I started writing this week’s blog about the major event in my life which is the birth of my first grandchild last week – yes I am old enough, so no more comments please! When I had written it I realised it might be a bit boring for Enterprise Britain readers, even if I combined it with a commentary on health care in the Netherlands and tried to compare it with the UK. That in itself should become a PhD thesis and not a 400 word blog.
So with apologies to my grandson and my lovely daughter I felt compelled to write about Dave’s meeting with business leaders. The meeting went well I understand. Dave was able to report that an ‘estimated’ 45,000 jobs will be created by the companies which attended. Good job Dave! I sure someone believes you have created jobs even though many more of us do not. Most appear to be apprenticeships anyway – does that mean no pay too?
What I wonder is what this has to do with the enterprise culture I always hear about. ASDA may open some more supermarkets so we get more people trained at tilling and MacDonalds will continue its excellent work on fattening up the population just to name two of the companies represented. The four largest supermarkets were there presumably keeping an eye on each other.
The people who attended the meeting are without doubt some of the very skilled business people in our country. They are excellent as executives of large companies which require a very different skill set to those of the lonely entrepreneur. If Dave is serious about building an enterprising economy he needs to talk to people who have built small businesses and perhaps some who have failed. He will learn some interesting things.
I am talking with three entrepreneurs right now – all three have interesting businesses. Will they succeed? Who knows!
All three struggle with the same things – cash, time, resources, loneliness, stress, and sometimes doubts. They need a drive and a stamina the people Dave saw will never understand. They do not have big resources behind them. In fact they are lucky if they can cover their credit card bills. They do not have to worry that their salary only runs to 6 digits whilst the person sitting next to them is into 7 digits. They do not even have revenues close to that level.
They do work 24/7 and they have not had a holiday in years. They do not claim benefits and they do not get support from tax payers.
What do they have? They have a vision and I hope for all of them they fulfil that vision. I hope they are able to find the time to translate their visions into the right kind of business plan. I hope they do not run out of cash along the way. I hope they are finally able to raise the capital and other support they need. I hope their marriages survive the stresses they suffer and I hope they manage to find their way through the massive regulation mountain thrown at them by the Camerons of this world.
These three people represent what we call Enterprise Britain. There are already some 4.8 million of them and they employ many more. Enterprise Britain will generate much more than 45,000 jobs given half a chance. Give these people a hand Dave, even if they did not all go to private school, your economy will turn and you will get reelected. Presto!