Let’s change the perception of enterprise, says Greene
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My key idea: We need to reset some common perceptions of enterprise. Education establishments fail young people because they fail to describe the true essence of business and entrepreneurship. This is compounded by the media, which consistently feeds us false representations of business. Only by addressing the imbalance and resetting the tone will we inspire the next generation of business leaders to fulfil their ambition. The media creates a wrong impression of business
When we create something that’s more than the sum of its parts, we get enterprise. Because enterprise adds to society, it creates wealth and it creates employment. It’s exciting and stimulating, and has enormous highs. But it has great lows too. It can be painful, and involves a lot of hard work. But it’s rare to meet an entrepreneur who isn’t happy in what she or he does.
So far, the positives outweigh the negatives. And it’s hard to understand why more people aren’t involved in the development of start-ups and the building of enterprise for successful businesses. Unless, that is, there’s a lack of understanding of what enterprise involves from an early age? This is why we need to start teaching enterprise in schools; I believe that there’s a misunderstanding of what business is about. How much do schools and universities understand about enterprise and small business? To what extent do they focus their advice to create the right impact? A wrong impression of business has been created by the media – and by programmes which suggest that it involves selfishness, backstabbing and a lack of thought for other people, and for society in general.
My experience is quite the opposite. The vast majority of entrepreneurs are thoroughly decent people who care about their staff and customers, who try to deliver the best possible product and service, who continually innovate and are passionate about their businesses. While every business needs a clear leader, they recognise the benefits of team work and the need to allow people to work to their strengths.
We need young people to not only understand the mechanics of business – profit, cash flow, investment, return on investment, strategic planning – but to also understand and appreciate the softer elements involved too. There is a great sense of personal satisfaction achieved from developing a successful enterprise, living with the consequences of your own decisions, and happily enjoying a financially secure lifestyle, while creating long term security. If we get these messages across in our schools and universities, then we can motivate a whole group of people to get out into the world of business, build successful enterprises and contribute to the economic growth of the country. It’s time for entrepreneurs to get this message across.
This is an excerpt from LondonLovesBusiness.com’s Securing Britain’s Ambition – read the full publication online now