Entrepreneurship, in my opinion, is a key contributor to our nation’s development and economic growth. Entrepreneurship is becoming a household name as its importance continues to be topical with the ever increasing number of graduates yearly and the limited jobs available.
The old adage that one must successfully complete school and find a job is becoming less relevant and school leavers and people in general are now encouraged to start their own businesses.
In addition to complying with the laws and regulations governing business start up and operations, an entrepreneur should adhere to good ethical standards and be conscionable.
Confidentiality in the use of information and respect for intellectual property are all part of good ethical behaviour. Additionally, an entrepreneur or business owner should possess some level of innovation and creativity, with as little “cut and paste” mentally as possible.
Perhaps these values and traits need to be fostered and inculcated into the minds of the general public, starting from infancy. From my vantage point ethics and creativity are seriously lacking and appear to be on the decline in this country.
I own and operate a small business and have been doing so for the past 10 years. In the month of March of this year, I recruited a young lady to assist with administrative/clerical duties. Due to her unsatisfactory performance, I decided to terminate her employment at the end of April. During the month of May to my utter dismay and surprise, many of my clients contacted me to advise that the said young lady had begun soliciting them to buy the same line of products that my business sells.
In an effort to better understand the turn of events I contacted my suppliers, only to be told that, just as I had suspected, the young lady had ordered a small quantity of supplies. I was made aware that from 1st May she had begun her own business, with the aim of providing the same services to my clients.
This young lady, while she was under my employ, had stolen proprietary information from the office, which she used in starting up her business with her husband, who is not Grenadian. She also stole my client database and contacted all my clients via email in an effort to win them over.
This dastardly behaviour of this duo is quite disturbing, yet well planned out, and they have already decorated their vehicle with their business logo.
How can one be so unethical? How can one be so unconscionable and yet consider their business ever being successful after stealing confidential information from a past employer?
Copying someone’s ideas is one thing but actually stealing data and doing an exact copycat of the business model is something else. Individuals such as these two cannot be trusted and the unscrupulous behaviour they portray indeed sets a very bad example to anyone in Grenada looking to start up a business.
Further I would posit that people migrating to Grenada should be setting a worthy example instead of condoning the unethical behaviour of others.