From talk to action – Part VI
Freedom Speaks Column
In moving from just talking into taking concrete actions that are within our ability, there are several foundation principles or logical considerations that will guide the actions of the Dominica Freedom Party. In the last three articles, we discussed the first two considerations. The first consideration relates to the pursuit of the big idea (making Dominica the nature island of the world) and we noted that in that regard that access to land will be a major determinant of the people's prosperity. The second consideration relates to the fundamental question that must be kept in mind when contemplating pursuing an idea - what are the critical problems that may prevent the venture from achieving success. Sometimes we fail to properly study that question, but overcoming constraints is the second principle that will guide our actions.
We may look back at past attempts and ask, what prevented these operations from attaining success? We may turn to other relevant successful examples in Dominica or elsewhere and ask, what where the critical challenges they had to overcome? What gives them a competitive edge? Consider for instance, that for a particular project that failed, there was not a consistent supply of raw materials. Then the follow-up question should be why was there not a consistent supply of raw materials? That sort of enquiry should go on until the root problems are identified. Once the root problems can be determined, then one would be better able to craft effective solutions.
The DFP will seek to help our people to critically analyse ideas. In doing so, we wish to work with all who are willing to partner with us. Our pace of progress will depend on how much our people respond to the call. There are many of our people who reside abroad with the skill sets, the exposure and the experience that can be organized to help our people who reside in the homeland and we ask those interested in helping to give us a call and we can connect you to a network that we are setting up. Some Dominicans residing abroad may already have an organization that wish to work to uplift Dominica; you too can call us to discuss how we can partner with you.
The third foundation principle that will guide the action of the DFP as we seek to lead our people into prosperity, is that there must be investments by the people. There are significant challenges to be overcome in that regard. To begin with, low income and limited domestic savings means that most of our people find it difficult to make the sacrifice that investment requires especially if they act individually. Moreover, many who enter into ventures do not have sufficient capital and this can cause investments in otherwise good ideas to fail. An aspect of this related to insufficient working capital (funds needed to over running expenses) especially that required during the first critical period where a venture is seeking to establish adequate or steady demand for its products.
Additionally, some persons with good ideas for business ventures find it difficult to secure loan financing. This may be due to various reasons, to include, the lack of collateral to secure loans; limitation on the areas into which bank are willing to take lending risks; limits on how much banks can lend to a single individual or company and inadequate preparation of business proposals presented to banks for funding.
Furthermore, many of the businesses that are able to secure bank loans are often over-leveraged – that is the size of loan that they take on compared to their equity is so high that it puts a strain on the business due to the burden of loan repayment.
What then are the options to help our people invest? The Dominica Freedom Party will place much emphasis on encouraging more equity investments. We will encourage people to combine their investment efforts to help overcome the challenge of insufficient investments. Much effort will be made to assist persons to access venture capital sources. This could be through the set-up of specific funds, seeking our angel investors and assisting venture through technical assistance so that they are better placed to access venture capital sources.
A potential source of investment is that from Dominicans living abroad and these could be encouraged through joint ventures with Dominicans living at home; the organization of ventures that persons can participate in; and the set-up of a venture capital fund.
It would also be important to encourage joint ventures between foreign investors and Dominican investor where investment requirements are very large so that they can't easily be pooled solely among Dominicans; or where access to "know-how" is a strategic advantage for securing foreign investment participation.
The DFP will seek to identifying businesses with good potential and seek to assist them to access investment and improve their financing structures.
Next week we will discuss the fourth foundation principle – the involvement of the young people must be secured.
Kent Vital Political Leader Dominica Freedom Party