Second Column Today

Town Hall II

New Economic Model: Repositioning our Sails

The second installment of the Virtual Town Hall Webinar featured two your enterpreneurs, which I find interesting to watch, in real life and on TV.

Joase Ann van der Biest runs an art and culture café, BAZ-RRR Galleria, a social enterprise in town, and Stefan Oosterwaal owns Linda’s Pancakes on Palm Beach road.

Joase described how a developer has to start preparations many months ahead of opening, allowing for major delays, budgeting a triple amount of the original investment, bracing for unpleasant surprises every step of the way. Stefan who is big on technology and innovation, was funny when he declared “the struggle is real,” but he was dead serious.

The process of birthing a business in Aruba is demotivating because of waste, redundant procedures, old laws, fragmented information at best, but mostly a great lack of information.

Example: Joase named the United Nations Sustainable Goals, while Aruba professes to follow that glorious path, very few people know what the goals are. The attention paid to anything sustainable in Aruba is pure lip service.

So what is your advice asked the emcee and I could hear Stefan say: Don’t do it, hold your horses. Meaning, don’t be crazy, don’t open a business on your own, but he didn’t say that, instead he gave a good pep-talk about thriving in a niche market and finding easier and cheaper ways of doing things.

I enjoyed watching these two, they successfully run small businesses because they are very courageous, and are willing to jump through hoops.

They talked about sustainability and innovation ADMITTING that the red tape to setup a business is self-defeating, and designed to wear the developer down.

It was a micro- example.

Nobody talked about the elephant in the room, the macro-situation.

Banning plastic straws doesn’t make us sustainable. This is a MARGINAL reduction in the WASTE we experience.

We work so hard in overdrive, going into overproduction to pay for our country’s HUGE OVERHEAD.

And that is the REAL issue, the real waste.

We could have worked less, if we had less overhead. Or worked more and enjoyed a rich country status.

Our little island must spend time thinking about how we can produce more value with less expenses.

We need to get a lot smarter in our collective ways.

Joase advocated awareness, as a much-needed strategy.

Awareness of what? Small waste or the large WASTE.

Perhaps one good thing that sprung out of the Covid19 crisis, the awareness that we can do better, we must reach clarity and get the courage to create and foster a collective improvement agenda.

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June 13, 2020
Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster