Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises in Barbados

What has been done:

The enabling environment for sustainable enterprises in Barbados was assessed through a careful consideration of secondary data, findings from a national opinion survey of workers and employers and supplementary information from published and unpublished materials. The opinion survey was conducted in November 2011 by an ad hoc tripartite research committee.

The Survey and its sample:

The survey was conducted in two parts, first reviewing business owners’ needs and challenges, and second, reviewing the attitudes of workers (including professionals) with the aim of informing policy development of employers.

Respondents were 234, 44.8 per cent women and 28.2 per cent men.5 Some 107 interviewees belonged to a trade union including the Barbados Employers’ Confederation and 86 were non-unionized individuals. Of all respondents, 114 were regular workers, 56 were in management positions, 33 were supervisors and 26 were company owners. Data were also disaggregated by size and age of the businesses where respondents were working. Some 20.1 per cent of interviewees worked in small enterprises employing 11-25 people, 19.7 per cent in large enterprises with over 100 employees, 15.4 per cent in medium-sized enterprises employing 26-100 people, and 13.7 per cent in micro-enterprises with 10 employees or less. In addition, 49.6 per cent of respondents worked in established firms which have been in existence for 10 years or more, 10.7 per cent in young companies aged 5 to 10 years, and 9.4 per cent in new enterprises which were set up no more than 5 years ago.


A tripartite workshop for the validation of the preliminary findings of the assessment of the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises in Barbados was organized in January 2012. Tripartite participants identified 5 conditions which should be prioritized:
  • enabling legal and regulatory environment;
  • entrepreneurial culture;
  • education, training and lifelong learning;
  • respect for universal human rights and international labour standards; and
  • responsible stewardship of the environment.
An action plan with specific measures per priority area, key players for action, and deadlines has been developed by tripartite participants and adopted at a dissemination workshop held in April 2012 in the presence of high-level policy makers.