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Tuesday, 04 July 2017 05:38

Small and medium enterprises equipped with branding strategies

 

A two-day workshop was held with the aim of encouraging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Seychelles to consider banking on creativity and resourcefulness and equip them with branding strategies needed to promote their products and services.

 

The workshop has been organised by the Ministry of Employment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture in collaboration with the Creative Industries and National Events Agency and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Present at the official opening ceremony held on June 20 at the International Conference Centre were the Minister for Employment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation Wallace Cosgrow, the Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture Idith Alexander, principal secretary for culture Benjamine Rose and representatives of various departments and organisations.

The workshop was organised under the theme ‘Initiating the Power of Branding for small and medium-sized enterprises’. There were three international speakers ─ Christopher Kalanje from WIPO, Getaches Mengistu and Professor Pierre El Khoury.

 

In his opening address, Minister Cosgrow said the workshop follows one of the recommendations of the Intellectual Property Development Plan for Seychelles by WIPO, to sensitise the general public on the importance of respecting Intellectual Property Rights and the adverse impact of infringing goods.

 

“To many small businesses, intellectual property (IP) is a rather obscure legal concept that can only be properly understood and applied by those who are specially trained,” he said.

“Given the importance of SMEs to the economies of all nations, effective use by SMEs of intellectual property assets is a key factor in ongoing economic development. Regardless of what product your business makes or what service it provides, it is likely that it is regularly using and creating a great deal of intellectual property.”

This being the case, you should systematically consider the steps required for protecting, managing and enforcing it, so as to get the best possible commercial results from its ownership, Minister Cosgrow added.

“As we spearhead the evolution of our small economy into a knowledge-driven economy, IP is a key consideration in day-to-day business decisions. If left unprotected, a good invention or creation may be lost to larger competitors that are in a better position to commercialise the product or service at a more affordable price, leaving the original inventor or creator without any financial benefit or reward,” he said.

Very often, this has been the case which has led to the reluctance of small business to share their ideas or projects to others and more so not to market their products abroad through trade fairs, in fear that  their ideas are stolen, Minister Cosgrow added.

 

“Instead of hiding their ideas and creations, businesses should consider how best to use the IP system to their own benefits. IP may be considered in all aspects of your business from product development, product design, from service delivery to marketing, and from raising financial resources to exporting or expanding your business abroad,” Minister Cosgrow said.

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