IN the global business environment, entrepreneurship is considered a critical driver of competitiveness, innovation and prosperity. Competitiveness can be understood as the key set of factors, institutions and activities that enable a country to sustain a high level of prosperity. Therefore, competitiveness focuses on developing optimal conditions in the country that promote economic growth. More importantly, competitive economies are characterised by a high level of entrepreneurial activity in the private sector.
Entrepreneurs are often considered as national assets to be cultivated, motivated and nurtured to the greatest possible extent. Entrepreneurs are capable of changing the way we live and work. If their business ventures are successful, their innovations may improve our standard of living. This leads to the creation of wealth through job creation and other conditions that promote a prosperous society. This directly coincides with competitiveness which has the ultimate goal of improving the standard of living of the average citizen.
In addition, entrepreneurship encourages capital formation within the economy. This simply means that unused savings in local banks are loaned to entrepreneurs to be transferred to productive activities. They also employ their own savings for setting up their enterprises. These entrepreneurial activities lead to productive economic activities that help build the country’s competitiveness. This is certainly a productive way of employing unused savings to promote economic activity and build a nation’s competitiveness.
A country’s export trade can be promoted through entrepreneurship, which is an important ingredient of competitiveness. They produce goods and services for the purpose of generating foreign exchange from exports which can help promote a balance in trade. The exports of goods and services to foreign markets create additional business for entrepreneurs. Furthermore, exports ensure that the market share of entrepreneurs is expanded beyond the local market. This translates to expanded business and employment within the local economy.
These professionals are always on the lookout for opportunities in the market. They explore and exploit opportunities, encourage effective resource utilization and skill, bring in new products and develop businesses that promote growth. In this way they help increase the production of goods and services and incomes of people in the country which indeed promotes competitiveness.
Entrepreneurs help to remove regional disparities through the setting up of business activity in less developed and poverty-stricken communities. The growth of businesses in these areas leads to the development of public benefits like road transport, health, education, entertainment, etc. The establishment of more businesses in these areas lead to more development of these districts and thereby promotes balanced regional development and increased competitiveness.
Generally, entrepreneurs always want to succeed and do well; they also want to make a significant impact in the private sector. In every pursuit, entrepreneurs strive to be at the top, to be the first, the fastest or the best in the products and services that they offer. As such, the spirit of competitiveness is critical in driving innovation and performance and thus entrepreneurship. Competitiveness also encourages the adoption of innovation as companies evolve and new ideas flourish in the marketplace.
The National Competitiveness & Productivity Council (NCPC) was established to recommend, collaborate and monitor reforms that would boost Saint Lucia’s level of competitiveness. At present, the Council is in the process of conducting research which focuses on increasing entrepreneurial activity in Saint Lucia. Additionally, the NCPC is currently planning a host of activities tailored to sensitizing and orienting local up and coming and established young entrepreneurs in Saint Lucia to the fundamentals towards making their enterprises more competitive. The Council is looking further to future collaborations with key stakeholders on reforms and projects to provide an added boost and in support of entrepreneurial activity in the local economy.
(For more information contact the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council on Second (2nd) floor, Financial Centre Building, Bridge Street, Castries. We can also be contacted at 468 -5571/5576/5552 or visit the Council’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/stluciancpc or email at firstname.lastname@example.org)