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  HOME | Caribbean

Dominican Official Sees Entrepreneurs as Key to Transforming Society

SANTO DOMINGO – Entrepreneurs will play an essential role in transforming Dominican society because of their can-do attitude, the deputy minister for development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Ignacio Mendez, said in an interview with EFE in Santo Domingo.

Mendez made his remarks on Friday at an event in the Dominican Republic that is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017.

The Caribbean nation is one of 160 countries that are holding events from Monday, Nov. 13, through Sunday aimed at inspiring millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them with potential collaborators, mentors and investors.

Mendez sees entrepreneurs as an engine of change due to their proactive attitude that leads them to “ask less of politicians and rely more on themselves” in handling the problems they face.

He said the MSME sector had made great strides over the past five years thanks to the creation of a National Entrepreneurship Network that provides support to MSMEs and the enactment of an Entrepreneurship Law.

This week’s event builds upon that progress and showcases success stories, according to the deputy minister, who said those cases were very important in encouraging people to assume the challenge of entrepreneurship and shatter myths that dissuade new projects from getting off the ground.

The goal is to show that a person “need not be born with a certain last name,” he said, adding that what is important is “the idea and the execution.”

It also is important to show failed attempts at entrepreneurship so people can learn from those mistakes and see that “there may be another opportunity somewhere else and we, the government, have the obligation to provide those alternatives.”

To that end, Dominican entrepreneurs have access to MSME centers that provide consulting on how to execute their ideas, necessary assistance in preparing their financing plan and help with digital and technological tools.

The biggest challenge, however, is to ensure that entrepreneurs develop projects that lead to greater job creation, according to Mendez, who noted that many small businesses generate few employment opportunities.

 

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