonely, takes a great deal of effort, sacrifice and focus to make your dream a reality. Do you intend to embrace the ups and downs of entrepreneurship?

My answer was yes and I wanted to share this reflective process with others. My proposal was completed, I spoke to my mentor Lynn Beckles, later met with the Barbados Youth Business Trust, host of Global Entrepreneurship Week and the rest is history! FITtrepreneur was launched at the Cave Hill School of Business on Thursday November 20th, 2014.

FITtrepreneur is a 360° approach to developing your business and moving your brand forward. It reaches out to the entrepreneurial community to not only celebrate their business accomplishments, but to understand the importance of adopting a balanced and healthy livelihood.

Due to what I have experienced as an entrepreneur, it takes a lot more than healthy eating and exercise to stay sane and keep smiling. Based on other conversations that I have had with other entrepreneurs, it seems like a lot of us are struggling but we are not asking for help, or we are not in a situation to speak the way we need to, in order to prepare ourselves for opportunities. As entrepreneurs, we need to really get fit for business in every aspect of it, and look at our lives full circle. Yes, it is a fact that we want to make money, but at the end of the day if you don’t make time for yourself, family or relaxation, you may burn out.

We envision that FITtrepreneur will become a movement, a community, a lifestyle, an identity for entrepreneurs who aspire to be successful and are on a mission to fulfill their vision. We see this initiative as a way to bring businesses into balance (spiritually, mentally, physically, and financially) by creating opportunities that are practical, economical, visible, beneficial and sustainable for all involved.

Critical to our FITtrepreneur community is providing Spaces for Conversation, to start talking about the issues that are seriously impacting entrepreneurs. Right away we tend to think about issues such as maintaining family life balance, lack of cash flow and maintaining a company vision. But are these the real issues or the symptoms of a bigger challenge?

Within this community we expect to challenge, engage and empower young entrepreneurs/business people to look within themselves, see and understand their potential, identify the problems, and take the necessary action to minimise these said issues, while envisioning the possibilities, figuring out and creating pathways to success. This is a working community willing to re-define the status quo and our current situation by doing our due diligence, continually educating ourselves, staying abreast of activities, policies and processes that may impact us.

FITtrepreneur is different and timely because it is an honest open space where entrepreneurs can share candidly on the things that impact their ability to be successful – as they see it. In this environment, persons who are committed to their personal and business success would want to use this space to collaborate, network and be inspired to be successful.
What’s next?

FITtrepreneur is a start to something bigger than us, a work in progress. We’re inviting like-minded entrepreneurs who see the value in what we do to connect with us. Look out for our events, don’t miss this opportunity to speak your mind.

Lynn Beckles, Mentor

When Celia discussed the idea with me, I was immediately encouraged. This was a perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs to do more than simply network. This was an opportunity for them to brainstorm about the real obstacles that they face as they move along that winding road to success. This was an opportunity to innovate around the idea of business support. Maybe the answers are already there and persons just don’t know about them; maybe there are new answers to be found but no one has asked the question. All in all, what I see is an opportunity to create a balanced, holistic approach to building and sustaining wealth, an approach more importantly that is driven by the actors who will benefit the most.

Email: bajanfusion@gmail.com

ANGEL INVESTMENT: giving your business wings

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By Sade N. Jemmott

As Barbados continues to face retrenchment in the public and private sectors, more people are turning to entrepreneurship as an answer to their financial needs. However, traditional sources of funding for these ventures are for various reasons out of the reach of many. As such, interest in alternate funding sources, such as Angel Investors (Angels), is naturally on the rise.

In plain terms, an Angel is someone who invests in a business, usually in return for at least part of its ownership. In many cases, this person also adds a special touch to the venture through sharing whatever particular expertise or relevant experience he or she may possess. Angels invest for a variety of reasons ranging anywhere from a genuine belief in the potential of the business to a personal connection with the founder. Whatever the rationale, Angels are often a key source of early investment and being the object of an Angel’s interest can translate into financial blessings.

It is for this reason that the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation recently established Trident Angels – this island’s first angel investor network. In doing so, this non-profit organisation created an accessible pool of investors as a key element in Barbados’ emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is, without a doubt, an excellent resource for the local entrepreneurial community and will provide a much needed alternate source of financing as opposed to, for example, loans from commercial banks or other lending institutions.

However, it should go without saying that there is no such thing as free money. Angels accept the risks of investment with the hope of some reward. They have money at stake so they naturally come with their own expectations and personalities – both of which need to be carefully navigated by the discerning entrepreneur.

Although typically very aware of the failure rates of new businesses, an Angel’s main objective is to reduce that risk in not only the business’ best interest, but also their own. How exactly they go about that can vary widely from Angel to Angel, as does each entrepreneur’s receptiveness to any particular method. Therefore, parties to any proposed angel investment should consider carefully the dynamics of the arrangement and ensure that the value proposition to both sides is sufficiently clear and the inherent risk well understood. Specifically, they should both fully appreciate that as with all relationships, some unions will be a match made in heaven, while others simply will not work.

The entrepreneurs who will benefit the most from this financing option will be those who remain open to the significant guidance a good Angel can offer without ceding complete control over his business or his vision. Very practical ways to do this include conducting a thorough background check on any potential Angel and seeking independent legal counsel BEFORE you sign on the dotted line.

Finally, it is important to remember that Angels ‘buy’ equity in your venture, not your soul so you need to know where to draw the line. If there was only one more piece of advice I could give with respect to Angels, it would be to trust your instincts. If it does not feel right, do not do it! You can thank me later 

Sade N. Jemmott (sade.jemmott@bb.lexcaribbean.com) is an Attorney specializing in Corporate Commercial Law with a focus on International Business and Entrepreneurial Business Ventures at one of the region’s leading law firms – Lex Caribbean. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation where she co-champions its Mentorship and Networking Pillar and is also an entrepreneur in her own right.

How to Be Above Board -Lauren E. Whitehall

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One of the biggest challenges a business faces is being compliant with relevant legislature. This is an even bigger challenge for the entrepreneur as there may be cost restraints to employ the adequate team responsible for ensuring compliance. The main areas that the entrepreneur needs to be on top of in order to conduct business above the board relate to tax laws, the relevant legal framework under which the business is bound and financial reporting standards.

For the entrepreneur it can be overwhelming to stay abreast of the areas described below and to release the cash flow required in order to be compliant. Here are some useful tips:

• Bite the bullet and hire a qualified consultant, on a short-term basis who will do an analysis of the business and provide guidance on the areas of compliance that your business needs to adhere to. Request that the consultant provide a checklist which covers tax deadlines, reporting deadlines, financial reporting standards and the laws under which the business is expected to adhere to. Each quarter, the business owner should review the checklist; sign off on each area to evidence compliance and check if there are any updates required. This method, when developed and used properly is one of the best ways to stay on top of what is required of your organization, especially as it is tailored to suit the nature of your business. There is no need to include areas that are not relevant.

• Subscribe to email blasts from entities such as Business Barbados which provide useful information on current business practices and legislative changes which may affect your business.

• Read the journals issued by the Government, such as the Gazette to keep abreast of changes in relevant government offices and local legislature. This is especially important in today’s economic environment.

• Participate in anti-money laundering training. Transparency is especially important in today’s business. Every business can come under the microscope as technology makes it easier to capture those attempting to fly below the radar. Money laundering is a worldwide problem and there is much work being done in this area to reduce the ability of money launderers to engage in legitimate business with illegal funds as the source.

• Attend relevant seminars and conferences. Stay on top of your business environment and grow your network at the same time. There is always something to learn from others in any business and attendance at these types of events can be a valuable source of information and allows for discussion with others who may be on the same journey. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and give advice of your own.

• Watch local and international news. You never know what useful information you will come across and this media can be more interesting and demonstrative for the busy entrepreneur. Be aware of the information which affects you, whether directly or indirectly.

• Financial reporting is a key component of a business. Where the threshold for audit is not met, it is very possible to become lax in this area as having an audit requires that financial reports and disclosures have to be presented in the prescribed format. Do not wait until it is time for an audit, or time to approach banks and other financial institutions to realize that you need to get your financials in order. Depending on your jurisdiction, there are financial reporting standards for presentation and disclosure that all business owners should be aware of. This area is also essential for business owners to be aware on a timely basis of the financial position of the business.

• Know your clients and know your employees. What this means is that you should not only have a profile of those who you intend to transact business with or who approach you to do business, but also those who work with or for you. Some business relationships may impact on your future ability to do business because not enough due diligence was carried put prior to accepting the business. The same theory applies to hiring new employees. Employees are privy to your information and being able to assess the integrity and character of your employees is definitely advantageous.

There are so many useful resources available and it may seem confusing, especially for the entrepreneur who may have the creative vision required for their business which is at the crux of the success of any company. However, one should always keep in mind that there are so many other links in the chain of owning and operating a successful business.
Remember that once you set up the right system for staying above the board for your business, it will be much easier and beneficial to maintain that system, than it will be to have to be financially penalized for lack of adherence to the law.

Charging what you’re worth

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By Marcus Thompson

So you’ve entered or you are thinking about entering the world of entrepreneurship. Congratulations! Welcome to one of the fastest growing clubs in the world. One of the trickiest things we will have to do as entrepreneurs is to decide what to charge our clients. I grappled with this issue for longer than I care to mention so you don’t have to. Here are some things worth considering when it comes to charging what you’re worth.

Never ever work for free*

*(Unless it’s a cause you strongly believe in such as a charity near and dear to your heart. In which case, go for it champ!)

DO NOT believe potential clients who tell you it would be great for exposure. They are trying to take advantage of you. A good example of this is “spec” work.

“Basically, spec work is any kind of creative work rendered and submitted, either partial or completed, by designers to prospective clients before taking steps to secure both their work and equitable fees. Under these conditions, designers will often be asked to submit work under the guise of either a contest or an entry exam on actual, existing jobs as a “test” of their skill. In addition, the designers normally unwittingly lose all rights to their creative work because they failed to protect themselves by means of a contract or agreement. The clients often use this freely-gained work as they see fit without fear of legal repercussion.” – FAQ about spec work (http://www.nospec.com/faq)

How much you charge has a direct correlation to how clients value your work. Peter pays for Paul

When you undervalue your work and end up charging less, you aren’t just hurting your bottom line and overworking yourself. Clients will come to expect cheap labour from ALL persons in your line of work. So be a good ambassador of your trade and set those unrealistic expectations straight so the next man doesn’t have to.

What am I worth?

As existential as this sounds, you can arrive at a fairly decent if not accurate idea of your worth by looking at a couple things:

1. Basic budgeting

Calculate your inputs and outputs of your business as a whole. Don’t forget to include meetings, phone calls, vehicle maintenance, light bills etc. when arriving at your estimates.

2. The time & money you spent honing your skills

I can design and build a decent website in a week or two, but it took many years for me to study, buy all the equipment, software, and thousands of hours of practise in order to develop that ability. Charge accordingly.

3. The value being provided
If you are a photographer shooting a wedding for example -these are memories the couple will want to cherish (hopefully) forever. Valuable (there’s that word again) things! I don’t know about you, but forever sound expensive. A serious photographer doesn’t show up with a cheap point and shoot camera talking about “Oops, memory card is full, sorry”. They DO show past work they’ve done and show up with multiple SLR’s, maybe an assistant or two, lighting equipment and sometimes props, all based on prior consultation with the couple as to what and who they want expressed in the photographs. Right away you can see the value this serious photographer is bringing to the table and why they cost as much as they do.

Stick to your guns

‘If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur”.
Red Adair

When you do decide on what you will charge it is important to get across to the client the value of what is being produced for them. If you can do that effectively already, then you probably don’t need to be reading this.

Always be prepared to walk away if the client balks at the price. Chances are your skills are undervalued or not being valued at all. By all means, go right ahead and let your cousin’s 18 year old son do your accounts for cheaper/free. Being able to say “No” is one of the greatest superpowers in life. Use it liberally.

The Wrap Up

Be confident when telling customers how much your expertise is worth. You’ve put in the time and effort and can deliver what you promised. If you aren’t confident of the value of your work, why should you expect others to?

CSR: The Strategy of Giving

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by  Richard Barrow

Corporate Governance is the system by which companies are directed and controlled, and two of the popular theories on corporate governance are the shareholder theory and the stakeholder theory.

I have seen, as I’m sure you have seen also, companies and their employees featured prominently in various forms of media while performing services geared at encouraging socially responsible practices.

The range of these acts is endless and may vary from the clean up of beaches, donations to charity or adopting and contributing to schools or clubs by acting as a sponsor to assist in furthering developmental programmes.

Collectively these acts can be described as Corporate Social Responsibility, which has been defined in Business Dictionary as a company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates. Continue reading

Cutting the cost of Christmas: 5 tips to help keep your bonus in the bank!

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by  Rhonda Thompson

It’s soon that time again, Christmas is around the corner!  Yup, believe it or not it’s that time of year where the kids are wildly excited about prospects of gifts and Santa, and the adults…well, let’s be honest; most of us are groaning about how much money we’ll have  to spend, or how much debt we will be in come the New Year. But does it really have to be this way?  Do we really need to put so much money into a season that at its core is all about love, sacrifice and being with family and friends?  Certainly not.  Check out our five fabulous tips that will hopefully open your minds to a new way of thinking of Christmas, as well as offer fresh ideas for gifts that will help keep money in your pockets and the Christmas spirit in your heart! Continue reading

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