In praise of Entrepreneurs
Firstly, a Happy New Year to all, 2019 promises to be an interesting one at the very least, and we wish everyone a successful and prosperous year.
For our first blog of the year – and particularly in this imminent pre – Brexit climate, we focus on the role of the entrepreneur. Much continues to be made of the importance of the private sector, and SME’s in particular in driving the economy forward, which brings the role of entrepreneurs into clear focus.
Entrepreneurs are the anarchists of the business world, whose mission is to challenge the existing order. In many walks of life – politics and the public services for example, a belief in hierarchy, certainty and risk aversion dominates.
Corporatism encourages people to think that change is unnecessary and resistable. Managers can believe too much in plans and budgets, and increasing regulation and bureaucracy just make organisations less adaptable and, like insurance, can foster complacency.
Entrepreneurship is the antithesis of this. To start a business, launch new products or enter fresh markets requires the ability to embrace insecurity in an attempt to forge the future. The very nature of entrepreneurship is that it is unpredictable and hard to categorise, yet without it there would be no enterprises to generate wealth, jobs and taxes.
Creativity flourishes better inside small, hungry companies – before they become cumbersome and suffocated by office politics and red tape. Invention thrives outside rigid structures and cautious environments, yet these are the hallmarks of many organisations. The essence of entrepreneurship should be celebrated because it cannot be pigeon-holed.
Every entrepreneur is a disruptor and a libertarian – even if they might not describe themselves as such. Many of the finest entrepreneurs are happy to stand against the crowd, resisting the groupthink. Working on your own, or at least outside big entities, permits revolutionary ideas to foment – ideas that would be killed at birth inside the cosy corporate womb.
Capitalism succeeds because millions of people want to control their destinies and enjoy the freedom of running their own businesses. In every nation, if the state sets a sensible framework and gets out of the way, the armies of entrepreneurs will be unleashed to the betterment of all. Political party leadership often does not sufficiently understand the power of markets, incentives, competition, trade, choice and innovation, not least because many have simply not been there.
Entrepreneurship is a vital yet haphazard part of humanity, which can never be replaced by artificial intelligence. No machine will ever replicate the ingenuity and drive of the wealth creators.
11 January 2019