Trinidad and Tobago: Office of the Chief Secretary-THA spotlights a business that has a stream of positive reviews on Trip Advisor and was a prize winner when the Business Development Unit, part of the Division of Finance, Trade, and the Economy, hosted the Creative Tank Tobago 2022.
Duane Kenny is the owner of Stand Up Paddle Tobago. Kenny’s paddle boarding business was deemed “Most Innovative” in last year’s Business Development Unit’s (BDU) Tobago Creative Tank competition.
Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Tobago, which was started in 2013, has also consistently received recognition as the ‘Traveler’s Choice’ on the website Trip Advisor with customer reviews describing their day trip as a “superb time” and the night-time bioluminescence tour as “a unique and magical experience” and “colourful ocean magic.” SUP is part of Kenny’s parent company Blue Falls Investment Ltd.
1. What can be done to improve the entrepreneurial landscape in Tobago?
An entrepreneurial community is key, so that entrepreneurs can meet and talk to each other and learn more about the sector from each other.
2. Why did you start your business and who does it serve?
I started Stand Up Paddle Tobago because it was something that I enjoyed, and I noticed that no one was doing paddle boarding-related tours in Tobago. It serves anyone who wants an amazing outdoor activity.
3.What three traits must an entrepreneur have to succeed?
You must really enjoy what you do, be focused and driven, and be ready to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and be open to learning new skills and get involved in every part of your business.
4. What’s one mistake you made in your business and what did you learn from it?
You’re always making mistakes, that’s how you keep learning. I never hired an accountant, and I made many mistakes in submitting documents and doing accounts. It allowed me to make errors, learn from them, and become better at doing it myself. Eventually, I found someone who could advise me and help me along the way.
5. What advice would you give someone considering entrepreneurship?
Follow your passion and then you will succeed, because even when the chips are down and things are slow, you will push through and give it the best possible chance to succeed.