Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 17th 2015 Contents SBG4 NEWS
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt MAY 17 • 2015
Adwin Cox, head of the
ing Institute and Incu-
bation Centre (ETTIC),
says over the past few
20,000 people in var-
across the country have benefitted from its
group training and development programmes.
Envisioned as the educational arm of the
National Entrepreneurship Development Com-
pany, Cox said a further 2,200 have accessed
its individual training courses, while more than
1,000 individuals have used its advisory serv-
ices, over the past three years.
The numbers show that ETTIC has tapped
into something, a budding entrepreneurial
culture perhaps. However, on T&T s prevalent
culture of acquiring an education to work for
someone else, the ETTIC head said:
"People get into the system. They find them-
selves in a rut. They find themselves sitting
behind a desk doing something they don t
particularly like to do. They have bills to pay,
the mortgage, the car loan and they go through
the motions. Meanwhile, they dream."
According to Cox, most people get stuck
here because this is what they have been
socialised to do.
"What has happened is that we have grown
up in a culture that says go to school, study
hard, get your passes so that you can get a
house, buy a car, get married, have children;
so you can tell your children the same thing.
It just perpetuates a cycle," Cox said.
"It s the education system itself. You can
speak to many people and they will probably
tell you that they were never told in their 10,
12 years of public education about starting
their own business."
Those who recognise the entrepreneurial
spark within them, however, have a different
problem and it is not financing the business,
as people usually think, said Cox.
"What we ve realised---both locally and if
you look at the international writings---is a lot
of the time, people who get money are not
trained in basic principals of entrepreneurship:
how to keep records, how to price goods. A
couple years down the road, months even,
they realise money was not the issue. That is
why it is very important to train people."
Responding to demand
This is the gap ETTIC fills. The organisation
boasts individual course offerings with titles
such as Marketing for SMEs and Innovation
and Creativity in Entrepreneurship. These
are some of the more recent programmes
introduced. They were done so with the
clients skills gap and the public s demand
for knowledge in specific areas in mind. Cox
told the Sunday BG that the most heavily
subscribed programme is the one called:
Starting Your Own Business.
"People want to know how to get into busi-
"This programme looks at both the prac-
tical: registration, different types of regis-
tration and what are the benefits. But it also
looks at things from the imagination per-
spective. How do I develop ideas? How do
I look at my existing ideas and make them
more innovative and more novel?"
The second most heavily subscribed course
he said is: Record Keeping and Cash Man-
agement; something the ETTIC head
described as the Achilles heel of many small
businesses and entrepreneurs.
"Somebody pays them in cash. They put
the money into their pocket, they walk into
the grocery, they dip their hand in their pocket
to pay," said Cox, adding that the activity is
usually repeated until the money is gone.
"We emphasise that cash is to the business,
what blood is to the body. You lose too much
cash, the business will die."
ETTIC s course covering tax returns for a
small business is also very heavily subscribed.
"People who apply to that programme bet-
ter understand how they can benefits from
tax breaks, how to go about filing and the
different taxes they have to pay depending,
on your business."
Costing and Pricing and Tendering for
Contracts, another relatively recent addition,
are also popular.
"They see advertisements from different
agencies asking for tenders for various con-
Tapping into that
Continued on Page 5
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Links Archive May 16th 2015 May 18th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page