Are We All Entreprenuers Now?

Stretching back to the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister support for the development of an enterprising economy has increased. But can entrepreneurs live up to the challenge placed upon them as one of the central characters in today’s economy?

A strong economy

Building a strong economy has always been a central task of government, not least because it generates the revenues needed to finance health, education and other services voters expect. Government departments and similar bodies traditionally delivered such support through centrally controlled economic policy. But this approach has changed given the realisation that it is not enough to sustain a modern successful economy

In recent years the role of small business in driving the economy has taken hold at all levels of government decision-making. Entrepreneurs are now seen as essential players in the development of the economy. There is also a belief that some public services are better delivered by non-governmental bodies as they have been opened to the private sector, albeit with varying amounts of success. Some recent experiences have raised questions about the wisdom of outsourcing in areas such as rail transport and construction through private finance initiatives. Nevertheless, the spirit of enterprise and the ability of entrepreneurs to find new ways to get things done are seen as core tenants of future progress.

Using different models

In the execution of economic policy government struggles to find the right models as it explores the advantages of using the private sector to reduce costs and solve problems. Similarly, although with limited success, government has embraced the use of a new vocabulary by referring to customers and consumers rather than patients in health care or students in education. The shift in language places greater emphasis on meeting arbitrary targets, which are often to the detriment of services and the staff who deliver them.

Within people’s lives the need to be more enterprising in thought and action has increased too, as we are encouraged to be active and engaged citizens. Regardless of where we work or what we do there is an expectation that we should be energetic, independent, self-reliant and open to managed risk and therefore mimic the characteristics of entrepreneurs who start new businesses.

Entrepreneurs are now seen as an essential element of economic development and encouraged by government and in all aspects of industry. It seems we all need to be enterprising as a way to secure our own and the nation’s future. Without such an approach it is feared we will fall behind in a world that sees the potential of the entrepreneur as a solution to many of the economic challenges we face.

So, we are all encouraged to be more enterprising in a world that supports and rewards entrepreneurs who take action to create the future.