Opportunities and entrepreneurship are two of the most dynamic engines/enablers of society. The presence of opportunity encourages entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurship generates more opportunities. Essentially, it’s the basic demand and supply theory. Throughout history, Opportunities created Demand and Entrepreneurs provided the Supply. For example, when food was scarce, humans developed new tools, found new food sources, and established new processes. It’s the same with all our scarcity, security and survival issues — they have provided opportunities for us to create new approaches to capitalize upon.
Is a Billion Dollars Real Wealth?
It’s clear where there is a demand, there will be supply. Yet, when we look at the developing world, especially in the past 60 years and a trillion US Dollars later, the theory has failed to produce tangible results. So, what went wrong?
As societies, we are mostly structured as nation-states with federal governments drawing policies on what we can do and how. That puts the onus on countries to create — or sometimes even impede — that demand.
For example, if a Suriname entrepreneur has an innovative idea, a World Bank affiliate (DoingBusiness.org) reports, it will take them approximately 694 days to complete the paperwork to start that venture. Hello, that’s close to two years! If this was a transformational idea, fuggedaboutit, because someone else has already done it! For the same comparative process, it takes about 6 days in the U.S. and only 1 day in New Zealand. But this is not a “developed” versus “emerging” country issue — the same start-up process in a developing nation like Rwanda takes just 3 days.
Another hurdle is the money required to start a business. The Syrian Arab Republic tops the list where the minimum capital required for starting a business is 1000% of the entrepreneur’s income, whereas in most Western countries the percentage is 0. Again, this is not a developed versus developing country issue — in my native country Armenia, which is still a development state, the capital need is a whopping 0 as well.
The reality is that some modern environments have built-in obstacles to getting new entrepreneurship underway, while creating little opportunity for a supply of entrepreneurs.
When we look at human evolution, it was a little easier to become an entrepreneur when some present restrictions (legal and bureaucratic) were absent — even though other challenges were in place like the absence of information and other basic resources. Anyway, in past times when we required better or more secure shelter, we found ways to expand our search, thus our chances for survival by domesticating the horse then by developing boats to cross water, etc.
Flash forward, when long distance communication became a new need for survival or for exerting more dominance, we created post offices (thanks Genghis Khan!), created telegraphs, then telephones, cellphones, the internet, and now the smartphones.
Importantly, the pattern is clear — where there is an opportunity, then there is innovation by entrepreneurs. But today, besides the need to generate transformational ideas, we also require system wide structures and resources to activate our visions and energies. We need systems that create and highlight opportunities. Meaning, we create inviting, accessible, and fun environments for You to become an entrepreneur. It’s not only incumbent on nation states to provide those opportunities, the responsibility is also on us to help push the process forward as people, as individuals, as You and I.
Athgo already provides opportunities for networking and identifying opportunities through our Global Innovation Forums, and we are working on an unbelievable online platform that will soon give You and anyone access to all four key pillars needed for innovation and success — intellectual, inner, financial and networking capital.
I strongly believe with ICT’s exciting omnipresence and with new ubiquitous tools such as social networking sites, the entrepreneur will become a true global citizen and should be able to satisfy the demand that we have as a global society, thus enriching ALL by enriching oneself.