A Call To Empower Human Resources for Greater Productivity


As part of ongoing efforts to increase awareness and cultivate a greater sensitivity towards productivity and competitiveness among Saint Lucians, the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NCPC) of Saint Lucia is getting set to host its fourth annual Productivity Awareness Week (PAW) from October 16 to 20 under the theme: ‘Empowering Human Resources for Greater Productivity.’

According to Executive Director of the NCPC, Mrs. Fiona Hinkson, this year’s activities will focus on reinforcing the importance of investing in the human resource as means of enhancing productivity as this ultimately impacts Saint Lucia’s competitiveness and economic growth.

“Human capital is a firm’s greatest asset. By investing in the capacity and ability of employees, companies are able to drastically improve employee performance and productivity. A critical component in addressing the productivity and competitiveness challenges that we continue face, is ensuring that we are able to adapt to the ever-changing environment by equipping our employees with the necessary skillset to face these challenges. Training and development is the first step towards developing employees who are competent, productive and solution-oriented. We are happy to start this process by working with the Public Sector this year for Productivity Awareness Week.”

The highlight of Productivity Awareness Week will be three days of workshops drawing employees at all levels across the various Ministries and Departments within the public sector. This training will run from Monday, October 16 to Wednesday, October 18 at the Finance Administrative Centre at Pointe Seraphine.

Participants will tackle the theme of Emotional Intelligence on Days 1 and 2 in a workshop entitled, “Enhancing Productivity Using Emotional Intelligence.” These sessions will be co-ordinated by Trainer and Psychologist, Ms. Constance-Ann Akuffo-Paul of Employee Assistance Solutions.

Day 3 will be facilitated by local Human Resource and Business Consultancy and licensed facilitator of the FranklinCovey franchise in the Eastern Caribbean, Celestial Self Development Centre. The areas of Delegation, Employee Engagement and Motivation will be covered in a workshop coined Building a Highly Empowered Workforce through Effective Delegation.”

The training exercises for the week will develop and build on some of the core skills which are critical to job performance. The attitudes and current practices among participants will be assessed with a view towards improving the employee efficiency.

The NCPC recognises the importance of productivity as an issue of national importance and has issued a wider call to the private sector and individuals to use Productivity Awareness Week as an opportunity to reflect on ways in which they can empower themselves for greater productivity.

 About the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC)

Established in October 2013, The National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) is responsible for the identification of key issues related to competitiveness and productivity in Saint Lucia.

The NCPC and its Technical Secretariat is committed to providing the necessary advocacy and research to produce timely and effective recommendations to policymakers on issues that affect both competitiveness and productivity on island. For more information about productivity or on the NCPC, visit www.stluciancpc.org; www.facebook.com/stluciancpc, call 468-2592/2591/1587 or send an e-mail to stluciancpc@gmail.com


Celestial Self Development Centre Collaborates with the NCPC to Celebrate Productivity Awareness Week


Move your team “Beyond Effectiveness” and help them learn how to survive, thrive, and excel at making intentional and consistent high value decisions!

Celestial Self Development Centre, franchise owner of FranklinCovey East Caribbean has partnered with National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) to celebrate Saint Lucia Productivity Awareness Week (PAW) by hosting a 1-Day 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity work-session.

The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity process measurably increases productivity of individuals, teams, and organizations. Participants make more selective, high-impact choices about where to invest their valuable time, attention, and energy. The programme is designed to provide the in-depth skills, knowledge, and attitudes that allow individual contributors, teams, and organizations to be able to identify, validate, and act on what’s most important. It inspires participants to apply a process that will dramatically increase their ability to achieve life’s most important outcomes. Supported by science and years of experience, this solution not only produces a measurable increase in productivity, but also provides a renewed sense of engagement and accomplishment.

This time and life management workshop will help participants to make wiser decisions, harness technology to enhance workflow, and put their attention and energy on executing what matters most.

The workshop takes place on October 25th 2017 from 8:30am to 5:00pm at the Bay Gardens Inn, Rodney Bay.

PAW is slated for October 16th – 22nd, 2017 and will focus on enhancing human capacity in the form of the knowledge and skills acquisition that ultimately affect performance and have a huge bearing on productivity.

Celestial SDC has had the privilege of conducting the 5 Choices work-session for organizations in the; Financial, Hospitality and Healthcare sectors.

The program will be co-facilitated by Geraldine Lendor-Gabriel and Ms. Thecla Deterville, licensed FranklinCovey Facilitators, East Caribbean.

For more information or to register contact Celestial SDC at 1(758)453-1924 / celestial@candw.lc

 The 5 Choices Workshop Flyer-page-001 (2)

NCPC Hosts 4th Productivity Awareness Week 2017

Building an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the importance of competitiveness and productivity to our economic well-being is one of the key mandates of the NCPC.

Every year, for Productivity Awareness Week (held during the month of October) the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) co-ordinates activities aimed at raising awareness of productivity and encouraging initiatives that lead to productivity enhancement.

Productivity Awareness Week will be observed from October 16th- 20th, 2017, under the theme, Empowering Human Resources for Greater Productivity.

The focus for PAW 2017 will be enhancing/developing human capacity through the acquisition of knowledge and skills which will improve employee performance with a view towards enhancing productivity.

To find out more about Productivity Awareness Week and the work of the NCPC.  Find us on Facebook;  http://www.fb.com/stluciancpc or visit our website; http://www.stluciancpc.org .

PAW 2017 Poster.jpg


ECCU, OECS and Dept. of Finance Host Dialogue on Growth Action Plan in Saint Lucia

Against a bleak global backdrop characterized by slow to stagnant economic growth, members of the ECCU and ECCB converged on St. Kitts and Nevis during March for the Inaugural Growth Dialogue aimed at addressing the economic decline in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) over the past two decades.

The forum which was held under the theme, “Working Together to Achieve Higher and More Inclusive Growth in the ECCU” afforded Social Partners the opportunity to directly engage the Monetary Council of the ECCB and other key development partners (namely OECS, World Bank, CDB) on the issue of economic growth and development, by identifying key challenges which they presently face and pinpointing opportunities which should be prioritized as part of the Growth Action Plan.

In his overview on the performance of the ECCU, ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine, highlighted the slow   economic growth of the ECCU and noted that it was an opportune time for the region to collectively “ defend our vital economic interests and advance the well-being of our people [,] especially our youth.”

The Dialogue on the ECCU Growth Action Plan, which was held in Saint Lucia on  September 5 as a  follow-up to the Growth Dialogue held in March sought to solidify the Growth Action plan by reaching a consensus on key regional and more particularly national action points that will address growth challenges and promote further economic growth, competitiveness and employment within the ECCU.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Senator the Honourable Dr. Raymond commended the ECCB and the OECS for initiating and spearheading this timely discussion on economic growth within the sub-region. He said,



Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Senator the Hon. Dr. Ubaldus Raymond

“This one-day consultation on growth, though small, is a critical element of a broader strategy on achieving greater, sustainable growth within the ECCU.  […]

Saint Lucia, and by extension the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union is at a critical juncture in its history, particularly on the heels of the economic difficulties of the recent past, and a future filled with uncertainty occasioned by, inter alia, de-risking, more frequent and extreme weather events, and geopolitical developments such as Brexit. In this moment, it is imperative that our leaders both locally and regionally, band together and find common cause, stand tall and take decisive and collective action to protect our economic interests and advance the well-being of our people. “


Similar national consultations are scheduled to be held across the ECCU during the month of September. The ECCU and the OECS Commission will work with national focal points to host these interventions which will bring together a network of policymakers, youth leaders and activists, private and public sector representatives, civil society organization representatives and  religious bodies to name a few.


Participants at Dialogue on the ECCU Growth Action Plan

Enhancing the Business and Innovation Climate: Dialogue Facilitating Private Sector Development and Economic Growth

An initiative has begun in St. Lucia to determine what sectors, policies and regulations could spur St. Lucia’s competitiveness and drive inclusive long term economic growth.

The Dialogue for Private Sector Development and Economic Growth held on July 27th at the Finance Administrative Centre was driven and facilitated by Compete Caribbean through its local focal point the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council. 

Attendees at Private Sector Dialogue

Attendees of Dialogue for Private Sector Development and Economic Growth

In his address Minister for Finance Senator Dr. Ubaldus Raymond, noted the timeliness of the initiative coming as St. Lucia lagged behind in productivity and innovation.

He lamented that “Unfortunately, St. Lucia is no longer ranked first place in the region in the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators. This situation is further compounded by low levels of productivity and innovation, as well as lack of competitiveness”.

The Minister noted that government has been working on a Private Sector Development Strategy and a National Export Strategy in its efforts to stimulate economic growth.

L-R - Senator Dr. Ubaldus Raymond, Michelle Charles, DPS, Dr. Sylvia Dohnert and Lisa Harding.JPG

L-R – Senator Dr. Ubaldus Raymond, Ms. Michelle Charles (DPS Education),  Dr. Sylvia Dohnert (Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility) and Lisa Harding (CDB)

Dr. Raymond added that “The Government is therefore committed to leading the process by creating the enabling environment which will support private sector-led growth. This support will be channelled through the NCPC and other agencies of government in collaboration with our development partners such as Compete Caribbean”.

Mrs. Fiona Hinkson of the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council detailed the successes of the NCPC in advancing the island’s competitiveness and noted her organisation’s readiness to facilitate the dialogue.

The NCPC Executive Director expounded on the functions of her organisation noting that “We actively research on factors and principles of productivity and competitiveness in order to inform policy, project design, and dissemination of key indicators”.

Fiona Hinkson - Executive Director of National Competitivity and Productivity Council

Mrs. Fiona Hinkson – Executive Director, NCPC

Dr. Sylvia Dohnert, the Executive Director of Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility said this private sector development program has agreed to fund three projects that will lead to meaningful reform or the institutional strengthening needed for business growth in St. Lucia. Similar offers are being made to other OECS States.

She noted that one call for proposals “is at the national level in each country and is about a policy or regulatory reform or institutional strengthening projects that St. Lucia wants Compete Caribbean to fund.”

The Compete Caribbean Program was launched in 2011, with a view to increasing productivity and stimulating private sector development in region. Building upon the successes of Phase 1, Phase II (2017-2020), funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Caribbean Development Bank is intended to further facilitate private sector development and economic growth in the region.

The second call for proposals targets clusters with bias towards job creation. Dr. Dohnert described clusters as “groups of firms that do things together. In the first phase of COMPETE Caribbean we found them to be very powerful, over 5000 jobs were created through 8 clusters that we supported”.

Dr. Sylvia Dohnert of Compete Caribbean.JPG

Dr. Sylvia Dohnert- Executive Director, Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility

A deadline of August 31st has been set for the receipt of submissions. Proposals for clusters can be submitted directly to Compete Caribbean (competecaribbean@iadb.org).  Proposals for policy or regulatory reform and institutional strengthening should be forwarded to the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council:

The Executive Director,

National Competitiveness and Productivity Council,

4th Floor, Finance Administrative Centre

Pointe Seraphine

Castries, Saint Lucia

Further details can be obtained by downloading the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility Call for Proposals  or from the NCPC via e-mail stluciancpc@gmail.com or telephone 468-1587.




Compete Caribbean and NCPC To Host PSD Forum on Innovation and Economic Growth in Saint Lucia

Dialogue for PSD and Economic Growth

According to the recent IDB publication “Engine of Growth?”, Caribbean enterprises are performing worse than those in the Rest of the Small Economies (ROSE).  It was estimated that average sales and employment growth of Caribbean firms was only 40 percent and 66 percent, respectively, of ROSE comparators.   Further, Caribbean firms’ performance has worsened over time, and most firms are stagnant, with the proportion of stagnating firms increasing from 50 to 87 percent from 2010 to 2014. It is in this context, that governments and local, regional and international development agencies have been intensifying efforts to support private sector development as a catalyst for growth.

Compete Caribbean is intended to support the region in increasing productivity and Caribbean firms’ contribution to economic growth.  Phase I of the Compete Caribbean (2010-2017), formally concluded at the end of February 2017. According to an end-of-program evaluation, Compete’s 101 technical assistance projects that involved national regulatory or policy reforms, institutional strengthening, and direct support to the private sector and knowledge production generated over 12,000 jobs in the region, increased revenues of firms and clusters by USD$153m (41%), and increased overall exports by USD$37m (23%). Phase II  (2017-2020) is a joint initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Caribbean Development Bank.

In an effort to support the region in increasing productivity levels and Caribbean firms’ contribution to economic growth, Compete Caribbean and Saint Lucia’s National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) are collaborating to host an important dialogue titled “Stimulating Private Sector Development and Economic Growth”.  Executive Director of Compete Caribbean, Dr. Sylvia Dohnert, says this dialogue is an important milestone for the Caribbean region.

“The intention is to not only sensitize stakeholders on the state of private sector development (PSD) in the region and the importance of PSD for economic development but similarly to increase awareness of current private sector development best practices and solutions that have achieved successful outcomes in other countries. We are elated to be collaborating with the NCPC on this initiative. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to create an environment which is increasingly competitive and in which businesses are able to flourish” she said.

Dr. Dohnert elaborated that the Forum provides a strategic platform for the private and public sector, civil society and academia to discuss national PSD priorities within the context of technological change and innovation.

The dialogue will feature presentations on The Imperatives for Innovation, as well as inspiring examples from the Caribbean region that demonstrate how to use innovation to stimulate development and growth. Representatives from local and regional agencies are expected to attend this event. These include members of professional associations, financial institutions, entrepreneurship associations, academia, non-governmental organizations and the public sector.


Creative Ways of Funding Your Business

Business Funding- Magnet

Saint Lucia is characterized by a youthful population. This means that thousands of young persons are entering the labour force yearly. As such, job opportunities for young persons are very limited and this has resulted in a youth unemployment rate of 38.4% in 2016. The answer to this crisis lies within entrepreneurship. Young persons are usually creative in their ways of thinking and solving problems. As such, this creativity can be used to create business opportunities for themselves as well as creating jobs for other young persons.

In order to start and operate a business, funding is essential. Securing financing, however, in this tough economic climate can be challenging due to the high risk levels involved in starting and operating a business. More importantly, entrepreneurs are required to have collateral in order to borrow. This, while proving to be problematic for potential young entrepreneurs should not be a deterrent.

Many successful business owners have started their business from scratch with little funding. For example, British business man- Chris Dawson has shown that selling goods from a suitcase can lead to big things, founding The Range (homeware) in 1988. His chain of discount stores made £88 million profit in 2014. Entrepreneurs are usually creative in nature and can come up with innovative ways of funding their ventures.

Young entrepreneurs will have great business ideas but because of lack of capital are discouraged to execute the plan. It is important to note that if the business idea is not comprehensive and well thought out, no amount of money will turn it into a success. Therefore, if an entrepreneur has a business idea but may have little money, that should not be a constraint to starting the business. This may require long days with little sleep. However, those who want it bad enough will make it happen.

The following are some tips on how to start your business with little funds:

Tell everyone about the business. Inform everyone that you know about your business including friends, family, business contacts and past colleagues. Call, send emails, attend free networking sessions also make the business known on social media. Friends and family can help you spread the word, and past colleagues can introduce your company to their professional contacts as well. This type of grass roots marketing can introduce your business to a much larger audience.

Get ready to work hard. When you are starting a business with little to no capital, you must be prepared to dedicate everything that you have into making the business a success. This involves cold calling, handling customer support, dealing with billing and accounting and other parts of the business. You may have to wear many hearts in order to start off the business.

Look for strategic investors. Strategic investors are the best type of investors you could find for your business because their interests align with your start up.  In assisting your business, there is some benefit to their business. For example, a hair dresser with a huge salon may give a nail technician some space to set up, either at a concessionary rate or free of charge. This is a way of marketing the hair salon to the clients of the nail technician and thus helping to expand the business.

Start at home.  Bill Gates successfully started his business in his garage. Depending on the line of business, a great way to save money is to run your business in a location that will not require you to pay extra rent. It will not look glamorous but will help you to get the job done without spending extra money.  In recent years, the Taiwanese government has been encouraging entrepreneurs to start businesses at home. This is a way of helping them decrease on their overheard costs which ensures the survival of the start-up business.

Start part- time. If you will need a steady income to meet your financial obligations, it is therefore advisable to start the business as a part time venture. Do not quit the job until the part time business has a steady flow of customers and profits.

Although it is true that generous funding, a team of investors, or family with deep pockets can make starting a business venture easier, not having money should not be a deterrent. If you are confident that you have a product or service people want, don’t allow the lack of money to dissuade you from your business goals. By pivoting, grinding it out, getting creative, and differentiating yourself, you can bootstrap your way to a successful business.