Tonight, as we celebrate with the champions of business with TT’s business community, we are proud to have introduced the country’s first (and to date) only business awards programme.
Set up by a national organisation representing business, the awards contribute to building a strong, stable and creative private sector, which can thrive despite current challenges.
The Champions of Business Awards, one of the TT Chamber of Business and Commerce’s annual signature events, aptly highlights the significant role of business in the fortunes of our country. Introduced in 2005 under the name Business Hall of Fame, the awards programme is more relevant than ever as we strive to compete in a globalised world and demonstrate that TT stands tall as an independent republic.
The six categories are a reflection of the current marketplace: the role of entrepreneurship, technology as a growth enabler, the call to environmental sustainability, the importance of external market penetration for both small and established operators, and recognition of lifetime achievement.
Entrepreneurship, including the SME sector, is a key developmental sector in every country – in some cases accounting for as much as 85 per cent of GDP. However, enterprising operators are often challenged by the prevailing framework, which seems to be risk-averse. Recognising outstanding entrepreneurs in our midst gives a fillip not only to winners but to the entire sector of bright start-ups.
Business technology was introduced out of an understanding that more and more businesses are utilising technology to enhance operations and to fill a need in the market. We have seen the impact of technology on every facet and every size of business.
Technology allows businesses to scale operations more quickly than using traditional approaches.
It also creates a boundary-less market space, where the world is your consumer. We are certain this category will continue to expand and showcase the exciting way technology is transforming our local business landscape.
Very few companies survive if they are solely dependent on their home markets, and it is clear that the recipients of the awards for Internationally Known...T&T Owned Company of the Year and Breakthrough Exporter recognised this fact. For the recipients of these two awards, the right mix of entrepreneurship, innovation and astute investment in research and development have paid off with successful internationalisation.
Increasingly, businesses are being called upon to seek out the triple bottom line of “people, planet, profit.” The Green Agenda award was introduced with the goal of encouraging sustainable business practices that can inspire others to follow suit.
Every business starts somewhere, and almost every giant of business was once an entrepreneur armed only with an idea and an unshakable determination to succeed. The stories of 36 inductees to the Business Hall of Fame are fascinating and run the gamut of the corporate world – they are all business people who have led from the front, built local empires and created intergenerational wealth.
Several of these inductees have subsequently “given back” and been a part of events hosted by the chamber, where they unreservedly share their years of knowledge and experience to guide other businesses.
The Champions of Business Awards serves as a showcase and a reminder of the power of business to “do good.” Our business sector is a vehicle of wealth-generation for the entire nation, providing jobs, paying taxes, supporting NGOs, establishing scholarships, mentoring, community activities and charitable projects. Our awardees all demonstrate that with the right mix of passion, ingenuity and creativity they can craft a unique business.
The Champions of Business gala grand finale and cocktail reception takes place this evening at NAPA, Port of Spain, before an exclusive in-person audience. The recipients of all six categories of award will be honoured and celebrated.
Look out for more on our winners over the coming weeks!