Bizzy: Williams model best for UWI
FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN of Williams Industries Inc., Ralph “Bizzy” Williams, is suggesting a new business model for the University of the West Indies (UWI).
He says that it should be fashioned after the one used by his own company, in which workers have a stake, rather than depending on financing from regional governments and students.
The suggestion came as former Prime Minister Owen Arthur backed two proposals that would include having students pay fees upfront, using loans to meet their tuition and living expenses, and the issuance of a Government-backed bond by the university.
Williams, who holds an honorary degree from the Cave Hill Campus, credits his business model with leading to the establishment of around 23 companies in the region.
At the launch of Cave Hill’s Research Week, he said he was willing to fund research to evaluate whether such a business model had achieved its primary objective of enfranchising workers and encouraging the widespread understanding of how businesses operated.
“In this Williams Industries model, the shareholders and the employees each share
25 per cent of the profit made, with the remainder set aside for investment to expand and create more employment opportunities.
“In addition, the employees receive shares in the business for long service that encourages high production, [which] increases the share value and provides the employees with a sizeable lump sum of money on retirement if they decide to sell their shares back to the company,” Williams explained.
“Subject to the board’s approval,
I would be happy to provide reasonable funding for a small research team to research the business model to determine if it makes sense, and teach it and encourage the widespread adoption as an alternative model to what is traditionally accepted in Barbados,” he said. ( WILLCOMM)