By Stacey Estwick
This paper explores the fit of the pecking order theory of finance, and the demand for external financing, by closely held and family-owned small and medium enterprises in Barbados. The study is exploratory and uses in-depth interviews with 7 Barbadian entrepreneurs to explore small business financing choice. This study reveals that these entrepreneurs only resorted to debt financing after internal funding was exhausted. External equity funding is not a consideration. Analysis revealed that these finance preferences were influenced by the desire to maintain control of the business. Exploration also revealed a possible relationship between entrepreneurial experience, ownership composition, education levels, and the desire for control and future quantitative research is needed to investigate these relationships. Understanding of SME financing will assist Caribbean practitioners and policy makers in addressing the causes of slow capital market development.
Key words: Small and medium enterprises; financing; independence; entrepreneurial experience; education; demand.
By Jonathan Lashley
Low income persons possess a variety of assets that can assist in coping with shocks and stresses to their livelihoods. However, as extreme weather events increase in intensity and frequency, average losses over fixed periods may increase, while the time available to recoup these losses is reduced. Such a scenario suggests a need for mechanisms to be introduced through which low income persons can either reduce losses through mitigation, or increase the speed with which to rebuild assets, or indeed both. While multiple mechanisms exist to cope with such livelihood shocks, the following paper queries the specific role of weather-related microinsurance to reduce the reliance on more severe asset depleting mechanisms such as: the use of savings and credit as pseudo-insurance; selling assets; relying on governmental assistance and perpetuating a culture of dependence or maladaption; or simply ‘doing nothing’. The paper draws on surveys of 1,645 low-income persons involved in agriculture and tourism in the Caribbean and the South-West Indian Ocean. The results indicate that in both regions respondents are mostly utilising medium-stress coping mechanisms which are eroding current assets with limited utilisation of low stress, non-erosive, mechanisms such as insurance. The paper concludes with a preliminary assessment of the feasibility of microinsurance as an alternative risk management mechanism.
Key words: climate change, coping mechanisms, microinsurance, small-island developing states, Caribbean, Seychelles, Mauritius.
Exploring Determinants of Aggression – Self Esteem, Narcissism and Exposure to Violence from a Sample of Jamaican School Children
By Corin Bailey
Increasing levels of violence in the Caribbean among the young call for investigations into why some children exhibit higher levels of aggression than others. Using a sample of Jamaican children, this paper seeks to identify factors that may lead to violence, through an exploration of possible correlations between three variables (self-esteem, narcissism and exposure to violence) and levels of aggression. The identification of such factors has important implications for early intervention throughout the Caribbean region. Through the application of a quantitative methodology using existing research instruments, the paper finds no statistical association between any of the three variables, and aggression. Levels of aggression are however high across the sample. This raises important questions as to the impact this has on controlling for specific variables. Results point the way towards future research aimed at identifying the factors associated with the high levels of aggression among Jamaican children.
Key words: Self-esteem, narcissism, aggression,
by Erik Blair