Ageing trend an opportunity for entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs should view Bermuda’s ageing population as an opportunity, a leading business adviser has claimed.
Erica Smith is the executive director of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, which is designed to assist the Government in encouraging economic growth for Bermuda’s local small and medium-sized businesses. The BEDC provides existing and potential small business owners with a broad range of business advice and financial assistance.
“When we give advice to entrepreneurs, or those who seek to be entrepreneurs, we advise them to do market research so that they can anticipate what future trends will be,” Ms Smith says. “If we know that our population will be ageing, then we advise people that there is an opportunity in that area to establish a business that meets the needs of that population.
“I am not just talking about providing long-term care; there is a whole range of products and services that the ageing population demographic can be a market for. Opportunities lead to entrepreneurial business.”
Even the projected population decline need not be an obstacle, she says.
“We have got to figure out how to bring more people to the island, given our low birth rate, but in advance of that coming to full fruition, we advise our clients to consider alternative markets. We tell them to not just look at this market’s size for their product or service.
“If that product or service is needed or wanted in Bermuda, then possibly it is needed or wanted somewhere else. We advise them to look at other jurisdictions, perhaps islands that are like Bermuda.
“In looking at those markets, entrepreneurs should have a full understanding of the technology required to maximise their opportunity; we try to stress that to our clients and prospective entrepreneurs. If you don’t have technology, get access to it and embrace it. If you do that, you can take your business to the next level.
“If you don’t have an e-commerce site, you should have an e-commerce site. We want to focus on local business, and we believe in local small business’ contribution to the economy — but we also want to facilitate growth and that means reaching beyond Bermuda’s shores.”
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