Every day entrepreneurs are being funded, coached and supported in other ways by established channels such as Government, Regional Development Agencies and VC’s to take their “high-potential” start-up to the next level using incubator sites, sponsored programmes or VC-readiness initiatives.
However, where does this pipeline of innovation and entrepreneurship come from? And, how can it be sustained?
It is important alongside these national initiatives to ensure that Local Government, Education and Business Networks can create the environment to inspire their citizens to believe that starting, running and succeeding in their own business is an option open to them.
In recent years the impact of recession and competition on the high street has eroded the natural role models within the community of family-run businesses and sole traders who have been replaced with franchises and chain stores, leading to the feeling of success being more unattainable than ever before to the average person.
Despite these conditions, success has been achieved. Communities who have been able to support their members with the right training, networking opportunities and collective promotion have delivered significant outputs, which in turn provided the volume of high-quality start-ups for the national programmes to pick up and develop to the next level.
My belief is the Local Government can set the foundations for national and international success and provide the leadership communities need to become truly entrepreneurial, the rewards are vast and extremely attainable:
- Organically stimulate job creation through sustainable means, using local skills and resources rather than the boom & bust of chasing large scale inward investment.
- The ability to focus on how your community is truly unique, be it in tourism, crafts, hospitality or a specialist academic capability – no more chasing shadows!
- Stimulate the flow of capital into your community to support your activity, rather than fighting to slow the movement of capital and resources out of the community.
- Use the resources and support available from national and international sources to benefit the entire community, not just those have garnered press attention.
I am currently researching and developing solutions for inspiring and protecting entrepreneurial activity in regional areas, and would be delighted to engage with authorities who are facing these challenges.