Fast Company’s recent ‘quick read’ on ‘risk modifications’ (though US oriented) only goes to underline the need in the UK for regimes of support for mature people to take up entrepreneurship.‘The startup world sees its participants as either potential unicorns or drab losers, and rarely focuses on the ups and downs of building experience in enterprise. ‘
‘We can provide risk modifications’ says Fast Company ‘that will increase the propensity to take smart, calculated risks and build the small businesses and startups that are necessary across the country today!
- We should emphasize experience as a major asset to starting a business. Yes, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg were college dropouts. But most successful entrepreneurs hit 30 before unleashing their big idea. Maturity matters.
- Access to early-stage funding should be much more available and transparent. We need more awareness and better access to community venture funds, foundation grants, small business loans, and CDFIs, among others.
- Entrepreneurs need portable benefits – health care, retirement savings, and other basics. This might be from one of the many portable benefit startups that existnow, or the programs that big insurers are launching, or might eventually be government funded at the state or federal level.
- We need more accessible programs that offer non-cash capital–training around launching, regulatory burdens, payroll and HR, branding and marketing, recruiting, and all the other crucial determinants of success and failure.’
In the UK we are a long way from most of this. It emphasises how very much we need an organisation to represent the world of startups.
John Whatmore, October 2019