The Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, through the Small Business Support Unit (SBSU), hosted the first annual Business to Business Forum on August 31 – September 1, 2022 at the St. Alphonsus Parish Hall in Goodwill.
The forum was operationalized under these guiding objectives:
- To strengthen backward and forward market linkages;
- To promote networking as a currency to increase income generation;
- To create a formalized atmosphere for annual information sharing;
- To provide a platform for small businesses to showcase their products and services to markets and investors and;
- To provide a platform for markets and investors to learn about new locally made products.
This forum was born out of numerous consultations with Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from Cabinet and Ministerial levels; listening to the heartfelt concerns, recommendations and needs of business owners and associations being brought to the table.Honorable Denise Charles Minister for Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives
This was materialized through the overwhelming attendance of 60 entrepreneurs of which 90% were agro-processors, 7% were manufacturers and 3% were service providers who promoted and sold assorted products. Additionally, the entrepreneurs met face-to-face with support agencies who directly impact their business operations. These include business registration, certification, financing, shipping logistics, insurance, business advising, technical support, training and or formalization. Furthermore, entrepreneurs met with potential market representatives from hotels and supermarkets across Dominica.
Three interactive business sessions also ran simultaneously with the exhibition, targeting entrepreneurs with capacity building information on value added processing, services and investment financing. Presenters from across the business support spectrum made presentations to include shipping logistics, accessing finance for investment, and the importance of insurance in this economic dispensation. These sessions were moderated by public and private sector MSME players, namely representatives from the Small Business Support Unit (SBSU) and the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC). Additionally, entrepreneurs and potential market representatives were provided the opportunity to commence mutually beneficial business engagement discussion at the exhibition table. An additional option was provided in the form of breakout rooms for private business discussions.
The Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives looks forward to hosting the second annual Business to Business Forum in August 2023 as it endeavors to augment the economic and operational standards of MSMEs across Dominica.