Elephant in the Room – 250,000 Failed Entrepreneurs
Failed entrepreneurs or broken business people. Well we treat them like lepers don’t we?
Failed entrepreneurs are the post credit crunch Elephant in the Room.
The scale of this issue is MUCH, MUCH BIGGER than generally understood. Data taken from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor in 2015 shows that there are likely 250,000 individuals whose businesses fail. It is likely that in the last 4 years 1 million people have suffered a lost business. The opportunity to help people is clearly there.
No one wants to talk about them. This must change. They must be pulled into the light and away from the periphery of entrepreneurship, society and business funding.
We love to talk about innovation and start ups AND this is good. Very good. But it is a fact that people who bounce back from business failure (Bouncepreneurs) become the most successful business people of all.
Government agencies are doing great work on entrepreneur start up projects and also innovation and I can only applaud their efforts. But much more can be down to progress and help those people whose start up or innovation projects don’t make it.
7 out of 10 people around the world (GEM) think entrepreneurship is a good idea. So there is always water coming into the bucket. But there is always going to be a hole in that bucket and that is the Elephant in the Room.
I would encourage agencies working with innovators and start up entrepreneurs to recognise the elephant in the room by:-
- Being open and transparent with failure rates
- Talk about failure, how to be ethical about it and trigger points to call it a day
- Developing (work with us even) “Sweeper” programmes to help those who do not make it first time around
- Make it clear that there is a support framework for those that make it and those that don’t
- Remove the stigma and shame from ethical business failure and promote this with your stakeholders and other government partners
- Make sure your clients don’t simply stumble forward into a lifeboat copycat of their original failed venture. Give them another option
- Consider failure more deeply. Think about the mental, family, social and financial impacts. Most of all consider state of mind more intelligently. Entrepreneurial Grief has been likened to the loss of an immediate family member
- But most importantly CHANGE. Don’t carry on promoting start-ups without putting a safety net in place. Most businesses fail remember!
There is a lot of great opportunity to add further strength and vitality to our economy. There is also opportunity to bring great business people “back in from the cold.”
So let’s stop ignoring the Elephant in the Room and start helping these people become Bouncepreneurs.
Written by Michael Allen founder Bouncepreneurs