IT TAKES MORE THAN A GARAGE

Photo by melvin Ankrah on Unsplash

The entrepreneurship has its modern myths. In the 70s, two guys named Steve started in the chaos of a garage a venture that eventually changed the game in the IT industry. Such is the genesis of Apple. In the 2000s, a student launched a social website just to make fun of his classmates at Harvard University. Then Facebook is born, and the era of social media. Naturally, all these success stories are true. Even more so, they are so compelling that they may inspire you to follow their lead.

After all, why not me?”, you might say. And then you might quit your job, your studies, or any of your current endeavors to launch your own business. Who knows? It might be the next one to change the world. However these compelling stories, as they have often been told in the media, in films and books, are biased. By focusing exclusively on the personal journey of those businessmen, most of them minimize the bigger picture.

They don’t say much about the collaborations and the social environment that supported these entrepreneurs and their initiatives. In other words, too much has been said about the farmer and too little about the seeds, the ground and the favorable climate that make some farms so productive, and their fruits, a success.

Today, it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur. Even the word itself is becoming more glamorous. Indeed in our modern societies ravaged by inequality and job insecurity, the entrepreneur represents the perfect hero. So it makes sense if more people from any industries and countries nurture the idea to launch together with their family, their friends or their colleagues their own business.

Even if it’s a long-term goal or a no-term one, the wish is real and well-shared all over the world. “One day, I will start a business”, seems to be the dream of most of us. But as we might discover at the beginning of this journey, motivation is not enough.

The entrepreneurial spirit needs to be nurtured. In fact, entrepreneurship is too important for societies to let it in the hands of simple aspiring individuals. It’s about value creation, wealth, jobs, opportunities and sometimes that means the survival of a community. So many other stakeholders participate in this operation. And when you zoom out of the picture of a successful entrepreneur, you realize that his achievements were actually teamwork.

A recent research in the “Global Entrepreneurship Index” emphasizes this point with interesting facts. It reminds us of the importance for societies to develop the right ecosystems. In other terms, the most important challenge is not only to expect the next superstars, but also and mostly to create super-leagues. And for this purpose, three insights are worth learning from the paper.

First, goodwill or perfect attitudes are not enough to build great companies. The right entrepreneurial attitudes represent only one pillar of the structure. To build sustainable and solid business, the other pillars should not be neglect, namely the entrepreneurial abilities and aspirations of those companies. Second, when we are thinking about entrepreneurship, in addition to the individuals, equal consideration should be given to institutions. Third, entrepreneurship will flourish the most when it is supported by other social factors, such as an appropriate educational system and an active financial sector.

In regard of ecosystems, entrepreneurship is not equally shared in the world. If you are living in North America, you have good reason to be grateful: it’s actually the biggest hot-spot for entrepreneurship. The United States and Canada are ranked as the two top countries for entrepreneurs. But not all areas in the world have achieved as much as these two nations to develop all factors to nurture and deploy entrepreneurial endeavors. Not all places have a Silicon Valley. Europe doesn’t. Not even dynamic China. Nor where they are mostly needed: in the developing countries. Maybe not yet.

However, to create the next Apple, it will perhaps take a new pair of guys called Steve and a new garage. But to flourish, this initiative will surely need a supportive environment. A condition that we might fail to achieve if we put all the responsibilities on the shoulders of our modern heroes.

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