BTFL Loan Distribution Statistics as of July 15th, 2020
Saturday, July 18th, 2020
THE (BARBADOS) TRUST FUND LTD.
Loan Disbursements Statistics
The initiative of the Barbados government to create seed funding for small businesses in this country has been accepted quite enthusiastically by the Barbadian public. The demand has been such that the (Barbados) Trust Fund Limited was able to provide three thousand and eight (3008) entrepreneurial loans to businesses across the various sectors. Total value of those loans disbursed was $13,681,442.46. Forty-eight Percent (48%) of those loans were distributed to males and Fifty-two percent (52%) were issued to females.
Included in the assistance offered by the BTFL were some persons affected by retrenchment and some of those in the disable and differently abled communities.
Loans to the Agriculture Sector were 350, valued at $1,652,316.99
Loans to the Cultural & Creative Industries were 144, valued at $652,823.39
Loans to the Manufacturing Sector were 283, valued at $1,262,001.46
Loans to the Retail Sector were 896, valued at $3,948,498.37
Loans to the Services Sector were 1308, valued at $6,035,798.62
Loans to the Tourism Sector were 27, valued at $130,003.63
The BTFL also provided training for 1300 persons who would have accessed funds. This training would have involved 10 contact hours for each participant in business modules covering:
Introduction to Management
Customer Service Excellence
Marketing & Promotion
Small Business Saturday Blog
Friday, May 15th, 2020
12 Top Tips for Micro-businesses
On #microbizmatters day we shared 12 top tips on running your business to support their #IGave12 campaign which encourages others to give 12 to a micro business owner.Focusing on business advice, branding and marketing there are some great tips for all kinds of businesses and some helpful links to further help from our Small Business Community.Running your business
1. Get connected
Don’t feel like you have to be alone. Running your own business can be lonely and having other entrepreneurs and thought laders around you can really help to develop ideas and provide key support as well as a great sounding board for queries.The FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) is a great organisation so check out @fsb_voice for more help and advice for Small Business
.2. Get social!
Today it is easier than ever to connect with peers online and join support groups and business development pages on social media. Be brave, sign up and get asking (and supporting) other small businesses. There may be someone out there that needs your expertise too!Enterprise Nation has great meet-ups and networking opportunities, search @e_nation on twitter.
3. Money matters
Make sure that you get good financial advice when setting up or running your business. Good financial planning, clear strategies/forecasting and a good accountant can save a lot of sleepless nights and heartache.If you want to find someone local to you with specific expertise, check out @ACCA_UK for your local member.
4. It’s all about me
Whether you are a sole trader or have a small team, you need to look after you. It’s tempting to take on all the roles and run yourself into the ground in order to move your business forward but as the saying goes, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’. You are the most important asset for your business, you must look after your needs in order to run a business to the best of your ability.Marketing and social media
5. Make a plan
Planning is key for a marketing strategy. Don’t create an unrealistic plan as this can be demoralising and leave you feeling defeated. Set yourself small simple goals and these can be increased as you see success. It may be a target number of followers on Facebook, a specific number of sign-ups for a newsletter or exhibiting goals.If you need help with a marketing plan, check out Marketing by Minal @Minal2804
6. Be where your customers are
It may sound obvious but with so many social media platforms it can sometimes feel very overwhelming and like you have to be everywhere at once! Find the social media platform that most speaks to your customers, most people are on Facebook so that is an obvious start but you may consider other platforms like Instagram if your business is creative or particularly visual. Do some research and see where your customers are visiting.
7.Aim for relationships not just sales
Building strong relationships with your customers will mean that they are more likely to be a repeat customer and share their good experiences with others. Micro businesses are all about the people at the very heart of them. Be brave and put yourself, your passion for your product/service and your business into all your interactions to make sure you stick in their minds for exceptional customer service.
8. Keep in touch
Don’t be afraid to ask someone for their contact details. Mailing lists have a bad reputation but used carefully and compassionately they can be a great tool to inform your customers, advise them of great offers and let that personality shine through. Similarly, every day we come across opportunities to network (especially if you produce a wearable product), always make sure you have a supply of business cards and details you can pass on.If you need more help with your marketing, one of our fab small business community Karen Campbell could help you. Check out @k_c_marketing for some great blogs, advice and tips.Branding
9. Have a good name and logo.
A strong brand is easily recognizable. Recognition starts with the name of your business. The name will appear on your business cards, letterhead, website, social networks, promotional materials, products, and pretty much everywhere in print and online to identify your company or your company’s products and/or services. People commonly associate brands with the brand’s logo. As you think about your logo, keep your audience and products/services in mind because you want your logo to reflect your company. A good logo builds trust and a strong logo will help to pull your brand together.
10. Find your brand voice.
What you say is important, but don’t overlook how you say it. Your company’s “voice” is the language and personality you and your employees will use to deliver your branding message and reach your customers. Successful brands speak with a unique voice. Think about the brands you admire – what makes them unique? How do they communicate with you and other customers? What do you like about their voice?
11. Deliver value for your customers.
Value doesn’t mean lowest price. You can focus on product, great customer service , delivery of service, or a combination of those things. When thinking about the value your company delivers ask what sets your product or service apart from others with similar products/services. A personable company with an excellent product are strong emotional drivers for a customer to purchase.
12. Create a personality.
When you are deciding on how to brand your company and ‘voice’ it sometimes helps to think of it as a person. Analysing that character’s beliefs, likes and dislikes, where they live and what their lifestyle is like. This will help you find your target customer and solidify your brand.One of our favourite personalities is Alison Edgar from The Entrepreneurs Godmother, go to @aliedgar13 to check her out!
Small Business Saturday provides help and support for all Small Businesses throughout the year by providing workshops, webinars and informative content.Small Business Saturday UK also highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.
8 Financial Tips for Entrepreneurs Launching a Startup
Friday, May 15th, 2020
I’m not a legal or financial professional . . . I’ve just started and bootstrapped a lot of businesses. Building a company from the ground up is one of the most difficult things I have done.
If you are thinking of launching a startup, my hat goes off to you because it’s far from easy. Here are eight tips to help you avoid some of the common financial mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a new business.
1. Cash flow management is key.
Most startups fail for a variety of reasons, but one is far more common than others — running out of money. You need to know where every single dollar is coming from and where every single dollar is going.
If you don’t stay on top of your cash flow, you are going to put your business in a very dangerous position. It doesn’t matter how good your idea might be when you run out of money you hit a brick wall. Establish a budget and stick to it.
With a new startup, there are going to be expenses coming at you from every direction. Hiring a full-time staffer to handle the books in the beginning isn’t very budget-friendly, so use accounting software to remain organized.
Not only will this help with cash flow management, but it also makes it much easier when tax time rolls around every year. As you grow and the accounting becomes more complex, you will need to consider hiring a professional.
3. Limit your fixed expenses in the beginning.
In the beginning stages of a startup, keeping your expenses low is the key to longevity. You don’t need a huge elaborate office in the heart of your city or fully catered meals three times a day.
Operate thin so you can allocate the majority of your capital to growth, which will enable you to one day implement any perk you want. Too many startups focus on the wrong things — like fancy offices and over-the-top amenities — and forget that generating revenue should be their top priority.
4. Remain optimistic but prepare for the worst.
You never know what can happen when starting a business, so it is best to prepare yourself for the worst possible situation. Don’t quit your job and eliminate your main source of income until your business can replace that income.
Keep reserves — both personal and business — in an emergency savings account. You can never be too prepared for bad situations. Sadly, they do happen, often when you least expect them. As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for your retirement, so when you start making money consider things like a Roth IRA and some investments, even small ones. Anything is better than nothing — consider micro-investing opportunities or allocating funds on a monthly basis to an online platform like E*TRADE. I found their fees to be on the low side.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet: time is money.
Nothing has more monetary value than your time. You only get so much of it every day, so take that into consideration when you are planning your schedule and day-to-day duties. Every second you spend doing something unrelated to your business is time (and money) wasted.
6. Focus on customer acquisition.
Without customers, you have no business. The sooner you figure out how to acquire customers and scale, the greater the chances are of your company making it. Once you identify different acquisition channels, work on optimization to lower your costs.
It’s impossible to test every possible acquisition channel at first, both in terms of time required and cost, so focus on the most lucrative opportunities. Once you successfully scale those, you’ll have the financial capability to explore other channels.
Your hard work and dedication to your business alone isn’t going to put food on your table — you need to pay yourself. While you don’t need to compensate yourself with a big fat salary in the beginning, make sure you pay yourself enough to live.
Give yourself enough to live comfortably and focus on building your business. When you eliminate personal financial stress, it allows you to stay ultra-focused on your business. You can’t eat ramen noodles forever. Give yourself some padding and comfort.
8. Establish financial goals.
Rather than just say, “I want to build a multi-million dollar company,” you need to break financial goals down into reachable and measurable ones.
Monthly, weekly or even daily revenue goals allow you to stay on track and make the adjustments necessary for constant growth. You can even set milestones to hit along the way, giving you a lot of smaller goals to constantly hit. Knocking out little goals can give you the confidence needed to keep powering through the entrepreneurial journey.
Manager of the Trust Loan Fund, Gerry Amos (left) and Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, will visit the Barbados Trust Loan Fund Limited both at Agrofest tomorrow. (FP)
The Barbados Trust Loan Fund Limited (familiarly known as the Trust Loan Fund) will be represented at Agrofest this weekend.
Four of its clients will be showcasing their products and services at Booth #180, located behind the Flow booth, from 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, February 29.
They are: Naturindas; Miramo Inc.; Aunty Phyllis Barbecue Sauce and Yoni’s Spaces. Owner of Naturindas, Nicole Murray, will be launching a concept around the loofah plant; seeking to establish a cluster of businesses aimed at developing the loofah as an industry. She will showcase the product in both its natural and manufactured forms.
General Manager of the Trust Loan Fund, Gerry Amos, will introduce the clients to the public and deliver brief remarks about the cluster concept and the impact of the Trust Loan on the Barbadian community.
Later at 4:00 p.m., Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, will visit the booth and tour other areas at Agrofest.
Startups & Existing Businesses Benefit From Trust Loans
Tuesday, February 11th, 2020
Business Development Officer, Kirk Dottin, admiring the work of St. Peter resident Gina Wahid, during the Straight Talk – Open for Business forum, last night. (S. Medford/BGIS)
The Barbados Trust Fund Limited (BTFL) has approved 2,800 loans amounting to $13.3 million, and processed 3,500 loans.
Business Development Officer, Kirk Dottin, disclosed this on Monday night as he made his contribution to the Straight Talk – Open for Business forum, hosted by the Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, in conjunction with the Small Business Development Unit at the Alexandra School, Queens Street, St. Peter.
The aim of the exercise was to enlighten residents and business owners about the role of the Ministry and the likely benefits of We Gatherin’ 2020.
While Mr. Dottin emphasized that there was still a high number pending to be disbursed, he said these figures said a lot in terms of persons’ interest in starting a loan and opening a business. Pointing out that the fund catered to both start-ups as well as existing businesses, he added: “The higher percentage of those would include persons doing startups, and we have a high number of graduates from university wanting to open businesses, not in their traditional field of studies.
“But we have lawyers and engineers going into agriculture; and they are using that particular expertise and the training to enhance the particular venture that they are going into. But in addition to the financing, what is key would be the training for entrepreneurs and the financial literacy aspect at the Trust Loan, that is what we try to get across to persons.”
The Business Development Officer, who noted the success rate of most businesses depended on how well one managed the business component of it (the finances), said it was precisely for this reason why the Trust Loan (as it is also referred to) was focusing on the financial literacy of individuals.
While stating that the fund offered a holistic programme, by also providing the necessary training, he said it was set to launch a Business Development Unit which would be responsible “for going out there and handholding the clients”.
“At the Trust Loan, we are focusing heavily on the financial literacy aspect of it, for it is key to the success, whereas management of the business finance and management of your personal finance,” he stressed.
Reminding prospective applicants and persons still paying loans that the interest rate was five per cent on the reducing balance, Mr. Dottin added: “We lend up to a maximum of $10,000, but initially we loaned up to $5,000, and for you to graduate to the $10,000, there are some key performance indicators [to meet], namely reasonable pay back of the loan; attending the mandatory training sessions and meeting regularly with the Business Development Officer, so that we can gauge the performance and the progress of the business before we actually graduate you up to the $10,000, or even pass you on to FundAccess or a credit union or even to a commercial bank. So, it is a graduation process that we are offering here.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, in commending the BTFL, said: “We as a Government saw the need to inject some capital within this economy for small businesses, and we started the Barbados Trust Fund Limited. And, we provided seed capital, a small amount of capital of up to $5,000 for small businesses because we recognized that within our country these small businesses, the opportunity to get a loan from the bank, was proving very risky due to what we call “asymmetric information” because what the banks required the small businesses don’t have, in terms of guarantees and what we call collateral as well.
“So, we saw the need as a Government to ignite this sector and that is why we started the Trust Loan. After one year we had some 2,500 recipients of loans, and that is what we intend to do in building out this sector in providing not only seed capital, but providing the technical support.”
General Manager of the Barbados Trust Fund Limited, Gerry Amos (right) and Director of Cave Shepherd Card Services, Alison Browne-Ellis, shake hands to celebrate their partnership while Business Development Officer, Cave Shepherd Card Services, Gail Welch (left) and Business Development Officer, Trust Fund Ltd., Kirk Dottin, look on. (C.Pitt/BGIS)
The Barbados Trust Fund Limited (BTFL) has welcomed the opportunity for its clients to access and use a mobile App and credit card services provided through a partnership with Cave Shepherd and Co. Ltd.
General Manager of the Fund, Gerry Amos, expressed this today at a joint-press launch with Cave Shepherd Card Services, at the Fund’s headquarters on the Harbour Road.
Calling it “a welcome attraction” for improving BTFL’s working methods in support of its digital transformation directive, Mr. Amos said: “The arrangement is indeed timely and instructive for the rest of the Barbadian business community, and gives credence to the notion that we are continuing to develop as a first class independent nation, capable of offering and delivering world class service and excellence, even at the micro level.”
The relationship with Cave Shepherd, which began in October this year, has thus far enlisted 62 clients into the partnership, at a value of BDS$263,000. It offers a digital loan disbursement channel that allows for flexibility, time-saving and an organized system of doing business for clients of the BTFL, and payments to and by clients are expected to be made easier.
Thanking the company, Mr. Amos said: “We are indeed elated that Cave Shepherd’s management team is reading from the same script that seeks to promote the well-being, advancement and prosperity of the thriving small business sector. We salute their unselfish gesture of partnership with the BTFL, and we hope that this will be replicated by other business entities. We will work genuinely to cascade such initiatives across the full ecosystem of the small and medium enterprises.”
Director of Cave Shepherd Card Services, Alison Browne-Ellis, said: “As a Cave Shepherd Card Mobile Partner, this group of Barbados Trust Loan Clients were granted access to the Cave Shepherd Card Mobile App, a digital customer point of sale solution that can be operated from the convenience of their mobile phone or preferred device.
“Functionality such as send and receive payment transfers, mobile payments, access to real time account balances and the ability to transfer funds from their Cave Shepherd Mobile account directly to their bank account are some of the features now available to these clients.”
She said too that having access to the pre-loaded Cave Shepherd Card, in order to purchase products and services locally, online or while abroad, will also make it easier for business owners to manage their time and focus on developing and growing their businesses.
Mrs. Browne-Ellis further noted that marketing opportunities had also been created for these clients “to aggressively market their businesses across our portfolio of over 35,000 active cardholders, using a variety of digital channels”.
And she stressed: “Recognizing the significance that the customer loan repayment process plays in the success of the Barbados trust loan programme, we are also pleased to announce that the Cave Shepherd Card Unit has been registered as an official loan repayment centre for the Barbados Trust Fund Limited.
“All existing clients can now make their loan repayments at our Bridgetown office starting this month, with other Cave Shepherd Card payment locations earmarked to come on stream.”
Trust Loan & Cave Shepherd Join Forces For Mobile App
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
The Barbados Trust Loan Fund Ltd (familiarly known as the Trust Loan Unit) has joined with Cave Shepherd and Co. Ltd to offer what is to be called the “Cave Shepherd Mobile App”, to its clients.
The Unit, along with the corporate entity, will on Tuesday, November 26, formally announce the partnership between the two brands and launch the App via a press conference at its office at Building #4 Harbour Road, St. Michael, at 10:00 a.m.
Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, will address the media.
Also expected to deliver remarks and answer queries are: General Manager of the Barbados Trust Loan Fund Ltd, Jerry Amos; Director of Cave Shepherd Card Services, Alison Browne-Ellis and Operations Manager, Cave Shepherd Card Services, Keri Mapp.
The Barbados Trust Loan Fund Ltd. (familiarly known as the Trust Loan Fund Unit) will commemorate its 1st year of operations with a Thanksgiving Service at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Brighton, St. George, on Sunday, November 24 at 8:30 a.m.
Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, will deliver brief remarks at the start of the service.