Entrepreneurship in a crisis
April 1, 2009
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The Monitor Group published a report that looks at ways of promoting entrepreneurship in the 21st century (thanks for sharing it with me Mohamad). As chance would have it, minutes before receiving the email about the report, I was speaking to a friend about one of the projects that we are working on for which we are seeking investment. My friend was questioning the wisdom of seeking investments in new ventures during these times of financial direness. My response was that at a time when people are losing their jobs and investors are losing much of the value of their investments, our intention and drive – in the face of these circumstances – to create ventures that will create jobs, growth and value is even more attractive now than it would have been before the crisis.
In this time of financial crisis, more attention than ever needs to paid to supporting entrepreneurs and creating frameworks for encouraging all forms of entrepreneurship. We are a company that works with and supports social & environmental entrepreneurs and that is actively engaged in launching and spinning off new ventures. We have been undeterred in our mission by the current crisis. This is not due, I hope, to some false sense of bravado. We do not pretend that we have not been affected by the market conditions that have followed the credit crunch. We have had to adjust our forecasts in line with the shrinking budgets in the market and are watching with concern as many economies are stagnating or shrinking.
The impression I get from people like my friend above is that they see the economy as a building that is on fire and that while people are scrambling to leave the building with whatever possessions they can rescue, we are looking to grab other people’s possessions and run into the flaming building in the hope that we can find a safe corner of the house to hold out in until the fires are put out and the house is rebuilt. This is not the case. What we are doing is more analogous to building a new house to provide a shelter for those who are running out of the burning building.