Becoming export ready should no longer be an issue for six (6) Barbadian firms in the services sector which participated in the Services Go Global (SGG) Trainer Certification Programme, conducted by The Barbados Coalition of Services Industries (BCSI) and the Caribbean Network of Services Coalitions (CNSC). The initiative was supported by the Caribbean Export Development Agency in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Within the services sector it was recognized that there were limitations in the ability of some small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to adequately develop an actionable strategy to enter export markets.  Thus in order to support in this endeavour, the Caribbean Network of Services Coalitions (CNSC) made a call for the development of a training programme to build the export capabilities of service providers.  Services Go Global has been developed to address this challenge; in September 2014, a Training of Trainers programme was held for trainers from across the region.  Some 28 Trainers were exposed to the training and this week the Barbadian Trainers were the first to undergo Certification under the initiative. In the coming month, other Trainers from around the Region will undergo Certification at three (3) similar events in Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Lucia.

The local Trainers certified this week at the head office of Caribbean Export were Ms. Lisa Cummins, Ms. Meshia Clarke, and Ms. Liana Welch of the BCSI along with Ms. Alison Beckles, Ms. Michelle Hustler and Ms. Jacqueline Harper.  Trainers facilitated the Services Go Global programme for six (6) local SMEs across different spectrums of the Services sector. An outcome of this training is the development of a draft Export Plan by the six (6) companies who attended.

The Services Go Global (SGG) programme has been developed to optimize the CARIFORUM region’s export of services by building the capacity of service providers to capitalize on opportunities under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), CARICOM Single Market (CSM) and other existing 3rd party Trade Agreements; and to establish a cadre of certified Trainers for the SGG platform geared to assist SME’s in the services sector.

Export-readiness is the ultimate objective, as participants are guided through a 4-stage Roadmap, which covers 4 key areas: “Stage 1, Preparing Your Business”, which looks at understanding trade in services, assessing export-readiness and developing an export plan; “Stage 2, Conducting Market Research” including researching markets, sectors and gathering market intelligence; “Stage 3, Developing a Marketing Strategy” including starting a marketing plan, developing an online strategy and winning business; and “Stage 4, Entering the Market” which reviews market entry options, financing, getting paid and also contracting and legal aspects associated with exporting services.