Britain is facing a “new kind of poverty” with many parents unable to nourish their own families – not through lack of money but lack of knowledge, according to Jamie Oliver.
“This isn’t about fresh trainers or mobile phones or Sky dishes or plasma TV screens – they’ve got all that. It is a poverty of being able to nourish their family, in any class.”
So what is Mr Oliver saying? This is not a crisis of material need; people have ways of getting these met? Most of us have learned the skills of achieving material possessions. But I don’t believe that the problem lies in a lack of culinary skill – I think this is a symptom of a deeper psychological need rather than a root cause of this new kind of poverty.
It is about a poverty of psychological need and ambition.
It is about poverty of self-esteem.
It is about poverty of belief.
And once enterprise professionals recognise the power of enterprise to nourish these very human qualities we will have a powerful antidote to this ‘new form’ of poverty.
However it will require policy makers and funders to recognise that enterprise is not all about start rates and VAT registrations, but is about developing an enterprising psychology driving enterprising behaviours.