Many projects designed to stimulate an enterprise culture fall foul of one or more of the following:
- they focus too much on the individual and not enough on the enterprising ecosystem – failing to address social context – instead trying to help individuals to ‘overcome the odds’
- believing that the reasons for low levels of enterprise are because we have not provided the right building – commissioning the latest interpretation of the ‘catalytic space’ – hoping that if we build it they will come
- failing to educate and engage other stakeholders and agencies involved in community development about the role of enterprise in economic and social development. Helping them to see that this is about education and the development of human potential
- focusing on persuasion rather than education – using ‘carrots and sticks’ to drive people towards enterprise – rather than helping them to clarify their own self interest and then developing their power to realise it
- pretending that enterprise is a good thing – instead of portraying it in a balanced way as a double edged sword – a powerful vehicle for life that can crash horribly or take you on a wonderful journey
- skimming communities for those with most developed ‘enterprise potential’ and helping them take the last few steps – instead of helping those who have not explored their enterprise potential take the first few steps – ‘Have you got a great business idea?’
- designing interventions around 121, 12-several and 12 many interventions – instead of around word of mouth and other network effects – failing to train gatekeepers to act as educators and enthusiastic referrers
- designing services that are policy led (designed to achieve specific policy goals) rather than client centred – designed to help clients to become more enterprising in their own terms
- starting from where we want to start rather than from where clients are
- failing to recognise that strong, long term relationships are critical to building the trust and support necessary to enable people to take more enterprising actions – and a bonus number 11
- failing to build teams capable of starting sustainable growth oriented business – instead pandering to the myth of the lone entrepreneur bravely riding the range.
Any that I have missed?
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