Entrepreneurship changes lives – ask the founder of a hit company that exited for millions. But is it the catalyst which will drag Britain from recession, save the millennial generation from the debts imposed on them by their parents, and solve world poverty? Should everyone strive to start a company?
The premise of the RSA’s latest event – Age of Entrepreneurialism – was that it will. The RSA is a fantastic organisation with a rich history. They are running a series of events to promote enterprise. During these they are engaging the people that will deliver this change, young entrepreneurs, for their insight into what government, business and charities can do to promote commerce and create culture of enterprise in the UK. For the entrepreneurs they are a chance to build networks and meet similar people. I was delighted to be invited; it was fascinating day, full of inspiring people and bright ideas.
One of the themes that came out of the workshops was ‘purpose’. Money is great, so is a steady job, but increasing number of people are voicing a desire for more purpose in what they do. We’ve been brought up on a diet of knowledge and role models that have taught us that we shouldn’t accept what we’re told; that toiling at the same desk for 45 years is not the only option.
Starting a company will probably not make you rich. It might provide a good income; not every new company needs millions of pounds of VC to be a ‘success’.But you probably won’t be the next Zuckerberg. What it can do is give meaning and purpose.
Start a company to solve a problem. Do this and you’ve already got a great business plan – if you see a problem, other people probably do too. The problem may be physical, virtual, social or environmental: but there does need to be a problem. Aim to make a profit. You may sit at the very social end of the spectrum starting a community interest company which aims to break even; but still the way to change things is by being self sustaining. Use the market to your advantage – a profitable company can employ more people and keep making a difference when charity and donations run out.
At DrDoctor we believe strongly in a sense of purpose. We see a problem in how healthcare is managed at the moment. You shouldn’t need to spend hours on the phone trying to reschedule; there shouldn’t be 10’s of letter for one appointment. There is a better way and that’s what we’re working towards.