THE Saint Lucia Small Business Association (SLISBA) will soon be announcing a business leader’s programme tailored specifically for females, one which will ensure that female mentees near the start of their business career are paired with mentors who have relevant experience and knowledge.
This disclosure was made by Flavia Cherry, Immediate Past President and Executive Vice President of the Saint Lucia Small Business Association, during a special dinner at Bay Gardens Inn last Friday. The event was held to celebrate women heading small businesses.
Cherry promised even more events for women during the course of this month and the rest of the year telling those in attendance that SLISBA is proud of every one of them.
“We are proud of every single one of you and would like to encourage you to keep on working towards success because your entrepreneurship plays such a significant role in generating jobs and future economic growth,” Cherry said.
The event was also part of this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day and an opportunity to recognize the work those women are engaged in and their collective contribution to society.
“Tonight is therefore a time for you to feel special because we know that the future prosperity of our country depends on the many small entrepreneurs like yourselves who toil day in and day out to keep the wheels of our economy running smoothly,” Cherry said.
According to Cherry, SLISBA supports and promotes entrepreneurship to ensure that small business people in the country have what it takes to succeed as entrepreneurs.
“We know, for example, the many challenges of trying to balance the workload of your business and to have time for yourself. We know how difficult it is to get dependable, honest and sincere staff who share your vision and passion. We know how challenging it can be to manage in a tough economy, while at the same time having so many demands on you as a small business person,” Cherry said.
To young women starting off in business Cherry advised them to seek out SLISBA for encouragement and guidance.
“We want to ensure as many women as possible are able to benefit from mentoring and that is why, soon, we will be announcing a Future Female Business Leaders Programme, which will ensure that female mentees near the start of their business career are paired with mentors who have relevant experience and knowledge,” Cherry said.
She noted that this programme will ensure that more women get the kind of support and advice they might otherwise have lacked.
Meanwhile Dr. Greta Franklin-Cherry, the guest speaker at the event called on the women present to continue to work with men despite the many challenges they face as women. She also called on women who have achieved to champion other women.
“When you get to the top, your next thought should be who within my department that is female I can promote,” Cherry said, adding that such a promotion has to be based on merit.
“Remember, our aim is about equality and equity in the workplace, so if she doesn’t measure up, then you give her the tools to promote her and for her to do better – you become the guide and mentor,” Cherry told the women gathered at the event.
In expounding on the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day – “Balance for Better”, Cherry called on the women not to vilify men because they are not the enemy.
“In order to achieve ‘Balance for Better’ in the private sphere or home as well as the public sphere or workplace I would like to suggest that we work with men. In other words, my overarching theme is that we need to work together, males and females collectively to achieve balance for better,” Cherry said.