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Old 22-03-2003, 15:43   #1
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starting a business in 3rd world

I started long term cruising after receiving an inheritance. I divided the money in thirds with one third for purchase of a boat and one third in an annuity for later and the final third for fitting and a kitty. In spring of 2001, I left Florida where I bought Babylon ( a Tartan 37) with what I thought would be a 3-5 year kitty. After some unexpected maintenance items and some surprise other expenses (new laptop and stolen rental scootor), I found myself at the bottom of the kitty in two years. I was in Grenada for last storm season and close to "affordable" Venesuela, but decided to turn north and see what I could find for work in St Martin as first choice or as an American, I'd go to the USVI or Puerto Rico to find something. Along the way, I stopped in the Grenadines and fell in love with the area and the friendliness of the people. I worked in Pro Audio and enjoy doing electronics. I found that no one was doing marine electronics in the Grenadines and saw an opportunity to set up a business doing that. The (ex British) government makes it easy for people like me to set up as we will hire locals and contribute to the economy...incorporating a business and being the managing director is a ($2000US) workaround for a work permit. Did that. The next step is to apply for residency. There are some requirements that I had a difficult time fulfilling. There needs to be a police check from last country of residence and the SVG government leaves it to the applicant to procure this document. As I was in the middle of the Caribbean and didn't happen to know any cops, this took a while. Three months after starting this process, It's still not finished, but I have rented a space and as of the April issue of the Caribbean Compass, I'll be advertising and open for business. One of the ongoing problems will be supplies. The duties are outrageous and they even charge duty on shipping. What may appear to be easy online shopping becomes difficult when you want to ship out of the country (US).
I am delighted with the opportunity to do what I want in paradise, but the costs of tools and equipment and supplies are going to be a challenge to keep in line. The "island time - take it easy" ways of the locals require lots of patience and trying to expedite things in a hurry up manner doesn't work...it will be interesting to see how it develops. I always worked for other people who were left with the management headaches. Also, I'm no longer drifting around as a wandering cruiser, but commiting to being here for a while....larry
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Old 25-03-2003, 18:33   #2
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LARRY:
Great story!
What business name will you be operating under?
Could you describe the marina, anchoring, & other marine facilities in Bequia, and elsewhere in the SVG?
Keep us up to date on your progress or otherwise) in establishing your electronics business.
Best of luck

Enviously ...
Gord
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Old 28-03-2003, 05:16   #3
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The Business name is Windward Marine Electronics Services Ltd. Quite a mouthful and I'm not going to use Services Ltd in common practice. WME will be easy as well. I registered windwardmarineelectronics.com as a domain, but haven't developed the site yet.
Bequia has a beautiful well procected airy harbour on a nice island and seemed to be a favorite of many cruisers that I talked to on the way down. There are no marinas with the exception of a fuel dock and a cat charter company in a corner that may occasionaly have dock space for transients when the cats are out. Larry
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Old 07-06-2003, 21:54   #4
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Florensic:
So, how is Windward Marine Electronic Services doing?
Hope to hear more from you on starting a marine business.
Regards,
Gord
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Old 14-06-2003, 10:38   #5
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In past life I had TV repair shops, similar to your new business. Check to see where you can purchase new electronics, I get a feeling that there may be better sources than the US. I know in Bahamas, items from British commonwealth countries are much cheaper (New Zealand cheese & Butter). Also in Caribbean countries, outboard motors are cheaper than US. It will probably depend on who the Grenedines' favored trading partners are. I have been to Bequia onboard small cruise boat "Amazing Grace", there were enough boats anchored in March to provide repair & upgrade employment. Will you sell/repair Solar, wind and refrigeration gear? Replacement batteries and alternator/starter rebuilding and replacement could be a big demand.
While there, I rented a crummy windsurfer. First I kept falling off, then I noticed I was sailing on OIL! Then when I went further out I found the board would not go upwind and I could not get back. I hollered at an anchored cruiser to radio for a rescue tow for me, the local fuel boat gave me a ride in. (The fuel dock there comes to you.) We were there the day before elections, fun to watch all the commotion.
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Old 18-06-2003, 00:47   #6
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Well done! Starting any buisness in a third world country is an undertaking not to be sneezed at, I have registered buisnesses in Indonesia, East Timor and PNG and have found it to be a difficult and long process at the best of times so keep on trying and you will get there.
regards Shane
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Old 18-06-2003, 19:13   #7
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Good for you, Larry. Bequia is beautiful...

I was there in 2001, sailing from St. Lucia to Grenada. The thought has also crossed my mind of starting a business in a nice place like Admiralty Bay. I wonder if they need any computer shops?

I wish you well, and I hope you don't get to mired down in running your business to enjoy that part of the world. It's beautiful.
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Old 13-01-2004, 05:16   #8
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Windward Marine Electronics

FLORENSIC (Larry):
Havenít heard from you in a while, and wonder how your SVG venture is working out? I've noted that your website is still under developement.
Please give us an update!
Best Regards,
Gord

Quote:
florensic once whispered in the wind:
The Business name is Windward Marine Electronics Services Ltd. Quite a mouthful and I'm not going to use Services Ltd in common practice. WME will be easy as well. I registered windwardmarineelectronics.com as a domain, but haven't developed the site yet.
Bequia has a beautiful well procected airy harbour on a nice island and seemed to be a favorite of many cruisers that I talked to on the way down. There are no marinas with the exception of a fuel dock and a cat charter company in a corner that may occasionaly have dock space for transients when the cats are out. Larry [/B]
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