How can an enterprise culture improve lives? asks Arabella McIntyre-Brown
Enterprise is not just another word for business. It’s a mindset, a way of approaching life, a way of looking at things. Enterprise is always innovative, finding new things to do and make, or new ways to do it.
Famous entrepreneurs are mostly in the business world, so enterprise has become synonymous with rich and famous corporate names, but you find enterprise and innovation at home, in schools, in sport, in art, in hospitals, in the forest, on the road, in the street… everywhere.
Entrepreneurs can see ways to turn loss into profit, turn dross into gold, turn time into money. Enterprise can happen in the hour before school, after a shift or the weeks between contracts. It can be part-time or full-time; be a solo effort, a community co-operative or a private company. It can make a few extra coins, or headline news
What every enterprise does, though, is to take a step forward, use the hearts and minds and energy of everyone involved, make a positive out of a negative, something out of nothing, movement out of stagnation.
Decision, commitment and action have a remarkable effect on the mind and the spirit: waiting and hoping can turn to depression and despair, but acting on an idea is a courageous change. Achievement – however small –transforms and galvanises.
Entrepreneurs need help, but they don’t wait for it – they go and search it out, they ask, they find solutions. Problems are challenges to be met, and when entrepreneurs are knocked down, they get up again. Once they have a goal in mind, they go for it. When they come up against an obstacle, they go round it, over or under it, or straight through it. Sometimes they even turn the obstacle into an asset or an ally.
Entrepreneurs and innovators use their time, their energy and their mindset to improve their own lives, their family’s lives, their community’s lives, the country’s life.
Helping someone to become an entrepreneur moves them from being a cost to the economy to being a profit centre. An asset, not a liability. Financially, socially, psychologically, environmentally, spiritually and physically, enterprise makes things happen. And when entrepreneurs use the 3xW model it’s better, fairer, cleaner, faster, cheaper, more efficient and more productive than any government could manage
It’s the economic equivalent of nuclear fusion – low-cost, low-impact and very powerful. It’s the way out, up and forward.
But unless people know that such potential exists, and – crucially – that they themselves can be innovators and entrepreneurs, now, the potential is limited to those already in the know. Everyone outside that small world is excluded from opportunity until they read… understand, be inspired, get excited… and ACT.
First published in 2013