Unfolding plans 138 – we need more entrepreneurs

I’ve heard it said many times that entrepreneurs are a special breed.  They are vital to the health of the economy.  They create the wealth that this nation relies upon to pay for its hospitals, its roads and all the other good things we’ve come to expect in a modern economy.

I agree.  Those people who are prepared to risk all in the pursuit of their vision and dreams are special.  We do need people to try new things and succeed against all the odds.  We need entrepreneurs.

What I don’t buy, however, is that somehow this particular group of individuals is the saviour of the world.  They are not the second coming and they are not more equal than others.  They are vital yes, They play a vital role yes, yet so do many other members of society.

Entrepreneurs can only risk if they can raise the capital to support their venture.  So we need people who are prepared to invest in support of their efforts.  We need venture capitalists without whose money only but the smallest of things would get developed.  Perhaps venture capitalists are the special ones, the first among equals.

But wait on, you can’t have venture capitalist without a sound and effective banking system.  We need sufficient liquidity in the market for money to flow and to be siphoned off into things that, for which as yet there is an unproven demand.  You can’t have venture capital if there is insufficient capital within the market.  It’s obvious then that it is the bankers who are the essential players in a functioning society and this is reflected in the remuneration that they enjoy.

No that can’t be right. Surely the most important people for any product or service that has been developed must be the customer, that is the people who are prepared to pay for them.  As Bob Marley once said, ‘no money, no goods.’ You can invent what you like, and invest as much as you want but if the customer is not prepared to put their hands in their pockets then your business idea is doomed.  The road to innovation is littered with great products that nobody cared about.  Customers are clearly king.

But then so are consumers.  They may not pay directly yet they consume.   They are the ultimate arbiters of demand creation.  Without consumption there can be no need and without need there can be no market.  Consumers need to be raised to the top of the pile.  They are truly the chosen ones within society.

So why do we need entrepreneurs?  Ah yes, they create the wealth that this nation relies upon to pay for its hospitals, its roads and all the other good things we’ve come to expect in a modern economy.  In this case then aren’t the most important people those who work in our hospitals, the doctors and nurses, the porters and administrative staff or those that work to build and mend our roads, the engineers and the plant operators, the tar babies and the line painters?  Without them there would be no need to invent anything.

The truth is that everyone in society is important.  Every person has their part to play and no group is more essential than any other.

We do need entrepreneurs though.  I wish I was more entrepreneurial.

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