In 2019, Tremmaine Harvey and Diandra Mills hosted an Economic Empowerment Conference. Immediately after the conference, a group of us met and agreed to unite so that we can pool our resources and establish businesses together in TCI. Unfortunately it did not materialize. The sad thing about this is that this is not the first time a group try to unite. I honestly believe in order for us to get a significant piece of our country, we need to unite and pool our resources.
There are very few Turks and Caicos Islanders entrepreneurs who are millionaires and there are thousands of Turks and Caicos Islanders entrepreneurs who are struggling and barely keeping their doors open for business.
Some first steps
There are so many businesses in the same industry competing with one another. As a result there is a drive by some businesses to reduce their price so they can attract customers. The market size in Turks and Caicos is already small, wouldn’t it better if some of these businesses in the same category consolidate and everyone will be able to benefit. Of course, some may argue that this may lead to monopoly. No wants to see a monopoly exists but I know that not all businesses will merge so there will still be businesses competing. For example, say there are 10 individual gas stations, five of the owners can merge and form one company and the other five can join and formed another company. Therefore, I don’t envision any monopolies forming.
Another great step is for individuals to come together and establish new businesses such as a hotel, a housing complex, a shopping plaza, an apartment complex, a financing company and a grocery story.
Issues that cause merged businesses to fail
One of the issues that takes place when businesses merge is that the one or two of the shareholders may want to become too involve in the running of the business that may cause an upset to the other shareholders.
The best structure is to develop a Board. The initial shareholders can be part of the Board. The Board then can hired an independent CEO or manager to manage the business.
Another issue that affects businesses coming together is that we do not trust each other. We must reach a point in our lives where we have to let go of distrust.
Many of us have different gifts and if we can combine our different gifts under one business, what a powerful force we can become in our country.
If we are able to successfully merger our businesses, it creates an opportunity for more resources and thus an opportunity for expansion.
Another benefit of merging is that it closes the disparity in wealth among some of the entrepreneurs.
It brings together a lot of experience and efficiency thus increasing the value of the businesses.
It unites individuals. We need unity in our country more than ever now and merging businesses together can help that.
It relieves those business that were struggling.
I know it is a challenge for businesses to unite due to our differences in personalities and management styles. However, there are so many companies that are successful as a result of shareholders coming together.
Too many of us are caught up in looking after ourselves. However, there is no point in accumulating all of this wealth and not sharing it with others because whenever you die, you will not be able to take this with you.